The holidays can be stressful. We totally get it. When you’ve reached your wits’ end with last-minute holiday shopping, company outings, and coping with the after effects of drinking too much spiked eggnog, maintaining a consistent workout routine and a balanced diet is oftentimes the last thing on your mind.

What if we told you that your workout can make you #HolidayProof?

Lacking the energy to wrap gifts until wee hours of the morning? Start your day with a workout.

Need to get away from the in-laws? Sweat out your frustrations.

Eat a few too many gingerbread cookies? No problem, you can burn those off at the studio.

Don’t lose sight of these 5 essential tips to help you be stronger than the holidays.


1.   Prebook your workouts through the first week in January. This will give you the added layer of accountability to show up and get moving. Make yourself a priority this season, and the rest of your schedule will fall into place. Orangetheory is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. As you can imagine, members will be flocking to the studio come January 1st to kick off their New Year resolutions strong. So why wait? Book your classes NOW and guarantee your spot.

2.   Lose the “all-or-nothing” mindset. You may think, what’s the point of scheduling a workout when you’re just going to indulge in decadent treats all day long? It’s time to rethink your strategy. Working out beforehand will, in actuality, give you the mental strength to resist the temptations of those holiday goodies! Plus, the afterburn from your workout will help you torch calories long after your workout has ended. So, even if that cookie is just too tempting to resist, don’t sweat it. Your body will burn it off faster with a morning workout under your belt.

3.   Continue to ground yourself with balanced meals when you are eating at home. Build your plate around lean proteins and colorful, whole plant-based fruits and vegetables. The consistent protein will ensure that you will continue to maximize strength gains throughout the season – and also help you feel satisfied longer. For maximal efforts, aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein every 3 to 4 hours. By volumizing your plate with plant fiber, you’ll boost powerful plant nutrients and also reduce your hunger vulnerability at your social gatherings.

4.   Don’t sweat alone. “Home for the holidays” can mean family overload, sibling rivalry, and houseguests galore. When the house is feeling cramped, this is the perfect opportunity to bring a friend to experience the magic of the Orange Zone for the first time. Who knows, you may change their life! Just be sure to call the studio to register your guest ahead of time.

5.   Be proud of yourself. Focusing on your overall health is challenging enough without the added distractions of holiday shopping, party planning, or getting ready for company. When you’ve prioritized health and wellness during your busy holiday schedule, take this opportunity to celebrate you. Reward a productive day with an extra-long hot shower, cozying up on your couch to your favorite movie or novel, or taking the night off from cooking by ordering in from your favorite (but healthy) restaurant! Always be kind to yourself. 


Life can be stressful, especially during the holidays. But remember, regular high-intensity cardiovascular exercise helps condition the body to deal with stress and reduce the negative impact it causes on your body. If you can conquer the Orangetheory Fitness workout three days a week, the stress from a lively family debate or repressing cravings for cookies is suddenly no big deal.

Make exercise a priority this holiday season to keep your mind clear and focused so that you can be present and enjoy this special time with your loved ones. The only workout you’ll ever regret is the one you didn’t do.

Find Your Studio.



Summertime is rapidly approaching, which means school is out and summer travel is in! And although this change in season and mindset may seem like a reason to abandon your fitness routine, it’s quite the opposite. Sticking to your fitness goals all while having fun is easier than you might think!

Here are some tips to get your fitness on the go in the summertime.

Utilize Transit as Hydration Time

In order to avoid fatigue and dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip. Staying hydrated, especially when flying or spending long amounts of time in a car, is essential to an effective workout.

Here’s a tip: contemplate snagging an aisle seat for those frequent bathroom breaks!

Use the OTbeat App Outdoors

Luckily for travelers or outdoor fanatics, the OTbeat app can record out of studio workouts. With this feature, you are able to easily monitor your workout goals. Be sure to use this app for hiking trails, walks/runs in a park and more. Think of this as your vitamin A or B to your 60-minute multivitamin, aka your Orangetheory class. You can bet your time in the studio has prepared you to take on any summit or excursion you want to conquer in your travels. That’s how you’re getting more out of life!

Be sure to schedule these outdoor activities early in the day to not only beat the summer heat, but to kickstart your day in a healthy, energetic way.

Take Turns Watching the Kids

This summer, it may be difficult to find a babysitter during your 60 minutes of personal time at the studio. However, you and your significant other, friend, or family member can take turns watching the little ones. For instance, while one parent takes the workout, the other can take the kids to lunch at a restaurant nearby. After the workout is over, you’d switch!

If your child is of age to take a class alongside you, you can take this opportunity to solidify the importance of personal fitness that undoubtedly leads to living longer, more vibrant lives. Think of it as two hours contributing to your family’s health as well as a family outing. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Use Wearables as Friendly Competition

On the go, you have to fit in activity wherever and whenever you can. This includes walking instead of Ubering or public transit. Luckily, our new wearables can track exercise functionality, distance, steps and more! What better way to prove that you’re improving? Friendly competition with those who can walk the furthest makes strolling and checking out the local scene more fun. Plus, you’d be surprised at how many miles you will log.

