A flurry of snow has begun to fall in preparation for winter. It’s been a bitterly cold and snowy week, a stark contrast to the sunny skies, 50-degree temperatures, and blue skies I was used to in North Carolina just a week ago. As a way to get the ball rolling, I decided to share my experience at Orange Theory Fitness throughout Charlotte. Orange Theory Fitness is a favourite of my sister, who lives in Atlanta, so I couldn’t resist giving it a shot while we were visiting.
“Excess Post Oxygen Consumption” or “After Burn” is the focus of Orange Theory Fitness, a scientifically based workout. Each workout lasts for at least of 60 minutes and focuses on five different heart rate intervals. They now have 36 U.S. and Canadian locations, and they’re only going to keep growing at this rate.
As a new participant, I was asked to arrive 30 minutes early at the Charlotte, NC location. Upon my arrival, I was greeted immediately and asked to complete a questionnaire, as I would expect from any reputable facility. My height, weight, and age were all requested on the application, which was a welcome change from the standard information I has been used to providing. My name was entered into in the OTF system after I returned my waiver, so I had to wait a short time.
To ensure that my workouts were recorded correctly, I was provided with a loaner heart monitor after I had been officially accepted into the programme. As a result of the more detailed questionnaire, they explained and demonstrated how to wear a heart rate monitor to me. Apparently evey location is different, but those will loan you an HR monitor for 2 classifications once you have to buy one‘s $69 version (it’s always annoying when people start explaining fitness-related topics to me that when they don’t know it’s my job).
Before class, I had around 15 minutes to kill, thanks to the 10-minute process. The newbies were indeed brought into in the gym five minutes prior to each class for orientation. But the tutorial was a little too brief for my taste. There were several important details and I had to figure out and on the fly because the instructor had given a same tutorial many times before.
An individual weight section is available at each Orange Theorist Fitness location along with treadmills and rowers. Class can really be divided into groups to accommodate more students by using different gym areas.
It was a great workout, to say the least. After a short warmup of about five minutes, I was told to alternate quarter-mile treadmill sprints with 250-meter rowing sprints. I’m a competitive person, so I had a blast racing the people in the room. They might not have noticed but for some reason it was a blast for me. The weight training chunk of the class began after about 20 minutes. Over a long period of time, we were required to complete a number of different mini-circuits. For five minutes straight, we did six TRX squat jumps, six TRX rows, and three burpees. More variety in the weight training would have been ideal, but I understand that the one of instructors was also still getting his bearings as a coach and needed more time to do so.
Many big screens there in gym displayed participants’ names, their heart rate percentages (as well as calories burned), and the colour zone they were in. And there were screens in the weight area that displayed the exercises, the number of repetitions, and the recommended number of rounds. To have workouts shown in a slideshow instead of on a whiteboard was a great addition!
For 12 to 20 mins during a workout, OTF encourages people to raise their heart rate to the “orange or red” zone and keep it there. If you’re successful, your post-workout calorie burn will be at least several hundred, according to their calculations. *Post Oxygen Consumption/after burn) excess oxygen consumption
This is a great concept in theory, but I’m not sure it would work for everyone. With my heart rate hovering around 75-85 percent of my maximum, I knew I was pushing myself hard. The idea of having my stats visible to an entire room of people I didn’t know, even if they only saw my username, was also unsettling to me. Nowadays that I understand what to expect, I’d like to take a further class before making a final decision.
After you finish your workout, the timer is stopped and your summary is displayed on the screen. You’ll also get a summary via email, and you have the option of having your stats synced with your OTF app. An approximate 568 calories were burned in 56 minutes but only two minutes of that time was spent inside the “orange zone.” Not for me, the post-burn sensation: (