Grrls in Motion

Experience the #OrangeEffect at Orangetheory Fitness

No need to adjust your screen, these are unfiltered photos. You are literally immersed in the orange effect as soon as you walk in the studio, and not a coincidence because this dominant color symbolizes energy, vitality, rejuvenation, stimulation, adventure and good health, words which describe the experience of this result-driven program called Orangetheory Fitness.

You probably have heard of it before; it’s been around since 2009. Orangetheory is scientifically designed to deliver results, using “heart-rate based treadmill interval training, the efficiency of indoor rowing for increased power, and the proven concept of weight training blocks”, for the fitness level and body you’ve longed for.

In other words, “high-intensity interval cardio and strength training for maximum energy and calorie burn”, ultimately breaking through that dreaded fitness plateau you’ve struggled with since you last saw real progress.

I had the opportunity to try it out for myself at the Niskayuna location, coincidentally (and thankfully) around the same time I hit a plateau. The studio comes to life as soon as you open the door; the energy alive, the vibe so encouraging. You are engulfed in that energy the moment you step foot in the studio, and you can’t help but feel revitalized, rejuvenated, stimulated.. even for a nine o’clock on a dreary Saturday morning, helpful when participating in an Orangetheory class.

Base, Push or All Out? - Orangetheory Fitness - Niskayuna, NY

Base, Push or All Out? – Orangetheory Fitness – Niskayuna, NY

If you are a first-timer, they lend you a heart monitor to strap around your rib cage, right below your chest. As soon as they input your information into the system, they take you to the large flat-screen TV in the middle of the workout area, and explain what all numbers, symbols and colors mean, all representing your effort level. And yes—this means you can view everyone’s progress, and everyone can view your progress, to keep you motivated and accountable.

Orangetheory optimizes your energy and time, but just like any fitness program, you only get out what you put in.  You begin at “base pace” at the station of your choosing—the treadmill, row machine or strength training area—with instructions from your trainer on what you’ll be doing at each station and for how long.

Once you’re “in the zone” and are running, rowing or strength training at a comfortable pace, your trainer directs you to “push” (a little bit more intense than base), and eventually go “all out” (a lot more intense than you’re used to). This happens for the next 55-60 minutes, and your trainer changes up the workout to keep your body confused, and you on your toes and pushing hard.

Performance Summary - Orangetheory Fitness, Niskayuna, NY

Performance Summary – Orangetheory Fitness, Niskayuna, NY

You pretty much go from peacefully jogging in the park, to sprinting for your life from the bear whose path you crossed on an afternoon hike. Or rowing casually on a local pond, to as quickly as you can to avoid the feeding frenzy of a swarm of alligators.

The point is, you are encouraged to push yourself beyond your limits like your life depends on it. But it’s all worth it because, at the end, you are rewarded by the orange and red blinking lights from the flat-screen TV broadcasting all your hard work, but most importantly, the calories you burned in one session. I burned 429 calories. That’s double the amount that I do on my own at the gym!

After the workout, your body is tired, but your self-confidence grows strong. You receive your performance summary via email and you can’t help but be proud of yourself. You didn’t think you’d be able to push beyond your comfort zone, and more than a few times, but you did it.

You gave it your all. It says so in your performance summary: fourteen green splat points, sixteen orange splat points, and two red splat points. At the next session, I hope to aim for at least three more at each color level. Go to to find an Orangetheory gym near you so we can do this together!

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