Nicki Anderson: OrangeTheory Fitness of Naperville to open Dec. 13
By Nicki Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org November 5, 2012 3:00PM
A workout session at Orange Theory Fitness in Naperville. | Submitted
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:22AM
As a health and fitness columnist, I frequently get emails from those eager to promote a fitness trend that’s perceived to be new and interesting. Unfortunately, many are neither new nor interesting. Too often, it’s simply a new twist on an old program. However, a couple of week’s ago, OrangeTheory Fitness of Naperville sent me some information that, not only got my attention, I felt it worthy to share.
Brad Ehrlich spent the last 12 years in broadcast news and recently became the regional developer for OrangeTheory Fitness.
“For the last six years of my television career, I watched digital media silently erode from traditional broadcast media,” he said.
“I felt like I could see the writing on the wall, and I wanted to change before the industry forced me to.”
Ehrlich’s brother-in-law, who is in the fitness business, told him how the industry was weathering the recession.
Ehrlich decided to explore the industry further to see what was out there.
“I started using my journalism skills to research fitness models,” Ehrlich said. “I looked at a wide array of models, systems, philosophies, approaches, scales and success rates. My fact-finding mission took me to Florida where I discovered OTF, I knew I had found something unique.”
What makes OTF so interesting is how they track and motivate participants.
They use monitored cardio-interval training for all their group classes. This means that every client wears a heart-rate monitor during the class.
Though the idea of tracking your heart rate during exercise might not be new, posting the color-coded maximum heart rate of each participant on large monitors throughout the club is.
This allows the fitness pro in charge to quickly look up and see exactly what zone each participant is in, the exact heart rate and the percentage of their maximum.
This strategy encourages members to work harder because their efforts are displayed with other participants.
Though OTF doesn’t push members to compete with someone in a different fitness level, the motivation to work harder is there because they’re naturally inspired by other participants.
“The idea is to get class members to hit their orange zone,” said Alexander Howes, a personal trainer at the facility who goes by the nickname, Hawk.
So what’s the orange zone?
“The orange zone is roughly 85 percent of the participant’s max heart rate.
Our goal is to keep them there for 12 to 20 minutes,” Hawk said.
“The science of Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC, tells us that the client will continue to burn excess calories (metabolic afterburn) for up to 36 hours after the workout. This is what we call: The Orangetheory.”
Clients also can track the calories they burn more accurately.
“Our system also records the time spent in each zone and estimated calorie burn for each workout,” Ehrlich added.
“Trainers and clients are able to track the data over time, and clients receive an email with their workout’s highlights as soon as the class is complete.”
These group classes include the use of treadmills and water rowers, along with a myriad of other items to get the heart pumping and participants working efficiently and effectively.
A common reason people don’t achieve their goals is that their workouts are not congruent with their desired results. In other words, people don’t work hard enough. At OTF, it’s hard to be a slacker because the posted workout levels not only serve to keep you honest, but working at a level that will garner results.
“Each workout is one hour: 12-20 minutes in the orange zone, with a touch of red zone and green zone, which gives approximately 30 minutes of fat burn,” Ehrlich said. “The other 30 minutes is comprised of group strength training. Every class is also different, with trainers bringing their own unique flair and style to each class, while still staying inside the Orangetheory parameters.”
If you’d like to learn more about OFC, visit www.orangehtheoryfitness.com , or join them Dec. 13 for their ribbon cutting event.
Do you have an inspiring story about your journey to fitness? Share it with Nicki Anderson at email@example.com.