At the end of October I was invited to check out Orangetheory Fitness in Oakville. I had seen this company popping up on my social from their Ottawa center and was excited to give their interval based training a try. After checking out the Oakville studio I was hooked and within two days I found myself at their Park Lawn location signing up for a monthly unlimited pass. Here’s what OTF is all about.
What is OTF?
Essentially, OTF combines intervals of water rowing with strength training and various treadmill running intervals for a killer one hour workout. Classes are designed to push you into the “Orange Zone,”(get it…Orangetheory Fitness) which translates to 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, for 12 to 20 minutes of the workout.
Throughout the workout you are tracked through your heart rate monitor (via chest strap or wrist band) to TV monitors throughout the center and your metrics including heart rate, calories burned, heart rate zones, and what OTF refer to as “splat points” are displayed.
OTF is backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), where their heart rate monitored training workouts are designed for you to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. When you first enroll you give them your height and weight and this is used to give you specific metrics from anyone else. During the workout you are encouraged to earn 12 or more “splat points” (aka spend 12 or more minutes in their orange or red heart rate training zones) in order to experience what they call “the after burn”. OTF claims that their members “burn an estimated 500 to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes” and with this after burn “keep burning calories for up to 36 hours.” I have now attended 6 classes and my calories have ranged from 510-600, and I’ve seen the monitors of others displaying calories in the 1000 range. Here’s some data emailed post workout from my first visit:
A Typical Workout.
Now there is no one class, according to an instructor last week they have 364 unique classes (they are closed on Christmas day). The classes follow four themes—endurance, strength, power, or a combination of all three on the same day. So you’ll spend 20-25 minutes doing cardio, 20-25 minutes doing weight lifting or rowing which could include TRX, medicine balls, free weights, body weight exercises – in my six classes I have yet to do the same exercises twice.
The Draw For Me.
After attending this free class I actually purchased an unlimited monthly class pass. What I like about OTF is that it gives me my strength training which I’m often lacking with my busy training and work schedule. It’s competitive but it’s also not. In one class you’ll have ultra-competitive and experienced folks (like a guy last week in his Boston Marathon shirt) and then people who are clearly new to fitness, older, and just needing to move. Also having the heart rate monitor and seeing how hard you’re working, means for me, that I can’t slack off – but don’t think this means other people see you metrics – well the physically do, but no one cares. Typically you don’t know peoples names and people are so concerned with their own workout that I’ve never heard of anyone passing judgement on the results of others. We’re all in this killer workout together. Plus, the workout is always different and changes every day so that makes it fun too.
Top of the line equipment, great music, killer moves, if you’re looking for something different day after day this is definitely a workout you should check out. Studios are popping up all over the GTA and they have various priced packages depending on your goals and workout needs. Check out OTF online to find a center near you.