On February 28th, Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) officially turned on their signature orange glow at 217 Park Lane (corner spot across across from library parking deck). Lucky for me, I can almost stay in shape just by visiting all of the new gyms opening in Kirkland. So I grabbed my usual ass-kickin' workout crew and ventured on an OTF field trip so we could give you our collective thoughts. Thanks to Megan, Christin, Brett and AJ for being up for the task.
<--these rowers are super smooth. like butta <--CLOWNSHOW alert. FYI, if you laugh a lot you forget how tough it is
Orange Theory definitely has a super clean/new feel. You can park on the street or library deck. Inside there are showers and lockers, and about 10 classes per day. Once checked in, we were given heart monitors to strap around our chest, whose results will appear on a screen in front of the class (photo). It tells you your heart rate, calories burned, avg heart rate % and splat points accumulated (afterburn). Don't stress this part, with 20 or so people in class, nobody is paying attention to your performance on the screen, my old eyes were struggling just to find my own during the entire hour class. There is one large studio space that illuminates a warm orange and has a long row of treadmills, rowers and weight stations which are each numbered and assigned to a person. Our instructor, Sarah, did a lot of explaining and demonstrating since each station has a set of directions you need to follow- such as 4 different exercises (with a screen to remind you of them)or adding incline to your treadmill on particular increments. You spend enough time at each station to be able to push yourself without getting bored. Christin said it was a great workout that pushed her out of her comfort zone. Megan really liked having specific goals on the treadmill, but wished she had more time to warm up/stretch in the beginning and end. The music felt like it was trying pretty hard to please a broad audience but nevertheless did its job of keeping the energy level elevated. AJ said, "I felt very motivated to keep pushing harder. I always wanted to be in the red." That guy burned over 900 calories (mine was 500ish for comparison).
The other cool thing, OTF sends you an email summary of your performance right after your workout, which also tracks your cumulative performance if you're a regular. Things like how many minutes you spent in each zone, calories burned, average heart rate, etc. It feels like a little present to remind you of your accomplishment. And visual proof of your progress. Speaking of which, between mid-May and July they will be running a 'transformation challenge' where the member that loses the greatest % of body weight will win $500! Memberships are monthly (no contract) and you can use any of their 1200 international locations by booking online, in the app or in person. Rates vary from $69-169/mo depending on how often you'd like to go.
Overall, I think this is a great motivating format for a lot of people and I've heard from a few friends that they are loving it so far. Feel free to comment if you've given it a try and want to share your experience!