Let me start by saying, I haven’t worked out harder than taking a Zumba class or going for a walk-run through the park in more than a year so when my best friend suggested I “shock my body” by taking an Orange Theory class, I immediately rejected the idea. But as my weight on the scale slowly crept up (after eating my way through some of New York City’s best restaurants as a food writer for the past 5 years), I realized she was right. I needed a jolt and this one-hour class might just be the answer to getting back on the road to healthy.
To say I was intimidated before my first class would be an understatement. I met with the friendly front desk advisor, Colin, at the Park Slope location and he went through telling me how the class worked, what to expect, and what I needed to get started. A few women overheard that it was my first class and reassured me it was more fun than anything else. I was handed a temporary heart rate monitor and told to keep track of my stats, which are displayed on TV monitors throughout the room. Yes, everyone can technically see how many calories you’re burning (if they squint really hard) but you’re really just in competition with yourself, which is surprisingly super motivating.
The goal is to go from gray (resting heart rate) to green to orange to red. Once you hit the orange and red zones you’ve earned what is called a “splat point.” Earn 12 or more of these and you’ll experience “after burn” – an additional 250 to 500 calories burned on top of the calories you already burned at the end of class. Basically, for the next 36 hours, you’ll have an increased metabolic rate, which leads to higher calorie burn after the workout.
So, here’s the breakdown:
- Choose to start your workout at the row machine, the floor (for weights, bench and core work, and TRX exercises), or the treadmill
- A coach instructs each group how to proceed for the next 60 minutes of class and encourages you as a whole and individually
- You only do each exercise for a few minutes at a time so it’s completely doable (even if it feels like 2 minutes of hell)
- Those on the treadmill can choose between starting as a “power walker” (mostly an incline workout), “jogger” or “runner” (you’ll end up sprinting on your “all outs” – another term you’ll become familiar with).
- You typically burn about 500 calories but that obviously changes from person to person (I tend to burn about that – sometimes more, sometimes less)
- Their locker rooms are clean and come with a ton of amenities like dry shampoo and deodorant if you want to freshen up or even take a shower there
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER & MAKE SURE YOU STRETCH AFTER CLASS
The staff is super friendly and very encouraging. As someone who was very hesitant to even step into the door, I came out a happy customer. Not only that, but I upgraded from a 4x/week package to 8x/week after my first 10 days of going to Orange Theory.
The gist? Try out a class and see how you like it! The best part is your first experience at Orange Theory is completely free. Yes, free. Just make sure you arrive about 30 minutes before class so the front desk people and coaches can walk you through their facilities as well as how it all works. They’ll also talk to you about memberships after class, which you can think about afterwards – no pressure!
I hope you end up trying this fun and productive workout. I’ve only gone 6 times and I already can feel a difference! It’s nice to know you have a block of time dedicated to really working out hard – and then you’re all done, having worked out your entire body. I haven’t felt like that since high school!