All about Orangetheory Q & A

Hey guys!

Welcome to the next CNC Instagram Live – Orangetheory addition! For those of you that have just started following along, I’ve been going to Orangetheory (OTF) regularly for about a month and have been absolutely loving it! I actually used to go to another location before and loved it, but it was almost a 30 minute drive – a bit far to take a class, so I wasn’t going very often.

Luckily for Mal and I, there’s now a location right down the street from our house! I’ve been getting so many questions from you guys, and I’m more than happy to share my experience! Just remember that whether or not you’re already an OTF junkie or are just curious about trying it out, all of our experiences can be different!

Are you ready for Hell Week?

Our local OTF is brand new, so sadly we’re not participating in Hell Week this year. It’s definitely a bummer since I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun. We’ve been doing all-new, launch-type workouts, which has been great, but starting November 1st we will be on the same schedule as everyone else as a “legit” OTF!

Why didn’t you get a heart rate monitor? The whole point is seeing real-time results!

There’s a good reason for this, and I have a reliable alternative! 🙂 Back when I was still working out at my old OTF location, I had purchased one of their older heart rate monitors (they have a new model now). Every time I took a class, it would work for a little bit and then just… die. I wrote it off as it just being an old monitor. When I started attending the new location, I had every intention of purchasing a new heart rate monitor. However, after borrowing one a couple of times, I realized that the chest strap was just not going to work comfortably with my sports bra, and the wrist and forearm option, died on me both times! Ughhhh! 

I don’t know if it’s just that I get too sweaty or my heart rate gets too low on the floor, but the OTF monitor doesn’t work for me. I wear my Fitbit all the time, and it actually does a pretty good job monitoring my heart rate in comparison. I wore it both times that I used the OTF monitor, and the stats were pretty similar to each other! It’s annoying to have to click around for my heart rate on. y Fitbit versus seeing it up on the screen, but it’s not that big of a deal. I still think it’s a pretty good way to measure my effort, and I generally don’t have a problem pushing myself without the OTF monitor. I have scoliosis and back/hip issues (along with an autoimmune disease), so, if anything, I don’t need to push myself as hard as I do. According to my Fitbit, I am normally in the low 170s, which puts me in the orange or red zone for most of my OTF workouts.

How many calories do you burn, and how many times do you go per week?

According to my Fitbit, I burn somewhere around the upper 300s/lower 400s – but of course, it depends on the workout. If we’re having an endurance day and really moving, I’ll burn more. The treadmill torches calories! If we’re doing more rowing or floor work, I’ll burn less.

As far as how many times I attend a class, it’s usually twice a week. I used to have an unlimited membership, but I just wasn’t able to go that many times in one week. OTF is a very intense workout, and because of my back and hip issues, I haven’t been able to go multiple days in a row. I really need a day or two off between workouts. Mal, however, is a runner, and has an unlimited membership. He goes 3-4 times a week and doesn’t have any issues with recovery. 

In addition to OTF , I also go to CrossFit 2-3 times a week (I’ll talk about that more below). Basically, I assess how I’m feeling from week-to-week and adjust my workouts accordingly. 

What makes OTF better than other gyms?

I wouldn’t say OTF is “better” than other gyms; it just depends on what you like. Personally, I like that OTF has you moving the entire time, from the moment the workout starts. You’re there for an hour and you do not stop, so you really get both your time and money’s worth. Plus, there’s a ton of variety, which I love because I am someone who cannot do the same workout over and over. I get bored so easily! And although every class is different, it’s always a full-body, head-to-toe workout that goes above and beyond the treadmill, incorporating things like rowing, TRX moves, dumbbells, the BOSU, Ab Dolly – a ton of stuff! You can push yourself as little or as hard as you want, and the coaches are great at motivating you to crush your workout!

Top tips for someone who has never been? What do I need to know before going?

I would definitely plan to get there early and let the coaches know that you’re a first-timer. During your first workout, the coach will typically take you in ahead of time and show you the lay of the land. He/she will explain how things work and what you will need to do. The coach will also explain the different components of the workout i.e. running, floor work, lifting weights, core exercises. There will be a variety of things and the class moves fast, so just be ready for anything! You might get on the treadmill, off the treadmill, back on the treadmill, so it’s important to pay attention to what he/she says. But the coaches are so nice and helpful, and they really want to help you understand how it all works so you can have a great workout. After class, the coach will explain splat points, the different zones, and how to read the stats. So, if it’s your first time, don’t be intimidated! Everyone who works at OTF is there to help!

Is it harder than Crossfit?

A lot of people ask this because I’m from the CrossFit world, and my answer is that it depends on the workout, and how hard you push yourself. CrossFit can be “social hour” because you make a lot of connections, so sometimes when you get there, you’re chatting with friends while stretching and lifting – you’re not just moving and grooving the whole time. OTF is ALL BUSINESS. There’s no chatting during the workout! But CrossFit is also structured differently – you might warm up a little by working on strength or skill and then get into the WOD for 10-20 minutes. OTF workouts are longer and you’re moving at a fast pace the whole time. However, while OTF does use heavy-ish weights, it’s not the same kind of “heavy” as CrossFit, and that’s why I keep both memberships. I personally think really heavy lifting works well for me. I see better results with my body and build muscle more easily. Plus, I really like the people! We love hanging out with our friends at Salt Shack, so that’s why I don’t think we could ever leave. Having both memberships is awesome – you get in a great full-body workout at OTF and save the heavy stuff for CrossFit!

Looking for something to do postpartum – would you recommend OTF?

Yes, I think OTF would be a great option for postpartum. That being said, any postpartum workout should be eased into, and, of course, check with your doctor first to make sure you’re cleared for exercise. If you’re brand new to OTF, definitely go ahead of time and let the coach know that you just had a baby and are getting back into working out. The coach can 100% give you modifications (they actually do show modifications for the floor exercises, etc.). You also don’t have to run on the treadmill – you can totally walk! At the location I go to, there’s a whole power walking crew that completes the same workout except walking at an incline instead of running. The treadmill is really all about doing your own thing – you can start by walking or jogging before progressing to running. If you’re injured (or the treadmill isn’t your thing), they even have bikes! No matter which way you spin it, OTF could totally be a great workout for postpartum. Of course, talk to your doctor first and make sure you’re in the clear to workout. If you are, then it’s a great option because it’s a full-body workout that’s totally customizable to what you enjoy and what your fitness level is.

That’s all I have for questions! Thank you for sending them along. I love talking about OTF, and it has been so fun getting back into it. Of course, if you have any other questions send them along, and I’ll be more than happy to answer them!

4 Comments

  1. LOVE OTF….so addicted. Just finished Hell Week today and the tank is sooo awesome this year. Next year you will enjoy it! Very weird about the HR monitor, I use the forearm version and have never had an issue. I love that I could be doing the same class with my mother and we can both be getting exactly what we need out of it. If I were smart I would quit my job right now and open about 5 franchises….I don’t see this type of workout going out of fashion any time soon!

    1. I’m so bummed we didn’t do Hell Week, but glad to hear you enjoyed it, and it’s going to be worth the wait. I know… I’d love to open an OTF as well! It’s such a fun workout!!

  2. I didn’t realize you can do OTF without the HR monitor! I might try it out again. I really don’t need to have my body info blasted, and I really don’t care about the numbers anymore, as long as I’m having fun!

  3. I love OTF. I do it once/week since it’s almost 30 minutes away from my house but have been thinking about upping it to 2x/week. Since you pay for it monthly, I’m invested and don’t want to miss a class. What I love about it too is that there are over 500 locations, so when I went on vacation to Vermont, I was able to do a class at the burlington location.

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