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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! 


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.

BASE PACE NUTRITION

 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.

PUSH PACE NUTRITION

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.

fuel

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.

ALL-OUT NUTRITION

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

FUEL UP FOR OTF

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

RE-FUEL AFTER OTF

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!


“I’ll take the skinny margarita, please. No salt.” 

When it comes to weight loss, we all suddenly turn our ears. Apart from ED pills, it’s the #1 topic of spam artists out there. Why? Because sending an email with “weight loss” in the subject line gets clicks. Over and over again. It has become an obsession in today’s world so much so that people will risk anything for the number on their scale to drop – even their own health. Or worse – the taste of a regular margarita. 

You see those who fall for weight loss pills and restrictive diets that guarantee losing 30 lbs. in 30 days. And you see a surge of gym memberships that flood in around January 1st of every year, and cancellations that follow that very next month when desired results aren’t achieved. 21st century mentality is that we want it and we want it now. In the age of Jimmy John’s “freaky fast” delivery of gourmet sandwiches, we expect change to happen at the snap of a finger.  

At Orangetheory Fitness, we’ve seen our fair share of those who have caved and have fallen victim to the spam-ridden weight loss ads and promotions put out by uncredentialed companies.

The warped sense of how to achieve healthy weight loss was the source of inspiration for this blog article, since healthy weight loss the #1 goal of our members. 

Orangetheory Fitness is not about counting calories and losing weight. It’s a workout program structured to fuel your body with the exercise multivitamin to help you achieve a longer, healthier life. For those of you who consider yourselves overweight and follow this program to a tee, you will notice that the weight loss is a healthy benefit (and added bonus!) of following the program. You will reap further health benefits in addition to weight loss without even knowing it! And for those of you who don’t need to lose pounds, this workout program will improve your overall fitness level and sculpt your body for optimal performance. It’s a well-rounded workout that’s tailored to your own individual needs, regardless of your current age and fitness level. 

So, why does Orangetheory work?

How can we say that, with a proper diet that doesn’t dwell on calorie counting, weight loss supplements, or any form of malnutrition, you will change your body at the cellular level? All Orangetheory workouts are rooted in these three physiological elements. 

1. Cardiovascular Interval Training – When your body’s cardiovascular system is overloaded during your ‘Push’ & ‘All Out’ pace (your time in the orange and red zones, aka “splat points”), you make way for oxygen to find its way to the mitochondria to create more ATP, or energy for your body’s cells. This results in an increase in your VO2 max, which is a marker of how efficiently your body uses oxygen. Over time, you will notice your resting heart rate, which is most accurately measured upon waking up in the morning, starts to decline. You’ve essentially trained your heart to work more efficiently by way of interval training. 

2. Strength Training – Restrictive diets that limit calorie intake will allow you to lose fat, but you also lose muscle simultaneously, which acts to lower your metabolism over time. Orangetheory incorporates strength building movements to maintain a metabolically charged body. Added bonus: Your body burns more calories maintaining muscle than maintaining fat. At what pace, you ask? Research supports that 1 lb. of muscle, at rest, burns roughly 15 kcal/day, which is estimated to be 5x the rate of what fat expends. If you want to burn more calories while you’re sleeping, incorporating strength training in your workout program definitely helps in the process. 

3. Power – Orangetheory incorporates the WaterRower to increase your body’s ability to produce power with little impact. The WaterRower is one of the top low-impact, highest calorie-burning exercises we can do. This integrated movement helps with posture, flexibility, core strength, and overall conditioning. Maintaining wattage over the decades is what contributes to the anti-aging benefits characteristic of the Orangetheory workout. Think of the wattage in your body as it compares to the wattage in a lightbulb over time. Without adopting a consistent workout program, the wattage in your body slowly starts to decline over the decades, just as the wattage in a lightbulb slowly diminishes during its lifespan. Incorporating power in your workout helps to maintain the wattage in your body, and keeps you shining bright well into your later years. Who can resist finding the Fountain of Youth?  

The unique combination of these three elements that are inherent in every Orangetheory workout work together to build a performance based machine – your own body – to pave the way for a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle. Just remember to fuel your body with the proper amount of nutrients to provide the energy to maximize your workout potential. It’s all about succumbing to a lifestyle rooted in moderation. So, what’s the skinny on weight loss? Enjoy that regular margarita. Just don’t forget to get your workout in first! 

Don’t Wait – Book Your Class Today 


It’s no secret that when we age, our bodies go through some unwelcome changes, such as age spots, wrinkles, and hair loss. Along with these obvious external changes that we all despise, you also age at the cellular level. To get scientific, rooted inside the nucleus of a cell lies the double-stranded molecules of DNA (aka, chromosomes) that are responsible for our genetic makeup. Telomeres are hair-like structures at the end of each chromosome that play a key role in cellular aging. Over time as cells divide, these hair-like structures start to shorten and fray, taking the form of “split ends.” When telomeres get too short and can no longer divide, this is when you are more susceptible to life-threatening diseases, and the aging process comes to fruition.

 

 chromosomes

 

By standard logic, if we want to combat the aging process (or at least slow it down), our goal lies in sustaining those "hairy chromosomes." You can lather anti-aging cream all over your body, to no avail! As the secret lies at the cellular level.

By taking your Orange multivitamin, and getting in your 60 minutes of high intensity interval training at Orangetheory Fitness for the prescribed number of workout doses each week, you are essentially slowing cellular decline and strengthening your telomeres to prevent the split end effect. What does this mean for you? You get to maintain your health, youth, and vibrancy over the course of decades!

The creator and co-founder of the Orangetheory Fitness workout, Ellen Latham, designed this workout to metabolically charge the body and change you at the cellular level. She decided to include rowing to create total body power. Think of our bodies as light bulbs that dim as we age. Rowing increases anaerobic power and overall strength, which adds wattage to your light bulb! We also do strength training to strengthen your inside and outside muscles. To create and maintain muscle tissue, you have to progressively overload it by gradually increasing the amount of stress you put on it during exercise. This can be done by changing the volume, intensity, and frequency of strength training.

By getting in your 60 minutes of interval training at Orangetheory for the prescribed number of workouts each week, you are essentially slowing cellular decline and strengthening your telomeres to prevent them from shortening. Ellen goes so far as saying that if you are a dedicated member of Orangetheory Fitness in your 20s and 30s, “you’ve found the workout that will keep you youthful for life.” If you’re over 40, “you have found the formula for halting cellular decline – in other words, you’ve found your ‘anti-aging’ workout.”

Find Your Fountain of Youth!