Orangetheory: a trendy LED hellscape or a great way to introduce circuit training into your fitness routine?
For University of Maryland students Aadhiti Vallatharasu and Kate Quinn, it’s the latter.
Vallatharasu, a sophomore government and politics major at UMD, wouldn’t wake up at 5:00 a.m. for just any type of physical activity. For her, Orangetheory classes are something to look forward to. Not only does she enjoy it, but she has been consistently attending for over a year.
Starting Orangetheory eased her into circuit training and helped her become more comfortable in the gym.
“I grew up dancing. So my experience working out was in the studio. I didn't have a ton of pure gym kind of experience. Lifting weights was something I fully thought I was not capable of, running was something I thought I wasn't capable of. Orangetheory kind of pushed me mentally to be like, hey, like I'm a strong person. I can work hard and do these things,” Vallatharasu said.
One thing that helped Vallatharasu was the Orangetheory ‘zone’ system, which indicates how hard you are pushing yourself. According to Vallatharasu, this is measured on heart rate instead of numerics such as calories burned or weight loss, which encourages a healthier relationship with your workouts.
“During our heart-rate-based HIIT workout, your coach will guide you through our five different heart rate zones: resting, easy, challenging, uncomfortable and All Out, telling you when to push harder and when to pull back for recovery. The goal is to spend 12 minutes or more with your heart rate elevated in ‘The Orange Zone’ to boost your metabolism, burn fat and burn more calories,” said Orangetheory, in the workout mission statement on their website.
A typical Orangetheory class is structured into three blocks: floor, tread and rower. The goal is to spend a certain amount of time in each heart rate zone as you progress through each block. The tread block is Vallatharasu’s favorite because of how motivating it is, especially when they play dance music in the studio, she said.
Kate Quinn, a UMD alumna, shared similar sentiments when it came to Orangetheory helping her to stay motivated and excited to work out.
“I first got into [Orangetheory] because I really struggled to stay motivated in the gym during the pandemic. The class structure and actually having classes scheduled helps me stay on track,” Quinn said.
Quinn’s favorite block is the floor block, which offers a variety of exercises that focus on strength training and core conditioning.
“Our weight and floor exercises change daily so you can focus on different muscles. Your coach can provide options for any movement if you have injuries or limitations,” according to the Orangetheory website.
Quinn keeps coming back to Orangetheory because of how much progress she has made, and how much stronger she feels now.
“There are benchmark challenges every so often which help you truly measure your progress, such as the 1-mile run benchmark. Since joining Orangetheory last February, I’ve been able to decrease my run time and increase my weight on the strength floor. I feel comfortable challenging myself every class surrounded by other motivated members and knowledgeable coaches,” Quinn said.
The closest Orangetheory gym to UMD, located at 8321 Baltimore Ave., is offering a free first class for anyone interested in trying it out, according to their website. In addition, they offer virtual classes on their website for those looking to try Orangetheory Fitness at home!