Category Archives: NYC

Seeing Orange with OrangeTheory Fitness

As you guys know, there’s nothing I like more than trying out new workout classes.

OK, wine. Maybe wine.

But I love trying a new challenging class — whether that be new to NYC or just new to me.

Especially when it’s one that’s absurdly popular across the country and came to NYC last — Orangetheory Fitness.



I don’t know if you remember I was quoted in the New York Times a few years ago (NBD), but the article talked about boutique fitness. At the time, Orangetheory had three locations and the founder said she was planning “national expansion.” Well, at 165+ locations, it’s worked.

I tried it yesterday for a press event with Calia by Carrie Underwood, which launched at Dick’s Sporting Goods today.

Calia by Carrie


The Outfit

My coworkers got outfits in advance; I RSVPed late and was given my outfit at the door. Oh good god, what would they give me that I’d then be forced to work out in in front of a bunch of fitness editors?

Turns outs, a really cute outfit! I thought there was no way in hell the bra would work for me, but it ended up being fine, and I loved how the patterned pants looked on me, too. That’s usually 100% out of my comfort zone, but these rocked. The only awkwardness was the printed sneaks I wore there. The shirt was cute on others, but weird on my short torso and with the high-waisted pants.

The price points are kind of mid-range: the pants are about $65, the jacket is $79.

The Workout

Going into the workout, I knew a little, since we’d covered it at work. I knew it’d be part rowing, part strength and part running. Sign. Me. Up.

They divided us into two groups, and I went with the group that started the rowing first. Save the best for last, right?

We rowed for a few minutes to warm up as the class was explained.

Orangetheory Monitor

You’re hooked up with a heart rate monitor, and you see three numbers at any given time. Because alphabetical order, I’m on the bottom right, so let’s look at me.

40% = percent of max heart rate (which I’m not quite sure how they calculate, to be honest)

79 = heart rate (this also alternated with calories burned)

0 = “splat points,” or – minutes in your EPOC zone, which is where you’ll be burning more calories even after you’re done working out.

You’ll notice that most of our displays showed gray except for one outlier. The little colored swatches underneath showed which of the five heart rate zones you were in. Gray was the baseline, green and blue were taking it relatively easy, and orange and red were where the magic happened.

Orangetheory Rowers

I have no idea how long each block was, and I hear it varies by class. We rowed for a few minutes, before moving on to the “Strength Room.” (This was not actually a separate room.) We started with several sets of lunges: traditional, with bicep curls, and then pulsing. We did this on each leg, then alternated, for 2-3 sets. From there, we did a set that focused on explosive power: lots of jumping squats, BOSU ball squats and BOSU ball sit-up to stand. We did that one 2-3x too.

From there, we moved on to TRX. My butt still hurts from this, and I am doing Pilates reformer the next two days in a row. This should be fun. We did a set of hamstring curls, legs in-and-out (there has to be a better phrase for this?) and TRX sit-ups. Oy vey.

After this, it was time to move on to the treadmills. I WAS READY. (Especially since I hadn’t earned any splat points yet.)

My name is Theodora, and I get exercise amnesia, but we did lots of intervals, ranging from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes, mixing up both hills and speed. I maxed out at 10% incline on a hill interval, and 10.0 speed for one speed interval. (Note: these were not at the same time!) Judging on my orange/red time, I’d say the running portion was about 18 minutes. After some of the crazy intervals, we ran over to the ergs to row 200m before getting back on the ‘mill.

Orangetheory Stats

After class, they email you this handy-dandy performance analysis. I’ve done my own max heart rate test before, and it said it was 190, so ~192 is close enough. Also, 550 is a pretty nice burn for 57 minutes that aren’t all running.

Nothing Feels Better than a Finished Workout

I mean, there’s maybe a few things that do…but this is a family-friendly blog.

So! Would I do it again? HELL TO THE YEAH. The pricing isn’t very upfront on their website, but poking around shows that a class is $34, which is unfortunately the general going rate in NYC. Hoping they get on ClassPass, but even if they don’t, I can definitely see myself dropping in here on occasion. The workout is really similar to Barry’s, just a whole lot less douchey.

Have you tried Orangetheory? What’s your latest workout obsession? Why is there never enough time or money to do All the Workouts?!

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An Uplifting Cookie Swap

If I didn’t love this damn city so much, I’d live somewhere near a beach. I hate winter unless there are skis on my feet. The only saving grace is that my birthday is in February, so at least that gives me something to look forward to midway through winter.

This winter is shaping up to be pretty awesome though. One of my best friends is getting married at the end of March, so there will be lots of festivities related to her wedding, including a tropical bachelorette. I’m planning on running a race in March, and today I got an email about a potential tropical race next month. I’m also planning a ski day with coworkers, and this makes me absurdly happy. My skis are sad sitting at my parents’ in NJ. I’m not one to wish time away, but before I know it, it will be warm again and I will be a happier camper.

Yesterday I was pretty damn happy though.

For the fifth year in a row, I hosted a cookie swap.

2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

For the second year in a row, I hosted it at Uplift. I’ve been sick for the past week, and on Saturday my mom asked if I needed help setting up. Normally I’d be stubborn and say no, but … I was too sick to put up a fight and knew she’d enjoy coming to the party, too.

We did some food shopping in the morning, and I had a case of wine delivered to my apartment.

Which I then had to get to Uplift. Enter this cart that I borrowed from my building. Don’t mind me, just a random girl wheeling a case of wine to a gym. As you do.

Chocolate Chip Nutella Cookies

I’d made these Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I regret nothing. Thank you to FreshDirect for sending me the ingredients — and bubbly — so I could participate in their 12 Days of Cookies.

Uplift at Christmas

The stockings were hung by the dumbbells with care!

Cookie Swap

I picked up a bunch of cheese and veggie platters, and some dips and called it a day. After all, there were wine and cookies to be enjoyed!


Lacey again wins Best Friend of the Year award for helping me set up.

Cookie Swap2

These two put up with me at work all day, errday and still chose to hang out with me willingly on the weekend. I love you too, guys!

Uplift Cookie Swap

Some of my favorite ladies.

I’m so glad I’ve created this little tradition for myself and my friends…and that I have a kitchen full of leftover cookies.

I also didn’t really intend for this blog to become a Christmas blog this month, but alas… (I also haven’t worked out in a week because I’ve been sick. Thinking of making my triumphant return tomorrow though to the land of fitness.)

What’s your favorite holiday tradition that you’ve created as an adult? 


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