Utilize Other Studios

With almost 1,000 Orangetheory studios in both the U.S. and in other countries, there are plenty of opportunities to stay in shape while traveling! In fact, you can add an Orangetheory workout to your travel itinerary and visit with family and friends. Many members love the opportunity to check out other studios in other states and countries to experience their unique culture and local flare. But rest assured, the workout you know and love is consistent across every Orangetheory location. By using our booking app, you will be able to conveniently book classes when creating travel arrangements. How’s that for accountability?

With locations open in Australia, Canada, UK, and Japan and several other countries, you might as well add an international workout to your bucket list. Plus, you may make some new friends in class that you can see the next time you visit.

Consider a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel

Eating healthy on vacation can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. With a kitchen nearby, you can be sure that you and your family stay on track with fitness goals. One way to do this is to rent a vacation home instead of a hotel. Not only will you be able to eat and cook healthily, but you could also save money on expensive hotel fees.

With Orangetheory’s EPOC or “afterburn” effect that keeps your body torching calories long after your workout is completed, you can strike the perfect balance between eating feel-good foods in moderation, while maintaining your level of personal fitness.

Related: An Open Letter to Orangetheory, the Workout That Taught Me Balance in Life

Orangetheory makes it simple to stay fit at home and on the go for the summertime. So what are you waiting for? Schedule time in for class on vacation and get pumped for that afterburn!

Book Your Workout

If you’ve committed to a workout routine, paired with a healthy diet, you may think you’re doing everything right for your body and for your health. However, meeting deadlines at work may have resulted in late nights at the office, or, on the other end, an intriguing Netflix drama may have sucked you in, each episode ending on a cliffhanger that will only be resolved by watching the next one. Pretty soon, 12am has become your normal bed time, and you’ve trained your body to function on the bare minimum sleep requirements.

You get by the first few weeks, but then you notice a level of fatigue that’s not doing you any favors. Your reliance on coffee and sugar become a standard operating procedure first thing in the morning to get your mind and body turned on. Next, you notice you’re suddenly getting sick more often throughout the year, maybe even resulting in an infection or two. You think, it’s nothing antibiotics can’t fix.  

As the years go by, your doctor alarms you with the news that you’re now facing a chronic disease. 

How, with a healthy diet and committed workout routine, does the risk of chronic disease appear? What’s wrong with this equation? The not-so-obvious problem that’s facing people today is simply a lack of shuteye.  

Sleep is Vital to Your Workout Routine 

Instead of using your workout as a replacement for sleep, use sleep to enhance your workouts. Whether you’re new to the Orangetheory brand or you’re a seasoned Orangetheory veteran, research supports the fact that you need a substantial energy reserve to get the most out of the interval training experience. Our workout incorporates strength training to create microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Don’t confuse these micro tears with major muscle tears that result in injury, however. Micro tears are completely necessary for your muscles to grow. While many of us think that taking a couple rest days is enough to repair our muscles from the wear and tear during exercise, the best way to heal and rebuild is to hit the reset button with 8 hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep a night. Your body will thank you for the opportunity to recharge and let the changes from your workout take effect. 

How Lack of Sleep Affects Your Body 

One of the best things about our workout is that it’s your hour to disconnect and leave your stress at the door. You also should disconnect from your devices at bedtime! In fact, our sleep cycle is heavily influenced by artificial light that burns bright during nighttime hours. This exposure to environmental light suppresses the effect of melatonin, the natural hormone in your body that helps induce sleep. A lack of sleep also disrupts other hormones produced in your body that directly affect weight gain, releasing more ghrelin (the hormone that increases hunger) while decreasing your leptin levels (the hormone that suppresses your appetite). Because sleep is so intricately weaved in your body’s metabolic processes, a lack thereof can have profound implications on your body’s natural process of converting what you consume into energy. In addition, when you deplete your body of sleep on a recurring basis, your body soon becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone that absorbs glucose (or sugar) levels in the body. Becoming insulin-resistant makes your body prone to weight gain and diabetes, among other weight-related chronic diseases. 

The Science of Sleep 

The benefits of sleep to optimize physical performance and appetite control are only part of the equation. The list of benefits you receive with 8 hours of sleep under your belt contribute to the following: 

  1. Protects your immune system from harmful substances, acting as a shield to fight off common infections. 
  2. Boosts your intellectual functions, memory, concentration, alertness, judgement and mood. It’s essential for your brain to work at its best! 
  3. Affects stress hormones, equipping you with the patience to deal with daily struggles and inconveniences we encounter. 
  4. Supports your growth hormones as you age. 
  5. Complements your breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health. 

