Fit caught up with the head trainer and studio manager who are bringing the Orangetheory Fitness trend to Australia


Stemming from the work of a team of exercise physiologists in America, Orangetheory Fitness is fast becoming a global exercise movement that is yielding its participants with real, fast results. How? It comes down to the science and unique use of real time heart rate monitoring to optimise the workout, keeping the heart rate and exertion within the “Orange Zone” for the duration of the training session.  

 

FIT chatted with Benjamin Fisher, National Head Trainer at Orange Theory Fitness, and Lee Mackie, the Bondi Studio Manager, to find out more about Orangetheory.  

 

The verdict is: you need to try this fitness craze ASAP. 

 

What is Orange Theory? Can you also explain the philosophy behind it? 

Orangetheory Fitness is 1 hour, full body workout led by a trainer. It is comprised of Endurance, Strength and Power training. Everyone is wearing a heart rate monitor and we are working across 5 heart rate zones.  

 

The class is split into 2 groups and they will switch during the session so that everyone does the same workout. We have 12 top of the range, touch screen, flexi-deck treadmills. You can choose to power-walk, jog or run depending on your fitness level and what your heart-rate is telling you. Your live colour coded heart rate is visible on large screens in the studio so you and the trainer can make sure you don’t under-train or over-train.  

 

You are aiming to spend 12 – 20 minutes in the Orange Zone which is 84% or above of your max heart rate. We give you one point for each minute spent in the Orange Zone. We call them Splat Points and throughout your workout you are chasing to achieve them. Women typically burn 500 - 700 calories per session and men up to 1000 calories.  

 

Following the workout design of our team of exercise physiologists, whether you are in New York, London or Bondi you will be doing the same work out as others training with Orange Theory around the globe! However every day is different and you will never do the same work out twice, which keeps it exciting. 

 

What are the unique benefits of this exercise style?  

We are triggering Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) in the body. EPOC is triggered when you spend 12-20 minutes in the Orange Zone. EPOC means that you will be burning calories at a rate up to 9 times higher than normal for 24-36 hours after you have finished training. We talk about our members burning calories in their sleep! 

 

20 minutes is the cap for EPOC where you are burning calories for up to 36 hours. Working harder for longer gets you absolutely no further benefit. This is why we encourage our members to work smarter, not harder.  

 

With a traditional heart rate monitor you can analyse your data afterwards and find out if you achieved this goal. At Orangetheory Fitness you are watching your Splat Points live on a large screen in the studio, so you can see in real time whether you need to work harder or if you have achieved your goal. No more guessing. 

 

How has Orange Theory changed your life / body? 

Lee: I injured my back after Ironman Melbourne in 2013 and was not able to do any training for nearly 3 years. Training would leave me incredibly stiff and in pain. There are 12 Flexi-deck treadmills at Orangetheory and they have a flexible deck that absorbs the impact. With a combination of interval training on the treadmill, the functional movement with the TRX and the ab work in the class, I am now back running! 

 

Can you share the kind of success stories you've seen with people doing this exercise style? 

Our last Weight Loss Challenge winners Annita and Warren lost 12.5kg and 12.3kg in just6 weeks. Warren has now lost over 18kg and telling us: 

 

"I started Orangetheory as an unfit, overweight middle aged guy suffering from heartburn and indigestion. Three months later and 18 kg lighter, I am now a fitter stronger, healthier, middle aged guy! Orangetheory Fitness is the best investment I could have made as the health benefits have been life changing. I sleep better, snore less and no longer require heartburn medication. 

 

I love coming to Orangetheory Fitness with my and wife and now my son. It is great that the whole family can experience the benefits together."  

 

These kinds of stories are what makes doing this so worthwhile! Our passions are helping people achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Orangetheory can really change people’s lives for the better. 

 

Want more? Visit the Orangetheory Fitness website.