Whew. I have finally recovered from Stellar Bodies two weeks ago and am here with another workout review (sans sexy video this time, SORRY).

I am loving this workout that is sweeping/toning the nation and just touched down in Atlanta (hallelujah). Orangetheory is based around the science of heart rate-based interval training, so you know exactly what you’re doing in each class and how it’s going to lead to your weight loss/fitness goals. In other words: No more plateaus (or, as I like to call them during the holidays, fateaus).

When I first walked in the Howell Mill location, the studio immediately reminded me of Barry’s Boot Camp in NYC (click that link for six-pack porn), and that is a good thing. Barry’s is one of the most killer workouts I’ve ever done, and the room is dimly (read: sexily) lit with treadmills, weight benches, and mirrors everywhere (read: it’s great if you love looking at yourself whilst sweating).
otf 3

At Orangetheory, the classes utilize treadmills, rowing machines, and a training area with free weights, TRX bands, medicine balls, ab rollers, and more. When you arrive, you’ll strap on a heart rate monitor pod across your chest.

Douchetastic gym-mirror-ab selfie in 3…2…
Don’t be scerred; it’s totally unobtrusive and you won’t even feel it. The pod is synced with a high-tech system that displays what your body is doing throughout the workout on screens in the studio.

Now, for the science (and for me to act smart for a minute): There are various zones you move through during a workout that are a percentage of your maximum heart rate (fitness expert Cara Weaver went into this in depth in her heart rate monitor post), and in the Orangetheory class, these zones are color-coded for your easy understanding. During interval training, if you spend a certain amount of time (10-15ish minutes) in the orange zone (hence, the name), you’ll experience a mega calorie burn that increases your metabolism up to 36 hours after the workout. Per Cara, “This zone is where the magic happens, and what produces the beautiful ‘afterburn’ effect, or what I like to call ‘calories burned while sitting on your couch hours after your workout!'” If you’re working hard in the 60-minute class, you’ll probably see most of your time spent in the green (fat burning) zone, 10-15 minutes in the orange, and a few minutes in the red (ie. when you’re nearing your max heart rate and feel like you’re going to die).

During/at the end of class, you can peep your progress and results.
I spent a whopping 21 seconds in the red because I’m just a badass athlete like that.

As for the routine, every class and every instructor is different. In the two classes I’ve done, I started with a rowing warmup, then moved to the floor for weight/ab training (three different sets of exercises done at your own pace), then went back to the treadmill and rower.

Here I am trying to get away with five pounders, while trainer Kat schooled me and handed me 10s and 15s (PS, that really did happen).
The instructors talk you through the training, whether it’s mileage/meter based (“run .75 miles on the tread, then 800 meters on the rower”) or exertion based (run two minutes at your working pace, then one minute at your max speed).

I don’t want this to sound complicated, because it’s really not. During my first class when I was being instructed, I was all WTF?, but 10 minutes in, I understood what was happening (ish). I love getting a sweaty, strengthening workout no matter what, but tracking what your body is doing adds a great layer to the fitness process, especially when you’re trying to meet specific goals or just know if you’re even working as hard as you should. In the classes I took, the music was loud and high-energy, although a friend told me she took a class at a studio that will remain nameless and they didn’t play music, which means either she was high, the instructor was high, or the tape deck was broken because that is just nuts (and not normal).

As for date potential, this class is definitely dude-friendly. In most cases, there will probably be a few more females, but if you’re looking to get your sexy sweaty flirt on, it’s about 3,000 times better than Pure Barre or step aerobics.

Bottom line for the bod: You’re going to lose weight if you take this class regularly (and aren’t crushing pizzas and Cinnabons every day), and you will SWEAT and sculpt your entire body (without bulking, ladies!).
Another perk: Your first class is FREE! And when new studios open, there are always great deals on packages. In Atlanta, Orangetheory IS on the Peerfit Passport–for $59, you’ll get two Orangetheory classes, two Chaos Conditioning classes (remember that crazy workout?), and SIX more from other gyms/boot camps around the city. In Atlanta, also note Buckhead and Midtown are opening soon. Here’s a map of all the classes around the country.

Orange(theory) is the new black.


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