How More Sleep Can Lead to More Life 

The increased level of those diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, and other chronic diseases is evidence that the growing population is officially sick from being tired. We are dying for a good night’s sleep. 

At Orangetheory Fitness, we rang in 2018 exercising the concept of More Life. Our brand purpose is simple: to help people live a longer, more vibrant life. The secret to More Life does not come at the cost of less sleep. As we now know, sleep deprivation can lead to a host of medical issues and chronic diseases down the road that can potentially shave precious years off of your life. Get MORE out of your workouts with MORE sleep, and it will transform your LIFE. Book Your Workout Today! 

RELATED:  Need Proof that Orangetheory Gives Your More Life? Check out the Science Behind This Workout. 

How Orangetheory Has Transformed the Lives of Its Members: Read These Inspiring Stories! 

 We know what you’re thinking. You hear “Dri-Tri” and you immediately think this event this is reserved for fitness junkies who thrive on intensity and competition.

When you consider a community-backed support system working out alongside you, music that gets your heart pumping, and coaches that inspire your next step, rep, or row, Dri-Tri isn’t only reserved for the hard-core athletes.

It’s for all levels – including you.

For all you first timers out there, take advantage of these tips to motivate and encourage you to reach your personal best during the ultimate personal fitness challenge, the OTF Dri-Tri.

What Is Dri-Tri?

This out-of-water triathlon is a semi-annual fitness event consisting of a 2000m row, 300 bodyweight reps, followed by a 5k run on the treadmill. It’s hosted twice a year to provide you the opportunity to track your progress over time.

Maybe you’ve completed one of these benchmark exercises at one point during class, but the mere thought of completing them all at once already has your stomach in knots.

Nervous to sign up?

Don’t be – and here’s why:

We’re all in this together. Think of those around you not as your competitors, but as your inspiration to push yourself to your optimal potential. The only real competition is with yourself, and it ultimately comes down to your personal growth and development.

Technology is on your side. Your heart rate monitor was designed to help you gauge your level of effort. So, listen to it. If you’re confident and feeling alive in the Orange Zone, push harder. If you can’t catch your breath in the Red Zone, take it down a notch. You’re not doing your body any favors by ignoring your heart rate – It’s the only muscle that gets to the heart of fitness.

The music will help your mental game. The beat of the music releases feel-good chemicals in the brain and can serve as a natural pain reliever during your All-Out moments!

Already signed up?

Take note of these 3 helpful tips to ease those first-time jitters before you hit the ground running.

During the row, pace yourself. The common mistake of all first-timers is jumping on the rower, only to burn out at the 200m mark. There’s no worse feeling than realizing 1) You’re already burned out, 2) You’ve got 1,800m to go, and 3) it’s only the first leg of the event. Don’t make the mistake of exhausting all of your energy on your first power pull. Rather, focus on perfecting the movement with longer, more efficient strokes to keep some gas in the tank. Here’s a little tip – warm up during the first 300m to get into a rhythm, stay consistent for the next 1400m, and ramp up the last 300m. You must reserve some energy for your shining moment at the finish line.

During the reps, breathe. This is seemingly a no-brainer, but one of the most overlooked exercises to improve performance. if you’re focusing too heavily on your body’s state of fatigue instead of controlling your breathing, a perceived lack of oxygen to the brain can take over and negatively impact your endurance.

During the treadmill, think mind over matter. You’ve prepared for this. You’ve earned this. You deserve this. You’ve given yourself something to train for. All that’s left is the mental strength to get through your All-Out moments. Just think about why you signed up in the first place and let the adrenaline rush work in your favor.

Take it from loyal member Nicole T., who crushed the Dri-Tri despite her medical setbacks. After an undetermined prognosis left her bedridden for almost a year, Nicole felt as though her world collapsed around her. In her weak state, she suffered from an unhealthy weight loss – about 100lbs – before she was officially diagnosed with Lyme Disease. After 18 months of treatment and the right prescription of Orangetheory, she has since come out on top. Not only did she slowly start exercising again, she felt she was up for a challenge. 



It’s inspirational stories like these that answer the question of “Why Dri-Tri?”

It’s the sense of accomplishment after every personal record or milestone in your fitness journey that will continuously inspire you to put more into the studio, and get more out of life. We urge you to power through your excuses, and be proud of yourself.

One last word of advice? Don’t ever get discouraged. If you’re not ready to take on the full distances, we may have something right up your alley. With our Dri-Tri Sprint, you still get the full Dri-Tri experience, but you’re only committing to half the distances! Tackle the challenge by diving into a 1,000m row, 150 bodyweight reps, and a 2.5k run. You know what they say – the only workout you’ll ever regret is the one you didn’t do.


