Orange is the New Workout

I often end up feeling like I’m at a stalemate with my weight loss and fitness regime. I’ve said this before in my monthly fitness updates and lately I’ve been trying different types of fitness to mix it up a bit. The only issue with that is that classes happen once a week, which still leaves 6 days of me floundering and trying to find my way. I’m really excited to have potentially found a game changer!

An OrangeTheory Fitness is set to open up in Saskatoon come mid-November. I had a friend from the States mention them in a FB group, so when I saw the ad on Facebook I instantly clicked through. OTF is seriously taking the world by storm right now. It all started in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2009 and there are now 389 locations either set to open or are already opened in the US. There are currently 24 locations in Canada, 6 of which are opening soon. They expect to have over 60 locations open in Canada by the end of 2016! There are also OTF’s in Australia, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic and the UK. They project to have over 500 locations running by the end of 2016. Talk about an explosion!

So why is this gym growing so much, so fast? What sets it apart from the others? It’s the Orange Effect of course.

The Theory

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The picture above explains just what the Orange Theory is. So not only do you burn a lot of calories during your workout, you continue the burn long after you walk out the gym doors as well! The goal is to train at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate for 12-20 minutes. They claim that the OrangeTheory workout produces increased muscle endurance, strength and power and it can also produce weight loss. They say you can expect to see an estimated loss of 3-5 pounds per week by attending 3-5 sessions combined with healthy eating. You will also see an increase in power, speed and strength after just two weeks of attending 2-4 sessions a week.

The Facility

The facility is split up into three sections. There are treadmills, water rowing machines and a weight section that includes a suspension unit (TRX type stuff), free weights and benches. The building itself also has change rooms, lockers and showers. The boast state of the art equipment, modern style & motivational design, clean & spacious facilities, mood lighting, upbeat music, well-maintained equipment and great staff.

The Workout

OTF makes it super easy to sign up for a specific class. You can either go online, or download an app onto your phone, and just select which time/day you want to attend. Some classes would fill up faster than others so if you know ahead of time when you want to go, you can book as far ahead as you want! How great is that? No calling ahead, no showing up and hoping there is room and you aren’t set to a specific time/day every week! It’s whatever works in YOUR schedule!

The workout itself is comprised of three components: treadmill interval training blocks, indoor rowing and weight room or resistance training blocks. It’s open to anyone age 16 and up, and all fitness levels are welcome as it’s all based on YOUR own capabilities!

When you first come in you will be given a heart rate monitor to strap to your chest. This is how you will know how much time you spend in each zone. There are TV screens spread around the area that you can monitor to see which zone you are currently in. You spend half your time on the treadmill doing intervals, and the other half on rowing and strength. There is also group stretching at the end, which I know I need. I’m really bad at actually stretching so this is a great way to keep me accountable. I also hopefully won’t get as sore this way!

Right after your class you will be emailed your results from that day detailing how much time you spent in each zone and calories burned. This makes it really easy to track, which is beneficial if you want to track your overall progress.

This class has the benefits of group fitness with motivation, endurance, support, energy and accountability. The nice part is that even though it’s group fitness, you can only compete against yourself. Push yourself, challenge yourself, try to hit that orange zone. It doesn’t matter what the person next to you is doing, or how fast they are going. Every person is different and while some may have to sprint to get into the orange, others might just have to do a brisk walk. It also has the benefits of a personal trainer. You have someone leading you through the workout and helping you push yourself to where you need to be. Best of both worlds, but for a much cheaper price!

Pricing

There are a ton of different package deals and pricing options. You can do unlimited during the month, or a specific number of classes. If you have an OTF opening near you (I’m looking at you people of Saskatoon) I highly recommend that you set up a meeting to get signed up. You don’t have to pay for your class until it’s open, but you will not find cheaper prices then they are offering right now. I was actually impressed at how low the prices are. These prices will go up once they open, and you will never again have access to the best rates. If I’m remembering right, one month of unlimited classes was $129, regular $159. How could you not want to sign up after reading all of this though? It’s a serious game changer in the fitness world.

My Expectations and Impressions

I met with the Director of Operations, Rida Jaber, over the weekend to discuss pricing and to find out more about what OrangeTheory Fitness is about. I must say, I was impressed with this meeting.

