Disclosure:  I was in no way compensated for this review and have no affiliations with Orangetheory Fitness.  Every first timer receives a free class so I thought I’d take advantage of that while in Boulder!  Free class??!  I’m there!

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I took my first Orangetheory Fitness class in Boulder, Colorado last Friday and lived to tell the tale.

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^^They spelled it right!!^^

Nah, just joking.  The class was AMAZING so I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience and hopefully encourage a few of you to go outside your comfort zone when it comes to group fitness and exploring new classes and gyms while traveling.  I’m working on a summary post of all the fun classes/gyms that I got to hit up while on vacation so look for that post in the coming week or so.

So what exactly IS Orangetheory Fitness?

Orangetheory Fitness is a 60-minute group fitness class that combines treadmill interval training, rowing and strength training.  While each class varies in terms of exercises and design, the general format stays the same: running (or jogging/walking), rowing and strength training.

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From their website:

Orangetheory Fitness has been featured in The New York Times as an effective new plateau-busting workout in which participants can burn up to 900 calories in a 60-minute session. Backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), our heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.  The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout!

Pretty cool, huh?

My First Class

I called the day before and told them that I’d be coming to the 6:45am class the next day.  They told me to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork, etc.  The Boulder location was easy to find and in a great spot (in the 29th Street Mall) and on Friday morning, I arrived just as the 5:30am class was finishing up.

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^yes, those orange lights were kinda weird at first but they grow on you.^

After filling out some paperwork, I was given my heart rate monitor.  Each class attendee receives their own (cleaned) heart rate monitor and based on their height, age & weight, given five training zones to aim for throughout the class.

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After meeting the trainer (Scott Novickis), he divided the class into two groups: one treadmill group and one rowing/strength group.  I was placed in the treadmill group to start (along with the other newbies) and told to determine my “base pace.”  What’s neat is that everyone’s base pace could be different – all of the interval training was completely tailored to the individual’s capabilities.  My mom could have been on  the treadmill next to me and still have gotten a great workout for HER fitness level.

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For the next 30 minutes, Scott cycled us through different base pace/push pace/sprint pace intervals and also played around with INCLINE.  You could easily look up at the monitor, find your name and see what heart rate zone you were currently training in.  I was a SWEATY MESS by the time I got off the treadmill.

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Halfway through the class, the two groups switched and I started in on the rowing/strength portion.  We did three little AMRAP’s (one for 9 minutes, one for 8 and the last for 5) which combined rowing, TRX and free weights.  Each exercise was not only demonstrated by the trainer but also shown on a large screen.  (Btw, Scott did a great job of training both groups simultaneously – I was really impressed!)

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Another thing I noticed as we were exercising was the music – it was upbeat and didn’t have explicit language.  Maybe it’s just me but it’s hard to find a good beat without all the cuss words.

Sixty minutes FLEW by and the next thing I knew, we were finished.  The class as a whole burned a total of 12,737 calories!!!

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In summary – I LOVED the class and wish there was an OFT closer to where I live!  Their approach is UNIQUE and FUN and it combines two things that I personally love: GROUP FITNESS and High Intensity Interval Training.  I like that every person, no matter their fitness level, can get a great workout while also feeling that “high” that group fitness gives.  If you live near an OTF, check it out!

QUESTION:  Ever tried an Orangetheory Fitness class??  Running or rowing – what’s your favorite?  <-running!  Rowing is SO much harder for me.

splendid…lindsay

  1. Kate @ Kate Lives Healthy says:

    i finally tried OTF this week too for the free class trial. The one I did ended up being an endurance day theme. As side from the running and rowing the weight part was kinda brief. My hr monitor wasn’t working which I have read is common for trial people. The other classes seem cool though. I wish they would give you a week trial to try the other others and then decide whether to join. I’m on the fence about whether to pay the money and become a member. Glad you liked yours!

  2. Bonnie says:

    Looks super fun! I would love to take a class like this – I should take one in Calgary, especially since the first class is free! And you look so fit – abs or not, you are WORHTY (and beautiful and strong!)…but wow, Linds. ;)

  3. Erin Cox says:

    I’ve heard bits and pieces about the Orange Theory but never knew exactly what it was. I’m so glad I stumbled on this post! Looks like a killer workout. I love trying new classes… If I ever see this in my area I am definitely giving it a try.

  4. Rachel says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I have a couple Orange Theory locations near me and I’ve been curious to try it but haven’t gone in yet. I think I’m going to give it a try this summer!

  5. Jamie says:

    I love this review! I”ve been meaning to try my local OrangeTheory and I think this is the push I needed. I honestly am nervous about the rowing/strength because it’s definitely not my strong point. But I think it will be fun to go outside my comfort zone and shock my body with a new-to-me workout!

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