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Industry Buzz: An Orangetheory Fitness Experience in Louisville


Orangetheory Fitness opened its first location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2010. Since, it has experienced growth, and fast.

In May 2014, the franchise opened its 100th location, and one of those locations recently landed in Louisville, Kentucky, Club Solutions Magazine’s home base. As a result, my coworkers and I decided to go try out the heart rate-based workout that’s attempting to revolutionize the way members approach fitness.

The first thing you notice about Orangetheory Fitness when you walk through a location’s door is the color. Orange is splashed on the walls, employees wear orange t-shirts and the workout area features dim orange lighting. Even most of the equipment had Orangetheory’s signature hue incorporated into it.

Before we could start the workout, my coworkers and I were fitted with Polar® Heart Rate Monitors, which we strapped underneath our shirts. This would allow us to track our heart rates while we worked out, as the information was displayed on two screens in the workout area.

After everyone’s heart rate monitors were secured, we were shuffled into the workout area and split up into two groups. The instructor, John Ray, explained that the first group would do cardio for the first half of class, while the second group would do strength exercises. After thirty minutes, the groups would switch.

Going into the workout, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was I about to breeze through a solid hour of exercise, or struggle painfully through it? Fortunately, I did neither.

Although I’m more of a cardio queen, I found the strength exercises to be challenging, yet manageable. This was mainly because Ray encouraged everyone to move at their own pace — he wanted us to push ourselves, but only if we could do so with correct form.

The same went for the cardio part of the class, which was where you really got your heart pumping. Participants were given the option of either running or power walking at an incline to get their heart rate into designated “zones,” which Ray dictated.

Afterwards, my coworkers and I where drenched head to toe in sweat.

A half hour of cardio and a half hour of strength yielded an hour of solid, energizing exercise. What I liked the most about the class was that I didn’t have to question whether or not I was getting a good workout in – if I looked at my heart rate, I’d know right away.

Overall, I think Orangetheory Fitness is a great concept that can find success amongst many demographics. Because participants are in charge of their heart rates, and theirs alone, people of many different fitness levels can take the class and experience results.

This may be the key to Orangetheory Fitness’ fast growth — it’s applicable to a wide range of demographics and takes the thinking out of exercise. Listen to your heart rate and the instructor, and a great workout is almost guaranteed.


Rachel Zabonick is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@clubsolutionsmagazine.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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