“Strap on a heart monitor and keep it at orange” sounds pretty simple when compared to all the overwhelming technical jargon you can get in the exercise industry. This is the formula of the one-hour Orangetheory Fitness exercise program. They have done all the research so you don’t have to, and use a combination of High Intensity Interval Training and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption theories. You can burn 500-1000 calories in one workout, and keep burning when you’re done! For someone who hadn’t set foot inside a gym for years, this seemed like the option for me and I couldn’t wait to try it!
The first ever ladies-only Orangetheory fitness studio in Kuwait is located on the first floor of Symphony Mall in Salmiya. Brought to you by Khaled Jafar, the latest fitness class to hit Kuwait can have the longest lasting effects of any other 60-minute workout out there. The theory is that there are different zones for your heart rate where the body works its hardest to burn fat, burn calories, and to deliver the optimum workout to induce calorie afterburn or EPOC, for up to 36 hours. It’s no wonder then, that Orange60 has been voted the best one hour workout in the USA by both Men’s Journal and the New York Times.
Research suggests that a one minute, intense, all-out workout has the same endurance, muscle function and insulin resistance benefits as a 45-minute continuous workout at the same pace. All Orangetheory workouts are interval-based using a base pace, push pace or all-out pace effort. There are three blocks to use to achieve this: treadmill, rowing and weight training. Cardiologists say that afterburn occurs when our bodies require excess oxygen after a workout in order to return ourselves to our normal functioning state. Orangetheory identifies afterburn potential with splat points. A minimum of 12 splat points is required to push the body into EPOC. I loved the awesome encouragement from the instructors to keep going, especially that I felt extremely exerted as I hadn’t worked out in some time! The fact that I ended up with 39 splat points on my first ever go was the amazing assurance that I needed: I hit the afterburn zone and burned nearly 700 calories during the class- impressive!
To ensure that your heart rate remains at an ideal pace, Orangetheory applies a color to each of the 5 heartrate zones, which makes it simple to identify and map your progress. Green, Orange and Red are the colors you want to see when you quickly glance at a screen to see how hard you would need to push yourself, or to even relax a little! The helpful staff at the studio reception provided me with a heart rate monitor, which you strap to your chest under your sports bra, or you can try the wrist band monitor. If you don’t like shared devices, both devices are available for immediate purchase.
Also available in the reception area is everything you need to make your workout more comfortable. There are easy-sip water bottles perfect for hydrating yourself when running on the treadmill, breathable leggings, lightweight T-shirts, gym bags, and if you forget yours they have cute Orangetheory trainer socks too! As I moved through from the reception area into the pre-workout foyer, I could see a number of compact facilities available for use. The amenities include both changing and wash rooms, showers, a beauty station complete with blow-dryer (perfect for my after workout meetings!), hand towels and a number of lockers to store personal belongings safely for the next 60 minutes.
Once in the workout areas I could see the screens placed up high on the walls where you can see your heart monitor in action displayed along with your name. The mirrored walls always allow you to see at least one result screen at all times, no matter which section of the gym that you are in. The display shows in real time your percentage effort, your zone color, how many splat points you’re earning, the number of calories you’re burning and your heart rate.
Regardless of your fitness level, each person can complete the designed workout programs, and the weight training routine part of the class changes every day, so you’re always challenged! The classes contain high energy workouts and Orangetheory categorizes cardio ability into power walker and jogger/runner fitness levels. You can push yourself through a choice of incline or speed on the latest machines available to strategically achieve the goal percentage effort zones for optimum results. I was certainly happy that my instructor correctly placed me in the Power Walker category, I wouldn’t have made it through the workout otherwise! When monitoring my heart rate, I swayed between the orange and red zones, and that’s an indicator for me to get back to the green zone for greater fat-burning. Learning to regulate my breathing and not over exert myself, taking the time to understand the control that I have to choose how I benefit from Orange60 was really enlightening and has made me want to participate even more in these exercise classes.
To measure long-term progress, Orangetheory uses the InBody system which measures your entire body muscle and fat content and where the problem areas are. Using a percentage system with indicators of low, normal and over, the printed full-page body analysis results allow you to decide how to train for the changes you want to see and my results were clearly explained to me by my instructor. A neat little add on which I found so easy to use is the QR code on the InBody results sheet which accesses a website with more detailed information on what each of the InBody sections mean.
Not minutes after my Orange60 class ended, a workout stats email arrived in my inbox detailing effort, calories burned, splat points earned and average heart rate reached. Accumulative workout stats are also given for the week, month and year. The numbers really start to add up, which is highly motivational! I quickly signed up for a month long membership and I can’t wait to see how my results develop. The Orangetheory app keeps all your workout results and means easy booking for either a specific class or block bookings where you choose start and end dates. This seems to be a general theme for Orangetheory. Get organized, be motivated, keep burning!
For more information, please call 9412 2294/5. The Orangetheory Studio is located on the first floor of Symphony Mall, Salmiya. Follow them on Instagram @Orangetheoryfitnesskw.