orangetheory fitness vancouver trevor linden

Review: My First Orangetheory Fitness Workout

Orangetheory is a franchise of group fitness studios that focus on science-backed, heart rate-based training, where one hour of increasing your heart rate to the right conditions, will allow you to continue to burn calories for 36 hours.

Over the past few years, five of these Florida-founded studios have opened up in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, all owned by hockey legend Trevor Linden.  Thanks to New Balance, I was invited to my first Orangetheory Fitness workout, alongside Trevor Linden himself!

orangetheory fitness vancouver trevor linden
With Trevor Linden at Orangetheory Fitness

This was my first time doing a high-tech workout which combines science, technology, and fitness.   All participants wear special heart rate monitors for the workout and participants can see their own (and everyone else’s) heart rate, the number of calories burned, and other information displayed on TV screens.

Throughout the one-hour class, your heart rate corresponds to a colour (grey, blue, green, orange, red) and the goal is to get your heart rate into a target zone that spikes metabolism and boosts your energy.  Every minute spent in the orange zone gets you a ‘splat’ point, and if you can get 12 ‘splat’ points in your workout, your metabolism is spiked and you then ‘unlock’ the 36-hour afterburn that this workout is known for.  However, if your heart rate is in the red zone, you may be pushing yourself too hard and should dial back your efforts.

I love how Orangetheory Fitness uses gamification techniques to make working out personalized, purposeful, goal-oriented, and fun.

Every class focuses on a different fitness aspect like strength or endurance.  In our class, we spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, then the other half of the class with a rowing machine, TRX suspension trainers, free weights, and other bootcamp-esque exercises like squats and plank jumping jacks.

Treadmills at Orangetheory on Davie Street
Treadmills at Orangetheory
At Orangetheory, all participants wear special heart rate monitors for the workout and participants can see real-time stats like heart rate, number of calories burned, and other information displayed on TV screens
High-intensity sprints on the treadmill are balanced with your “Base Speed” to bring your heart rate to different levels

My half of the class began with the treadmills, while the other half began with weights.  I’m typically intimidated by cardio-based exercises because I’m nervous I can’t keep up.  But at Orangetheory Fitness, every person gets their own treadmill, and you set your own base pace as a speed walker, jogger, or runner.  As the instructor tells you to pick up the pace, you increase your pace relative to your own base rate.  For speed walkers, instead of increasing speed, you can increase your incline instead.

The treadmills used at Orange Fitness are state of the art, they have a bit of bounce to them so the impact is less on your knees.  There is also a fan feature, so you can turn up the breeze and cool down as you sweat.

Just because someone next to me is running at a faster speed, doesn’t mean they are burning more calories.  My boyfriend, for example, who is super fit, was running at a much faster pace than me.  However, he didn’t earn nearly as many ‘splat’ points as me, because it takes more effort for him to get his heart rate to a higher level.

For the weights portion of the class, the exercises are displayed on a TV screen.  You cycle through the exercises, at your own pace, and do as many cycles as you can within a certain timeframe.  For example, the exercises we went through included rowing for 200m, followed by 15 reps of bicep curls, going back between the two exercises until the time is up.

Orangetheory fitness rowing machine
Rowing Machines at Orangetheory
orange theory fitness free weights
For the weights portion of the class, the exercises are displayed on a TV screen
orangetheory fitness davie 2
Reviewing our group stats at the end of the one-hour class

At the end of the class, you are emailed a copy of your workout stats for that class, as well as your monthly and annual totals.  For my personal workout, I burned 775 calories, with a 146 average heart rate, and earned 19 ‘splat’ points.  I really enjoyed this experience and I would love to do this workout again.  Thanks to New Balance and the Fresh Foam Crush training shoes they gifted me for this session.

Orangetheory studio locations in the Lower Mainland include in the West End (1160 Davie Street), the Vancouver Convention Centre West (1055 Canada Place), Cambie Street (2892 Cambie Street), North Vancouver (1171 Marine Drive), Port Moody-Coquitlam (400 Capilano Road), and South Surrey / White Rock (15355 24 Avenue).

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