Today, a friend and I decided to go to Orange Theory and do one of their FREE TRIAL sessions.
It ended up being a great way to start Thanksgiving morning! Good idea Tara! ;)
They ask you to arrive 30 min earlier than the 9 am class start time and fill out a guest form.
With your height, weight and age, they input you into the Polar Cardio GX system which was the main reason I wanted to go.
Your Name, Heart Rate, Calories burned, % of Heart Rate Max (Organized into 4 color coded zones) are all displayed on 3 big screen monitors on the workout floor.
THIS is the technology I wanted to check out for my own classes!
They had it broken down into 2 groups. GROUP 1 on a row of treadmills,
and GROUP 2 using the other equipment in the room.
I started on the 20 min cardio Group 1, doing interval routines. They had one trainer on a loudspeaker headset giving directions.
After 20 min, you switch to the other group.
GROUP 2 started with a warmup on a set of Water Rowers in the back of the room. After about 5 minutes we walked over into a section of the gym with TRX bands, Benches, Bosu Balls, and Light Free Weights.
This part of the class was broken down into 3 WORKOUT "BLOCKS."
Each block had 3-4 exercises that were shown on a TV screen in the room.
BLOCK #1 for example looked like this:
Bosu Pushovers x 5
Bench Hops x 20
Bench Dips x 10
Lower Ab Knee -Ins x 20
I think we were supposed to complete as many rounds as possible in 6 min before switching to BLOCK #2. This part wasn't really clear but I was on a mission to burn 1000 calories and there was 1 person in the class beating me so far! ;)
Having your name on the screen like you're at the bowling alley with your Heart Rate Zone prominently displayed for everyone to see really motivated me to kick it up a little bit.
had us doing side raises standing on BOSU x 6 each side and a few other exercises including Lunge/bicep curls.
BLOCK #3 incorporated the rower machines some more and also had us doing TRX exercises.
The end of class had everyone doing some quick stretches while given a talk about how EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption) is better than regular cardio. They used a different term though I don't remember. Then the instructor talks about the results on the screen a little bit, explaining that 20 min of combined time in orange and red is good and your on your way, getting your results emailed to you right away.
It was definitely fun and for the most part felt structured and uniform.
It made for a different type of workout and it was good to see all activity levels able to do the same class. We had very fit people mixed in with borderline elderly and obese people. Everyone went through the same routine.
Lighting, music and atmosphere led to a good experience. It was cool.
It seems as if they have confined themselves to the equipment that comes standard in every franchise. As a program designer myself, I would like to see some ropes, jacobs ladders, slam balls, kettlebells and other equipment as well.
If the instructor stuck with just saying what Heart Rate ZONE color we should be in, rather than confusing us with percentages of base speed on the treadmill, I think this part of the class would go much smoother.
A clearer sound system would help as well.
Fun class! At $16 a class, I think its a little expensive but with a regular membership I think someone could get good results by attending 3-4 classes a week with a proper diet.
Definitely safer than crossfit and the Polar system is a must for my next gym!