Category Archives: fitness

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?!

Gift Guide for Last-Minute Shoppers

Live from New York…it’s me, still on my couch! I left temporarily to go to the doctor (praise be CityMD for your speed, proximity and general awesomeness) and have returned to my couch to rest up — and gargle some Magic Mouthwash? This is apparently a real thing. I asked the doctor if that was the real name when she prescribed it, and apparently, yes. My throat went from feeling like I’d swallowed a thousand swords to magically numb, so I guess it is magical.

Speaking of magic, I got a random chunk of Christmas shopping done last week on my way home from ice skating but still need to finish a bunch of it today. My plan was to brave the crowds in NYC, but my new plan is to finish my shopping from my couch, thanking the eight-pound, six-ounce baby Jesus for online shopping and Amazon Prime (which you can get a 30-day free trial of and, you know, cancel after the holidays.)

So, I bring you the Internet’s latest gift guide in the history of the Internet, for those of you who also have put off shopping until the last minute. Thankfully, there’s lots of deals out there for People Like Us.

Ashley’s been texting me from her shopping + Mexican food trip to let me know that things are 40% off at J. Crew today with code GIFTNOW and “guaranteed” (the cynic in me doesn’t really trust these guarantees, but hey) Christmas delivery if you order by midnight tomorrow.

Per my own browswing, I also noticed that everything at C. Wonder (which is so great for gifts) is 50% off.

Here’s a few different gift ideas for people on your list

Under $30

Holiday Gifts Under $30

Papyrus Magestic Fir Candle: Smells like a Christmas tree. Enough said.

Buddy the Elf Wine Cover: Alex got me in our team’s Secret Santa, and does she know me, or does she know me? This is amazing.

Porcelain Puppy Dish: At $38, not worth it. At $19? Totally worth it.

Earmuff Headphones: Another coworker has these, and this is such a clever idea. (I’m so late to this one, huh?)

Gifts for Fitness Fiends

Gift Guide for Fitness Lovers

DailyBurn Pre: Yes, another shameless plug for work, but I’m legit obsessed with this stuff. It has completely changed my morning workouts from “ok, fine, I will do this so I can work late or have a life after work” to “omg I can’t wait to wake up and chug this caffeine.”

Garmin Forerunner 10: I’ve reviewed this before. If you’re new to running/running with a GPS watch, this one is great for its price point — it’s currently $99 on Amazon.

Feetures Socks: What runner doesn’t appreciate a pair of good socks? The wicking kind don’t come cheap, yo.

Lululemon Run Inspire Crops: These don’t come cheap, but are well worth the money if you can splurge on these for your favorite runner lady. They’re super figure-flattering AND stay in place.

Honey Stinger Chews: I’m pretty sure this is a “you know you’re a weird runner when” kinda thing: one of my buddies drew a runner in the office Secret Santa, and I said “oh! You should totally get her gels!” She looked at me like I was crazy, but I would be happy to get gel in my stocking!

Blender Bottle: How else are you going to mix your Pre/protein shakes?

OK, make me feel bad: when did you finish your shopping? And what’s on your list?