My First Orangetheory Class

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My hips don’t lie, really, they scream stop every time I start to lift heavy. Because of my right hip, I’ve managed to perfect the twerk in a squat, not a cool thing.  And with the cold temperatures outside, too much sitting, and a little more lifting, it is game over for my right hip, butt, and back. My body said, NOPE,  About 1/3 of the way through my new program.


What does all of this have to do with Orangetheory? I’ve decided to explore different types of fitness the next few months since lifting heavy is not a feasible option for me at the moment. Orangetheory was on the top of my list. 


What is Orangetheory?

Orangetheory is a one hour, full body workout, focused on training Endurance, Strength and/or Power. We use Heart Rate Based Interval Training, which burns more calories post workout than a traditional exercise. When wearing the Heart Rate monitors, your real time results are displayed on large screens throughout the studio. Intensity is based on your individual Heart Rate zones, making the workout effective for all fitness levels. To top it off, the fitness coaches  lead the workout to prevent you from over or under training.       Description from website 


Orangetheory has top of the line equipment, specifically,12 treadmills,12 rowing machines,12 suspension unit systems and free weights. The trainers are helpful, encouraging, and rock out to great music, keeping you motivated throughout the workout. In the free weight area there is a TV screen that displays the movement, reps, and sets you are performing. I found the TV’s to be a great reference point instead of having to keep asking the instructor. 


What makes Orangetheory different? 

Orangetheory is 5 Zone heart rate based interval training using specifically designed and timed interval training blocks. During a workout, members focus on the green zone (3) , orange zone (4)  and red zone (5). The workouts are designed to produce 12 minutes or more in Zones 4 & 5 combined (to achieve the after burn) during the treadmill training portion of the workout. – description from website. 



Orangetheory Class Experience 

Fort Collins location 

When I arrived, I was immediately greeted by Stephanie, the front desk attendant. She was extremely friendly and explained in detail what was about to go down in the next 60 minutes. Stephanie gave us the option of three different heart rate monitors, two for your wrist, or one for your chest. I went with the chest.  

Then, we met Sarah, our instructor, she gave us a tour of the workout area before inviting everyone else in to join. Sarah then gave the class a quick overview of what to expect with the workout for the day. We split into two stations and got ready to sweat. 

The Workout

And we’re off! I was on the rower first, I began pulling, after a few minutes,  my heart rate was still at the same number, I was thinking to myself, I’m either in really great shape or I’m not trying hard enough. My legs were burning so I was a little concerned and then I glanced at the screen to see my heart rate was plummeting. Sarah came over to help, she knew exactly what happened and quickly fixed me up. The heart rate piece had come undone, phew, I was concerned I’d been doing this fitness thing all wrong. 

orangetheory fort collins


Once my heart rate was back and locked in correctly, it was smooth sailing. Sarah engaged with the class the entire time, she gave us clear instructions along with modifications on movements. She did an awesome job of delegating her time between each station and client, encouraging everyone throughout the workout. 

Initially, I had a fear of our heart rates on display for the entire group to see. Once the workout started, the thought never crossed my mind, my focus was on me only. I wanted to keep my heart rate in the appropriate zone, I also enjoyed seeing how fast I could get my heart rate back down. There were moments I thought I was pushing hard, I’d look up at the screen, and realize I’m still in the green zone. The visual on the screen made me realize how mental my “comfort zone” is. The heart rate display provided the exact push I needed to work harder and challenge myself. 

After about 60 minutes, we did a quick cool down and headed out. The class flew by, the entire experience was so much fun and an awesome cardio workout. I will be back. 

What should you bring to Orangetheory?

A towel, water bottle, and a positive attitude is all you need to bring to your first Orangetheory class. You will have time during the transition periods to grab a sip of water or wipe yourself off. 


For workout gear, I wore my Nike Women’s Pro Indy sports bra, a tank top, and leggings from  Mellivora. I also wore a lightweight sweatshirt in the beginning of class, the room was cool at first, something you will be thankful for after a few minutes in there. 


Free Orangetheory Class

If you are interested in learning more about Orangetheory, or would like to try a class, check out their website here and get your FREE CLASS.


If you live in Fort Collins, CO, you can find details on their facility and schedule your free class here. The Fort Collins location is located near Jessup Farms Artisan Village;  you can stop by Bindle after your workout for a great cup of coffee or grab a beer at Jessup Farm Barrel House. The beer is justified, you will keep burning calories long after the workout. 

Wink. Wink.