Orange Theory: The Pros and the Cons

I make it no secret that I love working out at Crossfit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate and like other workouts, too.  I never recommend anything to anyone without having some personal experience myself.  So, I took the opportunity to go to a free Orange Theory class and let you guys know how it went!
Let’s start with the fact that right now, you can try a class for FREE!  There’s no excuse not to take advantage of that if it’s something you may want to do.
I am looking for a few things from my workout:
1. Sweat- I like to sweat.
2. Programming- I don’t like to wander into a gym and decide what to do on my own.  I’m too lazy.
3. Range of motion- I think full range of motion in movements is important if there is no reason to shorten them.
4. Fun- There’s nothing better than movement being FUN!  When you’re having fun, you always want to come back, it never feels like work, and it soon becomes a healthy habit.
5. Intensity- I like yoga sometimes, but I really like expending energy to make me feel good after a workout.
I went to the Orange Theory in Granger, and the staff was really welcoming, the facility was clean, and the trainer was energetic.  All good to start.  Since I was new, the trainer brought me into the room before everyone else to show me how things work and get me acquainted. Everyone else filed in and our heart rates were all up on a large monitor in the room.  We did a warm up, then a partner workout for rowing distance.  The workout was:
Partner 1: row while
Partner 2: runs .15miles and cycles through stations of lateral step overs, push ups, mountain climbers, squat jumps, ring rows, sit ups….
This back and forth went on for about 45 minutes until the class ended and we did a quick 5 minutes stretch post-workout.
How did the workout stack up:
1. I was SO SWEATY.  It was mostly cardio in an indoor room with lots of people, so that makes sense.
2. The workout changes everyday and they tell you what to do, so I liked that.
3. The movements are not full range of motion.  I’m used to a “chest to the deck” push up, hip crease below parallel squat, etc in Crossfit.  I noticed the majority of people were not doing a full range of motion on anything and I was actually stopped in the middle of my pushups and told not to go all the way down.  No worries.  Instead of doing push ups in sets, a shortened range of motion allowed me to do 20 without stopping every round.  They also have modifications for anyone who needs them, so injuries should not be an option.
4. I had fun!  I noticed lots of people came with friends, so I’m sure it was even more fun for them!  Usually the workouts are not partner workouts, but I love partner workouts.  So, that was right up my alley.
5. The workout is as intense as you make it.  Since you are wearing a heart rate monitor, you can constantly see where you are in terms of work.  I stayed in the orange zone the entire time and never reached the red zone, but the red zone is something the trainers keep an eye on to tell you to back down if you stay there too long.  There is also a green zone that tells everyone (including the trainer) that you are not working that hard and you need to pick up the pace!  I thought this part was interesting because I am not one to push my limits in a workout because I just don’t like to feel like death.  However, when I would hit a moment of “man this is kinda hard,” I could look up and see where I was on the monitor.  It kept me accountable in the sense that if I wanted rest but wasn’t even close to the red zone, I knew I could probably keep pushing and be just fine!
Overall, I had a good experience at Orange Theory and I think it would an ideal workout scenario for those the need trainer motivation, want mostly cardio,and like a group class.  You do have to buy a heart rate monitor which runs 45-90 dollars depending on which one you buy.  The monthly membership fee is also more than a regular gym, so cost comes into play, as well.  Since they are trainer-led classes, you have to call and schedule to be put into a class, which means classes fill up, too.  I wasn’t able to get into a class until 7pm because the other ones were full. No reason not to try it when they are letting you do that for free!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *