Orange Theory is popping up everywhere. I feel a little late to the party! Since one just opened up close to home, I was compelled to check it out. I had a friend join me for a noon class on a Friday taught by the very charismatic, Chris. We showed up early to get the low down since it was our first time, but even with the very thorough tutorial, I was lost through most of the class!! 

You wear heart rate monitors that project your metrics on screens throughout the studio. The goal through class is to stay in what’s called the orange zone, where you are burning optimal calories and earning what is called “Splat Points”. The longer you stay in the orange zone, the more points you earn. The goal in each class is to stay in the orange zone for a combined  12 minutes. Unfortunately, both of our heart rate monitors did not work properly. During the running portion of the class, my friend’s heart rate monitor stayed in the red zone the whole time, showing a 99% heart rate. I kept joking with her that she should be dying but all the while we were laughing and carrying on a conversation so my guess is she was not exerting the effort displayed. My monitor was the opposite. At times I was running as fast as physically possible and I could never hit the orange zone. I only earned 3 Splat Points throughout the entire class but felt like I was working much harder. 

Despite the faulty heart rate monitors and metrics, it was a challenging class and I enjoyed the variance of cardio and weight lifting. Also, the new space in Denver’s Cherry Creek is big and bright. Good, motivating music topped off the experience.

We started on rowing machines, rowing until we hit a specified distance, then we integrated a weight series in between rowing sets. After a 30-minutes of moving between rowing and weights, we moved on to the treadmill. Throughout the class, Chris was instructing us on how far to row, the pace we should try to maintain, the incline we should use all the while monitoring our heart rates via the monitors. If you go all the time, I’m thinking metrics would become more accurate, and you would learn how to track your stats on the screen more efficiently. 

If you are looking to incorporate more cardio into your routine, Orange Theory could be what you’re looking for. If you enjoy the science behind your workouts, like tracking calories, energy output and other statistics this class would definitely appeal to you. Runners and rowers would love it, especially during those winter months when you can’t get outside.