What to expect during your first visit at Orangetheory Fitness

Putting together a fitness routine seems like a difficult task when you’re busy with kids. How do those fit moms and dads find the time to work out then? Membership gyms and fitness studios can be intimidating after all, but get ready to step out of your comfort zone with the most intense one-hour cardio workout you’ll ever need.

 

What is Orangetheory Fitness?

 

Orangetheory Fitness is a nationwide group fitness studio that offers high-intensity interval training classes focused on strength, endurance or power. Each 60-minute class requires members to wear heart-rate monitors, allowing them to track their heart rate through various workout cycles.

 

How is Orangetheory different than other fitness group classes?

 

The studio franchise claims there’s a science behind their workouts. The main objective for participants is to spend as much time as they can in the “orange zone.” This level of your heart rate creates excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, also known as an “after-burn” effect.

 

What happens during your first class?

 

Joining a new fitness studio can be scary because you have no idea what you’re in for. Orangetheory eases your nerves by making the first class free, so you can experience the workout before signing up. Newcomers arrive at least 30 minutes before the class begins to meet with one of the coaches. They’ll have you sign a waiver, talk about your fitness goals, give a quick introduction to the class and then set you up with a heart monitor.

 

Next, you’ll enter the studio, a dimly-lit atmosphere with orange machines including treadmills and rowers, plus a floor exercise area with weight equipment. Two flat-screen monitors display each participant’s heart rate so you can keep track of it throughout the class. Worried about everyone seeing your progress? Don’t be. No one will be paying attention to anything but their own when the workout begins.

 

What is an Orangetheory Fitness workout really like?

 

Classes are typically never the same; they last about 55 to 60 minutes with a variety of cardio and strength-training exercises. During Chicago Parent’s Orangetheory visit at the Oak Park location, participants split into two sections. One group began on the treadmills, while the other group (including our staff members) jumped on the water rowers before moving on to the floor exercises. Then we switched. Our class ended with a five-minute stretch.

 

Throughout the hour, think of your instructor as your guide to achieving your personal goals. The coach is there to demonstrate weight room exercises and direct you on when to increase the intensity on the machines. Giving you enough leeway to follow your own pace, the coaches share positive reinforcement and check on each participant during the class to make sure they’re reaching their limits or doing an exercise correctly. This motivation especially helps individuals who are looking to shape up their fitness routine.

 

What can parents get out of this class?

 

For any parent looking to join a fitness studio, Orangetheory Fitness provides a structured class that allows you to pack in a lot of intense exercises in only one hour. While there isn’t childcare available, the class schedule for each studio mainly runs from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week.

 

The flexible month-to-month memberships from Orangetheory helps busy parents too. Prices of these packages normally start at $59 depending on the frequency and your desired studio location. Not sure how much time you have for the month? Drop-in classes are available for $28 if you call in advance. Do know that if you sign up, the heart monitor is an added cost.

 

Most coaches recommend members to attend 2 to 3 classes per week in order to experience real results, but that might be hard to manage at first with a packed family schedule. We suggest for parents to at least attend the first free class to see if Orangetheory is the right fit.

 

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