Whether you’re looking for a challenge, or you’re looking for a way to spice up your normal fitness routine, use the upcoming Dri-Tri as an opportunity to test your strength, power, and endurance, and don’t forget to gauge your improvements over time. You cannot change what you cannot measure, and participation in this personal challenge will serve as a great first step.

Contact your local studio and get geared up for this year’s challenge. You won’t regret it.  

Base, Push, and All Out are terms we hear every day at the studio to dictate our pace on the cardio equipment. Little did you know that these terms apply in all other facets of life, including nutrition – an often-overlooked, yet essential component to maximizing your workout potential and extending your life.

As you’re complementing your workout goals in studio with a proper nutrition program at home, start with your foundational base pace – a challenging, but doable program you can maintain over the long term.

When you’re ready to take it to the next level, challenge yourself to push: learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

When your push pace nutrition has been mastered, bring on the All-Out nutrition program! This will change your attitude from “I can’t” to “I can,” allowing you to truly capitalize on your fitness performance.

Now, let’s dive in.


 Build your foundation with simple, yet powerful nutrition strategies:

Eat simple, whole foods (or “real food for real results”).

Nutrition can be complicated, so let’s keep it easy.  Opt for whole foods, ideally without a label.  Need more?  A good rule of thumb – opt for foods with no more than 7 recognizable ingredients.  At meals, aim for a balance – think filling ½ your plate with vegetables; ¼ protein; ¼ carbs (whole grains, starchy vegetables or fruit).  Don’t forget the healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts or seeds.

Listen to your body.

Your OTF experience reconnects you to your body – your heart rate – your “orange zone”.  Intuitive eating keeps you in your body – listening to your hunger and fullness cues before, during and after meals.  Use this simple scale to guide your portions.  Fuel your body before you are vulnerable – which inevitably leads to mindless and reactive eating.  Eat slowly so you can listen clearly to your signals.  If you are trying to lose weight – aim for neutral (think – take the hunger away but pause before you feel content).  If you are trying to maintain your weight – aim for satisfied (think – gentle stomach stretch, content, but not full).

Savor variety and flexibility to live your life.

Life happens – and we like to celebrate with food.  Enjoy a variety of foods.  For your indulgences, savor….savor….savor.  When you pay attention, you’ll be satisfied with less.


Want to push your nutrition to the next level?  Want more details?  The first step – appreciate your base metabolism (aka base calorie goal for weight maintenance) 

Calculate your metabolic needs.

Calculate your base (for weight maintenance BEFORE your OTF burn):

Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age – 161; then multiply result by 1.2

Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age + 5; then multiply result by 1.2

Identify your goal

For weight loss: Subtract 250 calories and burn it up at your workouts.

(If your goal is less than 1200 calories, round up)

For weight gain: Add 250 to 500 calories AND add back your splat points.

Check out your nutrition goals (per experts at Mayo Clinic) for your calorie target.


Start establishing a consistent rhythm to your meals and snacks so you hit your daily goals.

Span your protein throughout the day to support your metabolism and lean muscle gains. Aim for at least your minimum vegetable goal and build on it over time.  If you are striving for weight loss, the process of “volumizing your vegetables” is a key strategy for long-term success.


If you are burning several times a week or training for an event, then fuel up and recover quickly.

Space your meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure that you naturally support your OTF workouts.  Go all out with nutrient timing to help you:

  1. 1. Boost your performance so you can hit your splat points
  2. 2. Ensure hydration
  3. 3. Recover to maintain and build lean muscle


Only 30 minutes until your workout?

Opt for a quick and easily digestible snack, such as fruit.

  1. 1. Banana
  2. 2. Fruit puree such as applesauce or super fruit blend

If you have at least 60 minutes until your OTF workout, consider a light snack of ~150 to 200 calories that focuses on carbohydrates with a small amount of protein.

  1. 1. Yogurt with fruit
  2. 2. Kefir or protein smoothie
  3. 3. High protein oatmeal topped with cinnamon
  4. 4. Homemade energy balls or bar

If you have 2 or 3 hours (especially if you are trying to survive the 2 to 4 p.m. slump with plans for an evening workout), focus on carbs and a moderate amount of protein

  1. 1. Turkey and vegetable wrap
  2. 2. Quinoa and salmon pilaf
  3. 3. Avocado toast with hard-boiled egg
  4. 4. Cottage cheese with fruit


Maximize your OTF results by consuming protein and carbs within an hour (up to 2 hours) following your workout.  Protein and carbs work synergistically with each other in the post-workout window.

Smart recovery will help you:

  1. 1. Build muscle
  2. 2. Recover and refuel your glycogen (carb) stores
  3. 3. Rehydrate
  4. 4. Improve future performance so you can train harder and burn hotter

Key strategies include:

  1. 1. Consume 20 to 25 grams of protein within an hour post-workout (ideally timed with your intuitive hunger cues)
  2. 2. Consider fast-absorbing whey protein
  3. 3. Drink ~16 fl. oz. of water for every pound lost through sweat during exercise
  4. 4. Add whole food carbohydrate sources for the best synergistic results

If you are trying to build lean muscle, also consider a bedtime snack of 20 grams of protein to continue working toward your goals (even in your sleep)!

