Body & Fitness

Orangetheory: The new fitness craze that’s set to sweep NZ

It’s a high-intensity workout with a difference… it's about exercising to live, not living to exercise.
Line of women lifting weights above their heads high intensity workout

Top fitness technology in every room, phenomenal coaches, banging playlists, sleek studios decked out with bright orange walls, and fun high-intensity classes that are never the same.

Welcome to Orangetheory.

Orangetheory Fitness founder Ellen Latham started out working at prestigious spas and fitness retreats and writing fitness columns.

She then shifted her focus to Pilates and opened her own studio in Florida.

When Ellen realised that many of her clients were still working with other personal trainers outside of her Pilates classes for fat-burning exercise and cardio, she designed what later became the foundation for Orangetheory Fitness.

After taking off in the US and Australia, New Zealand is set to embrace the new trend, with two studios currently open in Auckland and Christchurch.

Top coaches guide you through the movements, correct your technique, and encourage you from beginning to end.

Each move is demonstrated on screen, with modifications if you need them.

Interested? Here’s what to expect…

Before your first class, you’ll take a quick health survey, where you’ll outline your fitness goals and fill out details such as your age, weight and height in order to calculate your maximum heart rate for the workout. You’ll then be set up with your own Orangetheory heart rate monitor and you’re good to go.

Each class is 60 minutes, with a maximum of 24 people per class.

The class is divided into two groups for the session – one group starts with interval training on the treadmills, while the other swaps between weight training and interval training on rowing machines. Power-walking is welcomed on the treadmill, but you can also switch to a cycle or a strider.

When it’s your turn for resistance training, you’ll be using equipment like TRX straps, medicine balls, kettlebells, BOSU balls, and dumbbells, as well as your own body weight, with exercises like squats, crunches, lunges and pull-ups.

It may sound like it’s only for fitness junkies, but it’s not – the whole premise is that it’s a workout for everyone, from elite athletes to total beginners.

So what’s with the heart rate monitor?

During the class, each person’s heart rate is displayed on a board in real time, letting you know which zone you’re working in.

The workout itself consists of five different heart rate zones from very light activity to all-out effort, and each session is designed to have you spending 12-20 minutes in the “orange zone” where your heart rate is elevated to 84-91 per cent of your personal max.

Based on the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory says that it’s in the “orange zone” where you see results.

Essentially, working at a high-intesity level, where you’re out of breath, means your body then has to recover the oxygen lost when you slow down.

By repeating the pattern of “Base, Push, All-Out” in a 60-minute class, you elevate your metabolism and can continue burning calories and fat for up to 36 hours after the workout is over.

Although everyone’s heart rate is shown on the board, Orangetheory isn’t about competition – it’s all about individual effort and putting in hard work, whatever that might mean for you.

You’ll receive an email after class with your results, which you can also track in an app to monitor your improvement over time.

Orangetheory also changes up the moves and routines on a regular basis to keep your fitness and progress from plateauing – and stop you getting bored of the routine.

The studio encourages a supportive team culture, and they put on a range of events and challenges outside of class.

Being part of your local studio also allows you to be part of the global community, by connecting with other members in studios across the world.

Orangetheory says the time spent in the studio should have a positive knock-on effect on your life outside it.

They believe that you shouldn’t live to exercise, but exercise to live.

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