I Tried Orange Theory: How I Survived, and Why I’ll Be Back

It’s that time of year when you say F it, you’ll make your new years resolutions in January and eat that Christmas cookie. But let’s be honest, do you ever really keep those resolutions anyways? I haven’t made or stuck to resolutions in eight years because I know I set myself up for failure. Instead, I’ve learned to just start. right. now. You have to give yourself lots of little goals to strive for – like actually MAKING it to the gym or class. Just showing up counts for something. But torching over 600 calories in one class, that’s a milestone.

Push It To The Limit

dsc01807I’ve heard friends talk about Orange Theory in passing, in fact I walk past it at least once on a week on 23rd Street, so when they finally invited me to come in and experience it, I have no excuses to say no. I headed over to Brooklyn, and walked in the door, sort of knowing what to expect – I wear a heart rate monitor when I run, I’ve done speed and incline intervals at Run Club, and I have been known to pop in a Crossfit class here and there when I am feeling adventurous.

But nothing really prepared me for Orange Theory. This class totally Kicked. My. Ass.

What To Expect


60 minutes of calorie torching. This class teeters on level savage (not to intimidate you!). Yet, it’s designed to help push people of any ability – even if it’s just power walking on the treadmill. Since it’s all about working within your top two heart rate zones (the optimum level for results), you can see directly in front of you on the screen if you’re slacking and can kick it up a notch. Unfortunately, so can the trainers, and if you have someone like Coach Corey, expect him to find that unacceptable and push you into the next level.

No class is ever the same, so you can’t say – UGH i don’t want to do that damn “dreadmill” today. You might not. You won’t know until you walk in. You’ll always find a mixture of strength, endurance, power and speed between weights, row and treadmill, and trust me – you will be calling it a “dreadmill” when you finish if you never have before. But, that’s why you’re here right? To get out of your comfort zone? To see results? If you’re just walking on a treadmill everyday thinking it’s going to change something, why waste your own valuable time.

Even though we were in a group setting, it’s small enough that the coach can still give you one-on-one time, correct your form, and of course, push you just a little bit more when you don’t think you can – you can.

Know Before You Go

dsc01810There are two new Orange TheoryOrange Theory locations in Brooklyn (and I heard there is possibly a new one coming to LIC/Astoria soon – fingers crossed!) – one in Willamsburg and one in Brooklyn Heights, and each are individually owned. There is also one opening in Park Slope on January 14. That means yes, you’ll run into and get to know the owner, it’s not just some corporate gym run by meatheads somewhere out in California.

Don’t be scared. You can do it – they aren’t going to push you any harder than you can go, and it’s right there on the screen in front of you – so you can actually SEE that you’re not overexerting.

Bring your own shoes, and a change of clothes. You are going to drip sweat.

Prepare for your new found confidence. If you’ve never experienced the “high” after a seriously good and intense workout or run, you will here. You’re going to walk out feeling like a different person and it’s addictive.

Current classes run either basic (4 classes per month), elite (8 classes per month) or premier (unlimited classes). And right now, Williamsburg was running a special for $100 – get four classes AND a hoodie – PLUS, the first class is FREE. So, really, that’s five.

Who’s going to join me there in January?

This is a sponsored post by Orange Theory, but my tale of survival is honest and true – all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting Sweaty Stephy. 

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