I found a deal that offered two weeks free before the grand opening if you signed up for a membership, and of course I joined because I am a sucker for a deal and new workouts. The membership I signed up for was $69 monthly for four classes per month, which seemed like a lot for so few classes but the sales associate I signed up with said if I cancelled my membership during the two week trial prior to the grand opening I wouldn't be charged anything. The $69 dollar membership is the cheapest membership possible at my Orange Theory because this price is the fewest number of classes you can get per month and it was a special "founders" rate (prices will go up at the grand opening). Another cost you have to factor in when you sign in is the cost for a heart rate monitor. According to the sales associate, you can use your heart rate monitor at home for different workouts but you need to get the one they sell because it is programmed to display your stats while you are taking an Orange Theory class.
I signed up in October and the free two week trial was supposed to be in early December. Well, throughout the fall and winter I kept getting emails saying "grand opening being pushed back" and "we're almost there!" with only rough estimates of when the actual opening might be. Fast forward to this past Friday when I got a call from a staff member saying, "We are in our free trial period and our grand opening is next Thursday!". Wait, what?! What about my two weeks??? Apparently the trial period had turned into less than one week. I was annoyed but I signed up for a morning class for the following day.
I arrived for my 10 am class ten minutes early and the lobby was packed with people signing up. I signed in, got my loaner heart rate monitor and gathered with the twenty other people taking the class to get a brief rundown from the coach about the workout. Our coach's name was Ashley and I loved how excited she was about the workout. Ashley explained placement of our heart rate monitors, what we should be watching for with our stats during the workout, and she asked about any exercise-related injuries we had.
We entered the workout room that had treadmills on the left, rowers on the right and strength equipment in the back. I immediately noticed the room had no windows and the lights in the room were all orange, making it feel like we were in a night club at 10 am. The loud, bumping music also added to that effect. Despite looking like a stuffy torture chamber, the room had a lot of fans and was a cool, comfortable temperature for a workout.
Ashley immediately instructed half of us to get on the treadmills and the other half to go on the rowers. I chose to go on the rowers first, and after a quick demo on form we started warming up.
The warm up was about 5 minutes, and by the end of the warm up Ashley told us we should be in the green zone. The treadmill group stayed on the treadmills and my group moved over to the strength station. We were told that during these circuits our heart rate should be in the green or orange zone. I pushed hard but never managed to make it out of the green zone into the orange.
The workout we did at the strength station was:
6 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):
10 sumo squats with dumbbell (I used 20 lb)
16 Russian twists with dumbbell (12 lb)
10 TRX tricep presses
6 minute AMRAP:
10 TRX bicep curls
10 squat jacks
10 high rows with dumbbells (10 lb)
10 squat jacks
In 6 minutes, complete 3 rounds then row remainder of time:
30 plank leg raises
15 sit ups to medicine ball press (8 lb)
At that point it was time to switch and get on the treadmills. Once we started at our base pace (for me it was 6 mph) I was grateful for the heart rate monitor screens in the room because whenever I run on a treadmill I am immediately hit with insufferable boredom. There were also mirrors in front of the treadmill which I hate because I don't like watching myself run, so I just focused on the HR screen and trying to get into the orange zone. During the treadmill workout, the majority of our time was spent at our base pace, with 90 second "pushes" and 30 second "all outs" worked in. My push pace was 7 mph and my all out was 8 mph. I am not sure how long we spent at the base pace between sprints, but the workout was 3 rounds of:
90 second push
90 second push
30 second all out
30 second rest/walk then return to base pace
The first two rounds were at a 1% incline and the last round was a 3% incline.
During the "all outs" I finally managed to get into the orange zone. When the treadmill workout ended, we did a few cool down stretches and the class was over. I saw my ending heart rate stats on the screens. (I later found out that they also conveniently email you your stats from the class immediately after) Ashley explained what the stats meant, thanked us and sent us on our way.
My zones results showed pretty much what I expected-- I spent 37 minutes in the green zone, 7 minutes in the orange zone and zero minutes in the red zone. I have a very slow heartbeat (both because of genetics and because I run a lot) and I recover quickly, so I am guessing that is probably why I had such a hard time getting in the orange zone. I don't believe my max heart rate was actually 228... the HR monitor probably just mistakenly recorded that when I was readjusting it.
After doing this workout with a HR monitor I definitely want to get my own now to see what my stats are during CrossFit and while I run.
I also really didn't like facility. At my Orangetheory there are no locker rooms, and for the price you would think they would provide the amenities of a locker room. I didn't like how many mirrors there were in the workout room, the orange nightclub lighting and that there were no windows. I did love the music and have been bumping the Orangetheory playlist on Spotify since I took the class.
Ashley was a great coach, but it seemed like there were too many people in the class for her to properly coach on form. The added component of having two different groups doing two different things was hard for her to juggle alone. It seemed near impossible for her to take the time to help any individual who was struggling with something. Ashley had great energy and was really motivating, I just wish there had been two of her coaching.
I made the decision to cancel my Orangetheory membership after the first class, and since it was still during the trial week I could do so without being charged anything. More than anything, the deciding factor that caused me to cancel was the cost.
I am glad I attended this trial class, and though the Orangetheory wasn't right for me it was a great workout and I recommend that others try it if they think it would help them reach their exercise goals.
**I am not affiliated with Orangetheory Fitness. All opinions expressed are my own.**