Hello. My name is Lauren and I’m addicted to OTF.
Based on the response I received on Instagram and to a post I wrote last week, I’ve realized that I am in very good company. The other weekend I attended my first class at the brand new Hunt Valley, Maryland Orangetheory studio and I think it only took me about 5 minutes to get completely hooked. Orange has always been one of my favorite colors.
A little about it for people that may not be familiar although I do think I’m a little late to the game. Blogger friends in the DC area (I first heard about it from Sue I believe) have been enjoying OTF for quite some time and I had been hoping they would open a studio in Baltimore. (Then they did even better and opened one bike riding distance from my house!) This information is direct to you from their website because I’m not even going to pretend like I’m a scientist and while I understand it I could not explain it without it turning into a rambling trainwreck. So here you go:
The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. By providing you with a heart-rate monitor and POD, we can monitor your 5-zone interval training sessions that we call the Orange 60. During the 60-minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, which translates to Zones 4/5. This program design produces workout “afterburn” effect, which is an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout. When combining the amazing workout with EPOC, our clients burn an average of 500 to 1000 calories.
When I walked into the studio I had little idea of what to expect outside of blog posts I’d read. I knew there would be treadmills and rowing and then maybe some weights involved. My first impression was a very good one; the Orangetheory of Hunt Valley is clean and well maintained and there were two very friendly young women working behind the desk. I filled out a short questionnaire and was outfitted with my heart rate monitor, then just before class was to begin I was given a little tour and met the instructor, a high energy woman named Sonrisa. I got a very good vibe from her and liked her immediately. A couple of big screens were mounted at the front of the room and they displayed the names of everyone who would be taking the class with me. Seeing myself up there kickstarted my competitive nature. I think I come off as a touchy-feely, emotional-type person, but deep down I’m very analytical and I love numbers, data, and stuff just like what was up on the wall. Just as long as no one is making me do any of the actual math myself.
My first stop was on a treadmill (YAY I love this already!) where I was introduced to the concept of “Base Pace”, “Push Pace”, and “All Out”. A little card was attached to each treadmill to describe what all these things meant, but basically you would fall into one of three buckets: Power Walker, Jogger, and Runner. As a runner, my Base Pace would be 5.5 MPH or more on the treadmill with the incline set to 1. My Push Pace was 1-2 MPH over that and my All Out was exactly how it sounded…I jacked that speed up as much as I was comfortable doing. We began with some intervals this way and then I was instructed to hop on a water rower, which is a machine completely new to me and not just because I’m not used to water rowers. More like I have never rowed in my life.
Luckily, Sonrisa is awesome and gave me a quick tutorial on proper form. It felt easy at first, but by the end of the class I would be cursing that rower as soon as I got on it; it was an incredible workout! From there we were doing various exercises on the floor involving weights, medicine balls, and TRX straps. Then back on the treadmills for more intervals, including kicking up the incline to 8…and cue my heart monitor freaking out and going up to like 120% in the red zone. I think it was just a temporary malfunction because I was laughing through it and obviously not dead, but getting back down into the green zone after that was definitely a challenge.
The music was blasting and I was feeling super pumped. We were constantly in motion and 54 minutes soared by so fast that I was shocked when she told us our time was up. I obviously knew I had been working hard, but according to the screen I had burned around 585 calories! We all gathered together to go over our results that were displayed in bar graph form. That 84% or higher that was mentioned in the OTF description is the ORANGE ZONE and the even more scary sounding RED ZONE where it’s okay to be as long as you are breathing, alive, and in control of yourself. I spent a little more time than I would have liked in those zones, but that gave me something to work toward for the next time.
I actually did have much better luck with it the next time I went. Also it was partner night and my friend and I burned almost 1600 calories between the two of us and subsequently went out for pizza and a big greasy cheesesteak.
If you are fortunate enough to have an Orangetheory near you and haven’t tried it out yet, GO. I promise you that you will love it. Better yet…come with ME! I think my friend even enjoyed himself and he always tells me how much he hates running. I’m excited to attend another class this week and sign up for a package.
Have you tried Orangetheory yet? What do you think of it?