If I were left up to my own devices, I don't think I would push myself nearly as hard in the gym on my own. That's why I love Orangetheory Fitness: the workout combines cardio, like running and rowing, with strength training using both weights and bodyweight moves. With different exercises focusing on upper body, lower body, and core, Orangetheory is a solid full-body workout. It pushes me outside of my comfort zone, and I feel accomplished every time I leave the studio.
If you're curious about trying Orangetheory for the first time, you probably want to know what you're getting yourself into. Luckily, we tapped Orangetheory coach and NASM-certified personal trainer Giana Cambria, Orangetheory Fitness regional manager in Orlando, FL, who gave us the scoop on what kind of workout Orangetheory is and what to expect.
What Kind of Workout Is Orangetheory Fitness?
First and foremost, Orangetheory is a 60-minute workout and a mix of cardio and strength training. Yes, there's a treadmill and rowing machine involved, but you won't be spending your entire class on these pieces of equipment. You'll use a variety of equipment, including dumbbells, a TRX, resistance bands, BOSU balls, and other pieces of equipment for the floor portion. The treadmill/cardio portion of the class is about 30 minutes, and the floor/strength-training portion of the class is about 30 minutes.
Orangetheory aims to spike your heart rate over the hour-long class, where you rack up Splat Points by how often you are in the higher heart rate zones. This helps you achieve EPOC, or excess postexercise oxygen consumption, sometimes called the afterburn effect, where you continue to burn calories after the workout ends. You can read more about the theory behind Orangetheory here.
"Orangetheory combines strength training with interval training, and you never do the same thing twice," Giana told POPSUGAR. "We're helping you simply become the best physical version of you."
Is Orangetheory High-Intensity Interval Training?
There's no denying that high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can help you lose fat. In HIIT, you alternate periods of activity, ideally going at 90 percent of your all-out max, with periods of rest. You can do HIIT in a cardio session or with weights. Orangetheory involves intervals, especially on the treadmill portion, and that includes sprints. But is it HIIT?
"You could consider the treadmill/cardio portion HIIT by standard definition," Giana said. "Notice that intensity is going to be different for everyone, so the term 'high intensity' is subjective. That's why we have heart rate monitors and coaches to help you achieve your proper level of intensity for the most effective results."
As mentioned above, Orangetheory is a mix of cardio and strength training. "We don't focus on one specific area of fitness," Giana added. "Cardio is part of our workouts, about half, but so is strength training and power training. You're going to get a good dose of both on any given day at Orangetheory." She said cardio is important to achieve that higher intensity, but strength training is also important to help build lean muscle and change your body composition.
Is Orangetheory Good for Beginners?
If you've never done Orangetheory before, it may seem intimidating. But it's important to remember everyone started from square one at one point. "It's the perfect place to start your fitness journey and create good habits from the beginning," Giana said. As someone who has done Orangetheory for three years, I can attest that it's an excellent workout for beginners. Everyone is so nice and welcoming, and first-timers get a complete intro and demo to the workout before class even starts. Plus, there are TVs with GIFs of exercises and reps for the floor portion so you never get lost.
"The coach ensures form is priority, and the workout itself can be adjusted to fit any level," she explained. "At the end of the hour, you'll leave with an incredible sense of accomplishment."