Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) is based on the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) designed to get clients’ in their ‘target zone’ to stimulate metabolism and increase energy (OTF). This approach allows OTF clients to burn calories during their 60-minute workout and up to 36 hours after workout completion. This group training program is led by a coach who provides instruction, motivation and an extra little push as needed throughout the training session.
I decided to try OTF to see if this training program can be added to help me with my half marathon training program. Still looking for training methods to help me with my stated goal to run a half marathon under 2 hours. My normal training and running routines are going very well but wanted to explore OTF to see if this type training would increase endurance and speed needed to meet my running goal.
My local OTF studio allowed me to sign-up for a free session to experience the workout and ‘afterburn’ advertised. I was able to pick a day and time that fit my schedule. The studio staff did a very good job explaining the science behind the OTF process. They also conduct an in-depth interview to gauge each client’s fitness levels and goals. This information is used to help the session coach understand how to help each client meet or exceed their goals. Identifying my running goals allowed my session coach to come over and provide individualized coaching on ways to improve my endurance, speed and running form.
My free session was focused on ‘endurance’ and was comprised of multiple treadmill, water row and weight lifting cycles. The first half of my session had me rotating between cardio stations (treadmill and water row). We were given time and distance goals for each station and rotated after meeting those goals. Example: 4 minutes on the treadmill at 5.5 miles per hour then 700-meter water rows then repeat 3 times. This comprised the first portion of the session.
My small group rotated over to the weight floor to complete a series of weight/body weight exercises. Compound movements were used to help/maintain endurance and proved tougher than I thought they would be. We could pick our own weights but were given guidelines on what we should lift for each rotation. There were 6 different movements required to complete this portion—some I’ve never tried before. I was surprised how tough body weight pushups became after a few cycles based on the other movements we completed. Example: dumb bell ski lifts (12 reps), push-back push-up (12 reps), dumb bell kicks (12 reps) then repeat 3 times, followed by dumb bell swings (12 reps), bicycle abs (24 reps), push-back push-up (descending reps) repeated 3 times.
Sounds like a lot of work but it was fun, and I could tell I had completed a good workout. My pump was intense, and I felt surprisingly good after my OTF experience.
Researching the multiple membership options provided to see which would benefit me the most. This type program can enhance my current half marathon training and get me under my stated goal of two hours.
Have you ever tried the OTF program? What benefits can a program like this bring to your current fitness level? Curious.