When you see Orangetheory Dublin from the outside, you don’t really get a sense for what it is, exactly. You walk in, and across the huddle of men and women gathered in the back of the lobby, you see some rowers and treadmills, and an illuminated checkerboard of color and numbers (the key component that sets OTF apart from any other workout in the city). We decided to check out the new Orange craze that was taking over our city!
Before going in for the workout, you’re fitted with a heart rate monitor (mine was one you strapped to your chest, but they use wrist strap monitors now) that tracks your heart rate throughout the class. The trainer, Stephanie, was great about welcoming everyone as they made their way to one of three stations: rowers, treadmills, or the “floor,” which is a combination of TRX, body weight work, and weights.
As the workout begin, the checkerboard starts flickering with changing colors and numbers. The whole idea behind OTF is based on raising and dropping your heart rate during the workout so that you burn the most fat possible. As your heart rate rises, you go through five “zones” that are represented by a different color. Instead of Stephanie telling us to work harder, she would tell us to “get into the green zone” to recover, or push ourselves into the “orange zone.”
My workout began on the floor, while others in the class filled up the treadmills and rowers. We had a series of three or four exercises using free weights and the TRX bands. I felt like I was getting a great workout, but I was having a hard time getting my heart rate to spike into the orange zone. After 20 minutes, the whole class rotated stations and I moved over to the rowers. 500 meter row followed by some bodyweight squats and lunges (easy enough, right?). As soon as I started pulling, my heart rate started dancing from the blue zone, right past the green, and into the orange zone where I stayed for the better part of that 20 minute block. I had run long distance races and didn’t think my endurance was going to be an issue during this class, but the rowers were humbling. Still, I survived long enough to make it to the final treadmill block.
Again, a distance runner shouldn’t have too much trouble, but the treadmill was just as tough as the rowers. Instead of just setting a speed, Stephanie told us to find a “base pace” that would get our heart rate to about 70-75% of our max heart rate (green zone). I started here, and all of a sudden, I find myself in a mess of incline sprints and brief cool down periods that, again, targeted slowing and speeding up my heart rate. By the end of that 20 minute block, I was soaked in sweat and ready for a shower (or at the very least, a big plate of carbs).
The workout as a whole was both a lot of fun and challenging. While there were more women than men in my class, the workout proved to have elements of strength and cardio. Once we began, I hardly noticed anyone around me because I was focused on where my heart rate was, and how I could push it up to that next zone. I think it is a perfect workout for athletes looking to build endurance or anyone trying to shed a few pounds before the end of summer.
OTF has many other locations around the city, with many opening up this fall! Check out all their locations here.