When I played tee-ball as a child, my position was right field, or, as my family affectionately began to call it after they witnessed my athletic skills–or lack thereof–“The Daisy-Picking Zone.”

That should tell you all you need to know about my skills as a sportsman.

That’s not the end of the story. I did eventually find long distance running and hit my stride as an athlete, and found the arena in which I tended to feel most comfortable. And that’s a place where I can compete against myself, keep my mind focused on a single task and not, say, do anything involving any level of hand-eye coordination or teamwork in which other people are relying on me to contribute meaningfully to an end, points-related goal.

So you can imagine when I was invited to try out an OrangeTheory class, I was a little nervous. A class where they track your performance on a leaderboard? How would this work out? (No pun intended.)

Well, I am glad to say that as much as OrangeTheory feels like a group class, it is also super-tailored to your own fitness goals and abilities.

In short, I really, really enjoyed it. And I was sore for a solid three days afterward, so that’s what I’m going to call a fitness #win.

Read on for my thoughts!


What is Orange Theory?

The premise of the Orange Theory workout is to get your body in the “Orange Zone,” which OrangeTheory describes as the zone where you are working at 84-91% of your maximum heart rate. The OrangeTheory experts say getting at least 12 minutes of your workout in this zone guarantees a good “afterburn.” Here’s what the Orange Experts have to say:

This is where the magic happens and where you achieve “EPOC” (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) – what we call the “Orange Effect / Afterburn.” The goal is to accumulate 12 minutes or more in this zone within a 60-minute period to achieve the maximum caloric burn up to 36 hours AFTER your workout is completed.


What I Loved About Orange Theory

Varied Exercises 

The workout all-in-all is super energetic and high intensity, with music pounding in the studio and the leaderboard hovering above, reminding of you of where you are performing relative to the rest of the class, and to yourself.

Every workout is different, but during my class we moved from station to station–rotating between the rowing machine, treadmill and free weight station.

The workout engaged every muscle in my body, without pushing it to the point of injury or exhaustion. I got a good mix of cardio and strength training, which led to a really incredible whole-body workout.


Coach-Led Fitness

I can’t express how awesome it is to have a coach leading you through the entire workout. I absolutely loved our coach, who greeted everyone with tons of energy at the beginning of the class and kept checking on all of us throughout the workout to make sure our form was right, but that we were also pushing ourselves to get the best workout possible.


Keeping Track of Your Progress

The leaderboard in Orange Theory is designed to help you keep track of how you’re performing. You can track your progress because you’re wearing a heart rate monitor, and your real-time results are there

And because your “burn” is based on your own heart rate, each person can be guaranteed a good workout if they’re in their Orange zone.


The Verdict

I would absolutely try an OrangeTheory class again. If the intensity and afterburn of this class are any indication, I think this would be a great way to kickstart a fitness regimen and to remain inspired. Surrounding yourself with a group of like-minded fitness friends and a professional coach is one surefire way to stay in shape!


Read more about OrangeTheory here, and check out the video below!



Sonni Abatta is a writer, wife and mom of three who runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. Want to work together or just chat? Reach out here!