I first heard about Orange Theory from a trainer I was seeing here in Encinitas. I had no idea what it was.
"A lot of people do it," she said. "It's a class. You spend part of the time on the treadmill. Then part of the time on the floor doing weights and other exercises. The whole idea is to keep your heart rate in a certain zone to receive the 'after burn' effect on your calorie burn after class."
She didn't dismiss the idea of the class. But had noted that she had lost a lot of clients to it.
To me, it sounded like Barry's Bootcamp...Which I had lived across the street from in NYC a few years ago. I took a few classes. But wasn't a fan of the instructors. They expected everyone to be in the same place physically. And if you're like me and prefer to "jog" rather than "sprint"... They would yell and try to intimidate you to "pick up the pace."
I would usually just drop it down to a walk. Because while I am almost never a spiteful person, I am a teacher myself (yoga). And I teach from a place of encouragement, rather than screaming or intimidating.
"Eff that," was what I would say. Sure, it was an awesome workout. But it was an expensive class. And even though it was super convenient for me (being across the street and all), I stopped going. The students in the class were equally intense. And you had to sign up way in advance for class.
People were serious about their Barry's.
So when my trainer told me about it, I thought, "Sounds like something I'll never try."
And I was serious. Until I heard my sister-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law all talking about it last month.
They really liked it.
"Hmm," I thought. "It could be a good way to replace my training."
My trainer is good. But it is a pain for her to get to the gym to meet me so early in the morning from where she lives. I have to do early morning sessions because, unlike most of the women at my gym, I am not a stay-at-home mom or part-time worker. The busiest time at my gym - and for my trainer - is after 8am.
There were times where we were one of three people on the floor. And it would be way too quiet.
Additionally, I never burn much calorie-wise when I train. Usually about 250 calories. Sure, I would occasionally be sore after a workout with her - which I loved... But overall - as I have discovered after having trained with a trainer for many years (off and on), I don't work well one-on-one. It's too much attention for this introvert. I like to blend.
So hearing others speak highly of Orange Theory, and learning that it is tailored around your personal heart rate, I figured it was worth a shot to try it.
So today I did.
And here are my results from the first class...
I have no idea what the "Splat Points" are... But I am assuming if you accrue enough of them, you get some kind of awesome prize.
The time we were actively monitored in class was 56 minutes long. In that time, I burned 602 calories. Which is about what I burn in a 90-minute Bikram yoga class on a "kicking my ass" day lately.
My average heart rate was 163 beats per minute, which meant I stayed in my Orange Zone for a good portion of the class. In this case, for over half the class.
I did kick it up into the Red Zone (93% or higher) for three minutes, reaching 99% of my maximum heart rate.
The only time I was in the Blue Zone was right before class, when they were explaining how it all breaks down for us. I spent 16 minutes in the Green Zone.
Because it was my first class, the instructor caught up with me afterwards to go over my results.
"You crushed it," she said.
That was great to hear. But I already knew what she was going to say next: That I spent too much time in the Orange Zone.
"You want the pyramid effect when you look at the board at the end of class," she explained.
Meaning... I need to spend most of my time in the Green Zone, followed by the Orange Zone and Blue Zone. The Red Zone and the Gray Zone should be the smallest.
"But given this is your first time here and that you are acclimating to the pace of the class, this is normal," she said.
Once I start going regularly (twice a week), I'll see my numbers flip.
I loved the class. I loved the end result. I love that it was tailored to where I am at physically today. The use of the heart rate monitor is key. Such an awesome workout.