Review: OrangeTheory Fitness

High-intensity workout promotes individual fitness goals in a group workout setting

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I decided to burn off some extra calories in a fun new way to make more room for turkey. When I discovered that OrangeTheory Fitness offers a free trial workout for first-timers, I knew I had to give it a shot.

OrangeTheory has been sweeping the nation in recent years, and I was excited to see what all the hype was about. I have a friend in California who goes often and loves the challenge of it, so I was excited to put my own fitness level to the test and see if I could handle the intensity that I had heard so much about.

There are hundreds of locations across the U.S., and thankfully, Newport News has one close to CNU and to my hometown.

OrangeTheory Fitness is a high-intensity one-hour workout that skyrockets you to personal success based on your individual health goals and your individual fitness level. 

The workout proceeds in three different areas of focus: the treadmill and stationary bikes, the rowing machines and the weight room floor. The OrangeTheory website requires that first-timers arrive at their studio 30 minutes early so that a coach can go over any possible physical limitations and give you an introduction to the studio and to how the workout worked.

When I arrived at 7 a.m. for my 7:30 a.m. class, before I even walked into the building, I heard upbeat remixes of popular songs emanating out of the side door, which had been cracked open to allow ventilation into the main workout room. The combination of the bright orange light coming from the workout room and the loud music definitely started to wake me up as I opened the main door.

I was greeted by a woman at the front desk who gave me a waiver to sign and went over my fitness goals with me. She took my weight and height measurements on a machine that calculated BMI so that the progress readings would be most accurate. She also gave me a quick tour of the studio before the class began. Finally, after setting me up with a heart rate monitor and explaining that I could track my progress alongside everyone else’s on a TV screen in the room, she turned me loose with the rest of the class.

The long workout room glowed with dark orange light, stretching out to reveal a wall of treadmills on one side and rowing machines on the other. Further down from that was the weight room floor with a variety of different weights, a pulley machine, a weight bench and an ab dolly for each person.

Gloria, the coach for my workout session that morning, explained to me that the workout proceeded in different rounds where groups of about 15 people rotated in and out between the different sections of the room.

For example, my group would run on the treadmills for three minutes while another group would complete a series of weight room exercises for the same amount of time, and then we would switch. 

I was given the number 13 on my first machine, which meant I would rotate to the 13th treadmill and weight bench. The variety of it all really kept me on my toes and kept me awake and energized since it was so early in the morning.

I was definitely a little intimidated at first, not knowing what exactly to expect from the workout, but I threw myself into it. The high-intensity music definitely helped keep me going.

Gloria wore a microphone so she could be heard over the blasting music. She knew it was my first time and that I might be a little lost as the workout progressed, so I appreciated her coming to check on me every once in a while and demonstrating how to properly do some of the different floor workouts.

A woman named Debbie who was situated at station 12 next to me helped explain to me what station we were going to switch to next after we completed a certain one. 

Everyone I met during my workout at OrangeTheory helped me to get situated and figure out what I was supposed to do, since the experience can be a bit overwhelming at first with a lot of information being thrown at you so early in the morning.

The progress board on a TV screen helped each of us track our individual progresses to see how each of us was doing. It was fun to stay in competition with myself and others as I tried to keep my heart rate in the optimal zone to get the best workout possible for my body specifically.

After the workout was over, Gloria led all of us in group stretches to cool down after our intense hour together, which were definitely needed. I could already feel myself getting sore by the time the workout was over, but also energized and ready to take on the rest of my day — I was surprised to find out that it was only 8:30 a.m. by the time I was all done.

From the moment I walked in the door of the studio to the very end of the workout, everyone I came into contact with at OrangeTheory was so kind and supportive.

Members of the OrangeTheory team like Gloria were so accommodating to first-timers like me and the OrangeTheory veterans like Debbie were helpful as well. They each took me under their wing to help me have the best first experience possible.

OrangeTheory Fitness is a great place to try something new, challenge yourself and feel great about your individual progress and effort while doing it.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~


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