Recovery Snack Ideas:

  1. 1. Protein-rich green smoothie
  2. 2. Chocolate milk
  3. 3. Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and fruit
  4. 4. Almond butter and a banana
  5. 5. Healthy trail mix
  6. 6. Homemade energy bar
  7. 7. Turkey and cheese with apple slices

Recovery Meal Ideas:

  1. 1. Vegetable omelet with a side of roasted sweet potatoes
  2. 2. Power bowl with protein, vegetables and quinoa
  3. 3. Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice

Well, there you have it. You’ve already gone All Out in studio. Now’s the time to take your nutrition goals to the next level and get MORE out of your transformation journey.

See you in the studio soon!

Catherine Henze is a firecracker, both literally and figuratively. Aside from striving to put more life in her life on a day to day basis, the 61-year-old is a retired firefighter (and the first female hired for the city, at that) in Boulder, Colorado.

But despite the quiet routine retired life brought to her after 30 years in the field, Cathy needed more. “I needed an intense workout to keep me in shape,” she explained. “Orangetheory did just that. Since then, it has kept me ready for anything my growing grandsons can throw at me. From bike riding to hiking, camping and swimming, Grandma can keep up.”

Cathy first heard of Orangetheory from her best friend and workout partner, Sarah. Bored of their exercise routine, they figured they had nothing to lose by taking a free Orangetheory class. “After that first session, we were both signed up within the hour,” she explained. “We were hooked!” Since then, Cathy and Sarah have been avid members and have noticed positive change. For Cathy, she has felt physically stronger and toned throughout her body, especially with her arms, aka no “bingo-wings.”

Cathy hasn’t just become physically stronger, but mentally as well. In 2016, she fell and broke her neck playing with her grandkids. Instead of remaining stagnant and giving up exercise, she decided to continue working out at Orangetheory. “The coaches and workout has provided me a sense of self-accomplishment and pride,” she said. “Knowing I’m physically and mentally stronger and seeing the toned results gives me confidence to keep at it.”


Cathy (right) with her workout bud, Sarah.


But that’s not all – Cathy even managed to improve not just her physical and mental well-being, but the bond among her family as well. Her daughter, grandson, nieces and son in law are all members, and even work out together at times. “My daughter and grandson join me at Orangetheory as often as they can. We love to challenge each other during our workouts,” she said. “It gives us family time doing the workout together, plus the travel time before and after the workout. Not only that, but it gets us ready for physical summertime activities when there might be snow on the ground.”


Her daughter Charity in particular is reaping the most benefits. Not only does she feel great, but she is running races and winning in her age divisions for the first time ever. “Orangetheory has made me a better mother and grandmother because I encourage my family to challenge themselves both physically and mentally, and that fitness can be fun,” added Cathy.

Orangetheory strives to bring more life to our mothers, their family and the rest of our members. Click here to try your first class and see how Orangetheory can bring more life to you.

 The truth is that we’re not all destined in the womb to become triathletes, weight lifting champions, or genetic miracles. Oftentimes the pressures of work, school, or life in general lead us in the path of complacency. Sedentary lifestyles become reality and being any sort of “athletic” seems a goal too lofty to strive for. Take the story of Michael Piermarini, for instance.

Someone may glance at the former triathlete and runner and be envious of his athletic ability. But what they don’t know is that he was not born with this ability or his physique: he earned it.

You see, Piermarini was not always in the best of shape. Five years prior to competing on Team USA in the Long Distance Duathlon World Championships, he was more than 100 pounds heavier.  “Honestly, I was always kind of a ‘big kid’ growing up,” he confessed. “I was working out completely differently – powerlifting, long weight lifting sessions, etc. – but not really ‘skinny’ or ‘lean.’”

The turning point came in the shape of a friendly competition with a friend. Piermarini was challenged to participate in a half marathon while he was still attending St. Edward's University in Austin, TX (prior, he completed a 5k and a 10k). Said Piermarini, “When a best friend tells you that you won’t do something, what do you do? You absolutely do it.”

From there, it was all uphill. Since his first race, the former triathlete put numerous challenges, including half-marathons, marathons, and numerous, various distance duathlon and triathlon events, under his [race] belt. Yet, his favorite flavor was the duathlon – a mentally challenging, physically confusing, run-bike-run event.

9 months after a duathlon and multiple triathlon events, including national championships in Dallas, Piermarini found himself receiving a call and email inviting him to a world championship event.  No, not as a spectator, but as a participant. And of Team USA, nonetheless.

