Orange Theory Fitness

Photo credits: Elizabeth Guariglia

Friday evening, I went to my first ever Orange Theory class. There is a spacious orange-tinted studio located in Winston-Salem, in the Thruway Shopping Center. With over 800 members and classes seven days a week, I knew this class was going to live up to all the hype.

Orange Theory Fitness is a 60-minute high intensity cardio and strength training class. Every class has a different workout. My class was 30 minutes on the treadmill, and then 30 minutes alternating between rowing on stationary ergs and strength training.

Our class was split into two groups. I was the erg and strength training group for the first half and then on the treadmill at the end. The staff at the front desk walked me through all of the workout stations before class started. They showed me how to use the treadmill and the erg at station number 1. They even set up my heart rate monitor.

I also met Michelle, our coach, in the orange lit, highly air conditioned workout space. Before class, we talked about my weekly workout regime (spin two times a week, and Pilates two times a week), and my recent glute injury from a spin class the previous week. She was very cautious of my injury and walked me through all the workouts before giving me the “A-Okay” to take the class.

I started the class at the erg, which is a little difficult to get the rhythm of, but Michelle was there, coaching me and “my team,” the other class participants, though it all. After rowing, Michelle demonstrated how to do the strength exercises. We did squats, lunges, and planks, all with resistance bands. There were also animated photos on the TVs demonstrating all the moves and showing the amount of repetitions we had to do.

I am not a runner. I run a 5K once a year, for Kappa Delta, to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse America, and that is it. I know running is one of the best cardio workouts out there, but I just can never get into it. Running bores me. When I heard I would have to run for 30 minutes in my Orange Theory class, I was not excited. But the time flew by. We were constantly changing our speed and incline, and I think that made it more fun and less mundane. Who knows, maybe Orange Theory will get me into running?

Michelle was highly sensitive to my injury and kept coming to check on me to make sure I was okay. I was also taking it pretty easy because I did not want to re-injure myself. Even though I was taking it relatively slow on the treadmill and with the erg, I was still feeling the burn. I am writing this post three days later, and my legs are still sore, and it feels so good!

Photo credits: Elizabeth Guariglia

Orange Theory Fitness is based on the science of “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.” This means that if you workout hard enough, and get your heart rate to a certain level, or zone, your body will continue to help you burn fat after your workout is over. Overtime, this type of workout will increase your metabolism.

The goal is to get your heart in the “Orange Zone” for at least 12 minutes during the entire hour workout. The “Orange Zone” is when your heart rate is between 84-91% of your unique heart rate maximum.

The heart rate monitor that I wore tracked the different zones of my heart. I was able to see what color zone I was in during my entire workout on the big TV screens all over the room. It was also on the screen on the treadmill.

I am very competitive and seeing my name up on the board, and my name changing colors from blue to green to orange was really fun. I was competing against myself while I was focused on getting the best workout possible.

I loved the science behind this workout class, and the real proof that this type of high intensity workout creates positive results. I also loved that we had a “coach” to tell us exactly what to do during every part of the workout. I hate working out alone, and I loved the energy and the community inside the studio.

Photo credits: Elizabeth Guariglia

I also found that my cute workout outfit really helped me feel confident and made this class even more fun! I have never talked about my workout clothes before, but I am here to share my favorite workout brand with you. I love ZellaThey have the cutest cropped leggings. I love to wear them to spin, Pilates, and now Orange Theory. They do not shrink in the wash, or lose their stretch, and the colors hold up. The prices are amazing, and they are usually on sale at Nordstrom Rack! Catch me in my cute Zella leggings at Orange Theory!

*Orange Theory Fitness offered me the opportunity to take a free class and write about my experience. All of my opinions are my own.*

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