I’m always looking for a new cross training workout. I used to do boot camp at my gym but when I started training for my first marathon I just couldn’t balance doing boot camp 3 days a week on top of all the running. Now that I’m back into shorter distances I’m ready to dedicate more time to cross training – and what better way to kick it off than trying a new workout?!
Yesterday I tried out Orangetheory Fitness, a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout. I had a slight idea what to expect because I had done boot camp before…but it’s been a while.
I called a few days in advance to make a reservation for a class and had no problem getting in for the one I wanted. With my boot camp class there were only 2-3 times offered during the day on a few days a week, but this is all Orangetheory offers so has a ton of classes to choose from – pretty much one every hour, starting 5ish and going until 8 at night. I signed up for an early evening one and they advised me to arrive 30ish minutes before my first class for paperwork and a walkthrough.
I arrived early and was happy to find out that there were a few other first timers with me. One of the trainers walked us around the gym and basically explained the equipment, and told us the trainer during the class would explain more as the workout began. We were then handed Polar Heart Rate Monitors and straps (thankfully they sanitize after every class – before attending I asked if I could bring my strap for my FT7 but they’re custom straps for Orangetheory) and ready to go!
The class focuses on heart rate zones. On large monitors throughout the gym are displays with everyone’s heart rate monitor and what zone they’re in, with the goal being to push yourself during part of the workout to make it to the Orange zone (2nd highest). A few minutes into the warmup we realized my heart rate monitor wasn’t working properly so swapped it out with a new one. I started out with a 30 minute treadmill workout that consisted of a few sprints at 5% incline – ouch! It’s been a while since I’ve done that!
After the treadmill work it was time for a few weight workouts and 400m row. Needless to say the class completely flew by and I was beyond sore. At the end of the workout your results are e-mailed to you – but since I had to swap out my heart rate monitor at the beginning of the workout, it wasn’t synced up to my e-mail so I received results from the broken heart rate monitor (aka all 0s).
The Good: I really liked Orangetheory because it’s all at your own pace. The trainers walk you through the workout and tell you what to do, but the level of intensity is up to you. You’re really competing against yourself and your zones.
The Bad: I didn’t like that the zones are very generic. When I did boot camp we would go through assessments to figure out our target zones and what our heart rates should be – Orangetheory is simply based on your age, weight and height. This is good guidance, but I’d prefer something a little more customized.
The bottomline: Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! I signed up for a few more classes and am planning on doing 3-4 a week. I got a great workout from it and the class completely flew by!
QOTD: Do you crosstrain?