Often referred to as the most famous and toughest duathlon in the world, the Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Switzerland consisted of a 10-kilometer run, 150-kilometer bike, and a 30-kilometer run with hills that have you begging for decline. Despite him never biking or running that far of a race distance, Piermarini accepted the challenge. Working with coaches, physicians, dieticians, and recovery experts, he trained day-in and day-out to mentally and physically prepare. The key to preparation was the incorporation of Orangetheory Fitness classes into his 6 day a week workout routine. With grueling training paired with a hectic schedule behind him, Piermarini successfully completed the race as a member of Team USA/USA Triathlon on September 6, 2015.

Fast forward to present time. Piermarini is now Director of Fitness at Orangetheory Fitness headquarters and is featured as a subject matter expert in articles published in Fast Company, Men’s Journal, Shape, Today and Triathlete Magazine. To say his story is merely a success is an understatement: it is proof. Hard, solid proof that weight loss can be achieved mainly by one of the most important muscles of your body. Which muscle, you ask? The brain. When asked how  his weight loss journey led him to being a director of Orangetheory Fitness, Piermarini replied, “It added a sense of empathy and relatability. Being able to share the story with a member who is struggling with a plateau or sense of failure, goes a long way. A lot of times, we, as people, want to feel accepted and heard. When you can hear someone out and relate to them, it builds credibility and lights a fire for improvement.”

[Some] just think I’ve always been skinny and that working out is ‘easy.’ When I show them photos, they have trouble believing it,” said Piermarini. “It’s inspired children to aim for Team USA and [has] motivated others to lose weight and achieve their personal health and fitness goals. Honestly, if it inspires or motivates one person to aim for something they didn’t know they could do, that would make the blood, sweat, and tears worth it.”

And much like those out there struggling with weight loss, they too can earn it. One must overcome mental blocks in order to succeed. “Have faith in yourself. Not every conversation or day will be your best,” advised Piermarini. “Not every person you meet will like you. Not every deal or idea will be accepted and come to fruition. Don’t let these create a mindset of personal faults. Embrace dejection, stay resilient and view every interaction as an opportunity to learn. Listen more than you talk and watch what happens."

He added, “The mind quits before the body does.” Start your journey here.

Heart-rate monitoring is undoubtedly the latest fitness craze. More often than not, you spot joggers on the street so consumed in the state-of-the-art equipment plastered on their wrist that they risk running in the road in the middle of oncoming traffic. Or you visit a tech-savvy fitness facility with heart rate metrics displayed on a screen, and the users are too busy watching the pretty colors fluctuate that they lose sight of what that data truly means.

Put aside the fact that strapping on a nifty, high-tech device on your body makes you look the part. At the end of the day, looks only go so far. It’s how you interpret that information that will categorize you as a fitness guru and facilitate the internal body changes at the cellular level. Only then will you experience external changes.

At Orangetheory Fitness, we capitalize on heart-rate high intensity interval training as a tool for our members to glean insights from their performance and embark on a path of continuous improvement.

But first things first. Let’s take a moment to analyze what these pretty colors you see on a screen mean to you.


Grey Zone (50-60% Maximum Heart Rate) – This is the safest, most comfortable zone, consisting of very light activity.

Blue Zone (61-70% Maximum Heart Rate) – This zone is specifically geared for warm up and cool down exercises. You are merely preparing your body and mind for high intensity interval training, but you haven’t unleashed the burn just yet.

Green Zone (71-83% Maximum Heart Rate) – In this zone, you have reached a challenging but doable pace. This is what Orangetheory categorizes as “Base Pace,” a pace that you can maintain for 20-30 total minutes. Your body starts to burn fat and carbohydrates evenly.

Orange Zone (84-91% Maximum Heart Rate) – This is where the magic happens and where you achieve “EPOC” (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) – what we call the “Orange Effect / Afterburn.” The goal is to accumulate 12 minutes or more in this zone within a 60-minute period to achieve the maximum caloric burn up to 36 hours AFTER your workout is completed.

Red Zone (92-100% Maximum Heart Rate) – This zone happens organically and may be achieved during ‘All Out’ efforts when you’re emptying the tank and using every ounce of energy left in your body. You don’t need to set an All Out pace for more than 1 minute at a time to experience maximum results.

The term “splat” was kind of thrown into the descriptions of the heart rate zone levels outlined above. But what does it mean, exactly? Just imagine the sound of a fat cell exploding. We all can agree that we like the sound of that, right? In the world of Orangetheory, splat points indicate minutes spent in the orange and red zones. Orangetheory co-founder Ellen Latham and the OTF fitness experts challenge us to aim for at least 12 splat points per class to achieve optimal caloric burn, even after your one-hour workout is done.