I’ve toured around a couple of gyms in the past and met with people to discuss options and I’m normally left with a bad taste in my mouth. They often talk to me like there is no way I’ve been in a gym before and clearly don’t know anything about machines, classes etc. I’m not going to join your gym or class if you treat me like an idiot because guess what, I’m not one.

This wasn’t the case when I met with Rida here in Saskatoon. He was friendly, and talked to me like an equal. He used the terminology that was in line with what I read about OTF, explained things clearly, and didn’t talk down to me. He didn’t even come across as a salesperson, he seemed passionate about what he does and really excited about OTF. He didn’t start telling me about all the results I’m going to see, or show me pictures of the weight loss others have had. It was all just cold, hard facts. That was basically enough to sell me on this experience!

As many of you know, I already belong to a gym. About two years ago now I took the plunge and signed up at Fitness for $10. As much as I would have loved to join a gym with classes, none seemed to have convenient times for me. I’m able to go to my thing at 5:30am, home just after 6:30, get ready for the day, have breakfast, make my lunch, and it’s off to work at about 8:00am. When classes don’t start until 6am or 6:30, well that just doesn’t jive with my schedule. It just made sense to go with the cheaper gym since I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the benefits of more expensive gyms.

This is another thing that really drew me into OTF. Classes start as early as 5am! How awesome is that? It actually gives me time to go to class and get ready/relax afterwards before starting my work day. I can go onto the app ahead of time, book myself in, and then I’m also being held more accountable because I can’t skip out! Sure, getting up at about 4:30am isn’t the most fun idea in the world, but that’s only slightly earlier than I get up now.

My biggest issue with my time at the gym is that I have NO idea how hard I am pushing myself. I know that I get into a rut. I fall into a routine where I don’t really push myself and nothing really changes. OTF is going to force me to change that. As I get more fit I will have to push myself more to get into that orange zone. I have a goal to work towards. The workouts are also different every single day. It will keep my body guessing and will keep me away from routine. This is going to be a great learning experience to see what I’m all capable of.

Okay, so what’s my game plan?

Saskatoon’s location is set to open mid-November and I am going to commit myself to going 3 times a week, for 6 weeks. Why am I picking that number? OTF does weight loss challenges and that is the time and commitment they expect from participants. Therefore, I have decided to put myself through that. I’m not officially joining a challenge, this is just me doing this for myself.

During those 6 weeks I’m going to give it my all. There is going to be no excuses, and no slacking. I’ll be eating healthy, balanced meals (or at least trying to), and working out those three days per week. I’ll still be doing some of my other workouts like hula hoop, and I have some 3 virtual 5k’s I’ll be doing at that time as well. I’m really excited to see what changes I see and feel during my time with OTF.

I will be tracking this experience through here. You can expect a post at the end of November for my first impressions of the workouts and changes that I see in the first couple of weeks, and there will be another thorough post at the end of December once the 6 weeks is up. I’m going to track weight, measurements, body fat % etc. Weight loss is not going to be my main focus though. I know that I will build muscle through this so I mainly want to see a change in measurements and BF%. I’m really excited to dive right into this!

My normal monthly fitness update will be coming up at the end sometime next week, this just really needed it’s own post!

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  • The Nickel Nook

    Sounds great!

  • marilyn

    Hi Andrea! Love Orange Theory. Been doing it once a week (all I have time for) for 9 months. My theory is that once a week is better than none. No need for guilt about paying for more and not going.

    hated the first class and counted the minutes until the end. In the second and third hate turned into tolerance. Month later, I’ve graduated to not quite actually but almost enjoying it but loving how I feel after. Also weirdly proud when my numbers make a perfect pyramid. The key for me has been that it is NEVER the same workout, they pick good music, and I can busy myself analyzing my numbers. Plus for the weights, it’s like having a personal trainer.

    Hope that it works for you and look forward to hearing about it.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! From what I have heard, I can definitely see this making a difference even just once a week! I expect to have the same love/hate feelings towards classes, signing up for x amount right off the bat will hopefully keep me accountable with that! Good music definitely helps the workout though!