RM Tries OrangeTheory

In Do, March 2016 by Christa GalaLeave a Comment

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You’ve heard the push. The press. The offers to try a free class at Orange Theory Fitness.

We did. That is, creative director and editor-in-chief—Caitlin Harrison and Christa Gala—donned the required heart monitors and suited up for a one-hour full body workout, managed in three 20-minute increments at stations that included squats, burpees, rowing, the treadmill, weights and TRX straps.

The idea is to spend between 12 to 20 minutes in the orange zone, 84 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Here’s what we think:


I was pretty much the biggest loser of our class—and not in a good way.

For the life of me, I couldn’t get out of the green zone, the rung below the coveted orange zone. I spent a total of one minute in the orange zone. Everybody could see my “score,” which was displayed, along with everyone else’s, on televisions around the room. Which, if I’m honest, was embarrassing.

Either I didn’t work hard enough or my heart was incredibly strong.

Yeah, I’m going with the latter. Overall, it was a great workout, and I burned 426 calories. The trainer leading the class was very helpful about modifications so that was cool. And with that kind of calorie burn, I ate Quizno’s afterward. With chips. Don’t judge me.

Final verdict: Not my cup ‘o tea due to the intensity.


Unlike Christa, I luxuriated in the orange zone (23 minutes) and burned 700 calories. It was a great alternative to a standard gym workout. Moving from station to station prevented the boredom I sometimes feel on the treadmill alone.

My favorite station was squats and arms; that’s not normally something I’d do at that level without being pushed. Our trainer propelled the class along, encouraging us when to give it an extra push and when to slow it down to “recovery” mode.

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