So – does training in the grey and blue zone mean that you’ve achieved nothing? That you should have instead enjoyed that greasy Big Mac and French Fries? Absolutely not. You still become healthier in the grey and blue zones, and you’re preparing your body for an increased rate of fat burning, but you haven’t burned any fat just yet. Put the burger down, and keep pushing. Your fitness journey doesn’t start today and end tomorrow – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Similarly, does training in the orange and red zones to accumulate as many splat points as possible mean that you are necessarily getting the most out of your workout? Certainly not. Unless you are the energizer bunny or a hamster actively spinning its wheel to the point of physical exhaustion, your goal should not be to live in the orange and red zones the entire time. You are essentially beating your body up to the core, causing an excess level of physical and emotional stress on your muscles and ligaments. Don’t be fooled by the overwhelming urge to push yourself to the extreme and then be disheartened by the fact that your neighbors are progressing at a faster rate than you and aren’t killing themselves in the studio. You must listen to your own body. Orangetheory is 5 zone heart rate based interval training workout; the basis being interval training, which means fluctuations in heart rate and intensity. These variations are what creates an oxygen deficit within the body – thus creating EPOC. While you want to challenge (push) yourself during a workout, you want to ensure that you are allowing your body proper time to recover between efforts. This allows you to challenge yourself more during the Push and All Out moments.

Think of your base pace, the green zone, as your home’s foundational structure. The walls that add a framework to your house will eventually crumble if they aren’t situated on a sturdy base foundation. When you have worked to build your base pace, only then can you enjoy the benefits of the Orange. In this zone, you reap the benefits of filtering more oxygen through your cells, which will eventually lead to more All Out moments.

Say you’ve uncovered that glossy new heart rate monitor from its pristine packaging. Are you going to fall into the trap of being so enamored by the technical features that the data gets overlooked? Or are you going to take the time to understand your body’s performance in the different heart rate zones and enlist in a fitness routine backed by science?

The choice is yours. But we are here to help! Take advantage of our proprietary OTbeat technology and take your training to the next level. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. We are your accountability partners.

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Welcome to the gates of Hell…Week – 8 days of grueling workouts that will test your mental grit and determination, awaken your inner athlete, and challenge your willingness to survive.

We’ve designed and delivered a custom workout each day leading up to the scariest day of the year, uniquely themed around Halloween-inspired movies to help scare your body out of your comfort zone, right into the Orange Zone.

Will it be hard? Hell YES.

But, will it be worth it? That goes without saying.

You know what they say – what doesn’t scare challenge you, won’t change you, and we exist to transform your body from the inside out.

Intensity meets creativity in this series of spooky classes that will expose your inner fitness junkie, leaving you craving more.

You may be thinking…if only the strong will survive, is this even for me?

Don’t let the name fool you. Hell Week is designed to push you to your limits, while also being mindful of your personal fitness level. And don’t forget, even though these workouts are meant to be tough, they’re equally meant to be fun! More importantly, the challenges you face will tap into your mental strength just as much as they do your physical ability. So long as you take these mental preparation tips to heart, you’re already halfway to the finish line.

8 Tips to Perfect Your Mental Game During A Week of Physical Hell

1. Break it down. Every daunting physical task can be broken down into smaller, more achievable goals. A 1- minute All-Out on the treadmill may seem impossible. However, when you look at 1 minute as 3 separate 20-second sprints, it’s not all that bad. You can do anything for 20 seconds.

2. Build yourself up. Don’t get discouraged when you’re only 15 minutes into a 60-minute Hell Week workout. Rather, be proud of the work you’ve invested so far. Each minute in the studio is another minute you can invest in the fitness bank. Nobody can take that away from you.

3. Workout with a purpose. What’s your goal you have in mind? Is it to get through 5 workouts? Is it to fit into your skinny jeans? Is it to prove yourself by finishing what you started? Is it to lose 5 pounds before the holidays kick in? Whatever your goal is, stick to it, and keep your eyes on the prize. View this week, Hell Week, as an opportunity to take a leap, not just a jump, towards achieving your goals.

4. Don’t think – just do. With each next burpee, place your hands on the ground, and your body will soon follow. Your mind gives up before your body does, so utilize mental discipline to resist the temptation to give up.

5. Keep your eyes forward-facing. Eyes face forward for a reason – to look into the future and know what is achievable versus reflecting on the past. If you’re not pushing forward, you’re getting behind.

6. Enjoy your rest days. Equally as important as days of strenuous activity are your days of rest. Overtraining, or the point at which exercise volume or intensity becomes "too much,” is commonly caused by not enough proper recovery. Don’t make the mistake of not taking full advantage of your opportunity for some quality R&R. You’ll even build muscle as you sleep!

7. Frequently tune into your results. Consistently tracking your progress throughout your workout is the perfect motivation tool to visualize your success in real time and reinforce how far you’ve come.

8. And remember, pain is a good thing. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, and there’s nothing like 8 days of hellish workouts to prove that point. With pain, there’s struggle. With struggle, there’s strength. And with strength, there’s progress.

For further encouragement, grab a workout buddy. A friend will make a tough workout that much more enjoyable. Plus, you get to hold each other accountable and set each other to higher standards than you would have initially set for yourself. Who said a little friendly competition with a workout partner has ever hurt anyone?

Did we mention that those who survive 5 of the 8 total Hell Week workouts earn a coveted Hell Week shirt? Keep in mind that these limited-edition shirts are earned only upon completion of the challenge. They aren’t for sale.

Will you brave Hell Week this year? Join us, if you dare, in the quest toward getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Don’t let your mind stand in the way of what your body can overcome.

Contact Your Studio to Book Your Hell Week Workout Today.

If you’re training for a marathon or triathlon, you should only stick to the specific exercise you are training for, right? Why do more than running when you are already training four days a week for a marathon? As for triathlon training, is it really necessary to fit even more workouts aside from swimming, biking and running every single day?

In regard to the second question, it is. “Multisport endurance coaches and athletes [triathlon, duathlon, aquathon, biathlon, etc.] across the world live by the principle of specificity,” says Michael Piermarini, Director of Fitness at Orangetheory Fitness.  “Defined simply, this principle implies that in order to improve at a particular exercise or skill, athletes must repeatedly perform that exercise or skill. For example, to get better in triathlon, one must constantly be swimming, biking or running. While the principle of specificity is important to improving sport specific energy demands, muscle recruitment and skills, the cross-training benefits of exercise, namely Orangetheory, are numerous.” Piermarini is speaking not just from an educational standpoint, but from experience. As a former du- and triathlete, he competed as a member of Team USA/USA Triathlon in 2015 as part of the Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Switzerland. During training, he incorporated Orangetheory as part of his exercise routine.

“Orangetheory provides significant performance benefits in an extremely time efficient program, meaning you don’t have to do a lot of volume to reap the rewards,” elaborates Piermarini. “My coaches and I were so focused on swimming, biking and running that mentally (and physically), the break of adding in OTF and still being able to reap the cardiovascular benefits while improving core and upper body strength was significant – training smarter, not harder. Training high volume can be an absolute mental and physical grind (8-hour bike ride and a 2-hour run on Saturday followed by a 4-hour bike ride and a 1 hour run on Sunday). Knowing that such high volume, high impact days are followed by a one-hour workout where you don’t have to think, can help push you through often daunting training regimens.”

Broken down, the benefits are impossible to ignore. Let’s explore: an Orangetheory class is differentiated from other exercise classes by three parts: rowing, cardio on treadmill/bike/strider and strength training. Each component aids the athlete in a unique way.

Take, for instance, rowing. This full body workout engages more than 80% of your muscles (Ingham, Physiological and Performance Effects of Low- versus Mixed-Intensity Rowing Training), specifically leg, core, and upper body muscle activation and strength/power improvements.  Due to its low impact nature, rowing gives athletes cardiovascular, muscle recruitment and power benefits without putting high stress on knees and other ligaments that running can cause. “Rowing is primarily a leg driven movement that requires core and arm engagement when performed properly,” said Piermarini. “By adding in the rower, multisport athletes can add variety and fun with low to no impact on the joints to their training routine.” Cardiovascular training on the treadmill aides with low impact training as well – the advanced style of Orangetheory treadmills provides relief from the concrete outside. Hill climbing/strength on the treadmills paired with interval training assists with speed and simulating courses, ideal for those desiring to travel outside their usual course.

Not to mention, the Orange formula is foolproof. “Many triathletes, and even some coaches, are unsure of how to properly train using intervals. The days of ‘run until you puke, rest, repeat’ are done,” added Piermarini. “At Orangetheory, you show up and have a coach guide you through a scientifically backed program using safe, effective intervals designed to improve performance and overall health.”

The third component of Orangetheory, strength training, improves muscular endurance (and strength), coordination, and balance. Core strength, often overlooked by multisport and endurance athletes, is incorporated in nearly every Orangetheory class. These components of strength training work to prevent injury, an added benefit of a balanced, cross-training program.

Let’s not forget the technology portion of the workout. This compliments what many triathletes are used to – tracking heart rate data before, during, and after every exercise.

“One to two days a week of Orangetheory allowed me to have a buffer in my training schedule to account for ‘life’ such as personal and professional commitments, travel, and even weather,” says Piermarini. However, he cautions not to overtrain: “When scheduling specific training sessions, it’s important to maintain balance. The incorporation of cross-training, such as Orangetheory, should be part of a blended program (i.e. accounted for in total weekly volume and intensity), not an addition to an already grueling training plan.”

Of course, when implemented correctly, Orangetheory is nothing but beneficial. “My performance would not have been where it was [at the pinnacle of multisport] if it wasn’t for Orangetheory,” concludes Piermarini. “I can wholeheartedly attest to the cross-training benefits OTF provided that allowed me to reach the highest levels of sport.”

Don't hold back - try your first class today.