That 4:36am alarm comes fast. It’s rude, really. Buzzing that early just so you can drag yourself out of bed, yank on some leggings, a shirt, shoes, and rush out the door? Why would anyone willingly choose to start their day this way?
If you’re like thousands of others, not only do you choose to start your day like this, you look forward to it. It means that in just a little while you’ll be rocking that heart rate monitor, bathed in orange light, sweating and cheering along with your friends as you all sprint, row, and lift weights.
That’s the magic of Orangetheory Fitness. In over 1,000 locations, there are people of varying fitness levels who show up nearly every single day for an hour long workout to burn a lot of calories and lose weight. But without changing their eating habits, they might not be getting the results they want.
So let’s talk about healthy eating, Orangetheory Fitness, and how the two can work together.
Let’s be real. Exercise isn’t always fun or easy. It takes a lot to drag yourself out of a nice warm bed to get into a dark studio and sweat for an hour as you row, run, and lift. But the community aspect of Orangetheory — that’s a built-in accountability system. The people you do classes with become your accountability partners. The certified personal trainers guide you, push you, and tell you when to take a step back. Not unlike a Stronger U coach.
These are all things that not only make sure you have the best training experience possible; they keep you coming back. You’re accountable to the people you do classes with. You start to know the trainers you see regularly. All of that familiarity leads to a sense of belonging. And that sense of belonging makes it much easier to stick to.
You’re in a game!
A simple fact of life: people love points. Drop us into an environment where we can rack up points and grade our workouts and we’re bound to push just a bit more. That’s the beauty of the Orangetheory system. During a workout, you’re aiming to collect at least 12 splat points and the harder you push the more points you accumulate. And while there can be drawbacks to this if taken to the extreme, there’s no denying that it’s a simple solution to making sure everyone gets as much as possible out of their workout.
A great workout.
The actual theory behind Orangetheory is as sound as can be. At Stronger U we talk about taking care of the big rocks. The big behaviors and actions that provide a high ROI on your dieting efforts. Orangetheory works in much the same way.
At Orangetheory you’ll spend most of your strength training time doing compound movements — movements that involve multiple joints moving together, increasing metabolic demand. What does this mean? A more efficient workout, as far as time and output are concerned. Put another way, an Orangetheory workout packs plenty of bang for your buck. We can’t all spend two hours working out most days of the week. Some of us simply don’t have the time to devote to serious endurance exercise or highly customized training programs. Orangetheory lets you know this is okay. Because at Orangetheory, so long as you show up consistently, you’re going to get in better shape. The program ensures that.
Don’t look to Orangetheory as your weight-loss cure-all.
Don’t look to a single workout modality as the single thing that will change everything. Exercising regularly in a supportive community might encourage you to adopt some other healthy habits, and that’s great! We want that. But if you’re showing up to Orangetheory with the intention to lose weight, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of exercise and weight loss.
Exercise is an incredible tool to live a healthier life. It has a myriad of benefits that carry over into countless other areas of our lives. But exercise in itself doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss. Not even if you spend an hour sweating under orange lights.
Orangetheory is built on the idea of interval training. At OTF, you pack as much into an hour as you can. You’re going to do some strength training, intervals, and all along the way, you’re going to monitor your heart rate. These are all sound principles to help you get a well-rounded workout. But as we’ve talked about before, just because you’re burning calories during a workout doesn’t mean that those calories you’ve burned are what you should be paying attention to.
You still have to pay attention to your food.
Paying attention to your food and learning where your calories come from is a skill that will always serve you, especially if you’re looking to lose weight.
At the end of the day, weight loss is a math equation. If you’re burning more calories on a daily basis than you’re taking in, weight loss is going to happen. But just because it’s a simple equation doesn’t mean that it’s easy to maintain in the real world. This equation gets more complicated when we look to our workouts to take care of most of our calorie-burning efforts.
The calories we burn during exercise are negligible compared to what we burn daily just to live. Looking to the calories you burn during a workout as a weight-loss tool is a lot like looking to the spare change you collect to fund your next big vacation. It might be possible, but it’s taking an unnecessarily long road to get there.
A class at Orangetheory is going to take an hour. That’s 4% of your day. Even if you push yourself to the limit during class, the calorie burn you experience in that class and after still only make up a small percentage of the total calories you burn every day. Meaning there are still 22-23 hours in a day where calories can find their way in and destroy your weight loss plans. It’s those other hours in a day where most diets meet their end through unplanned snacking, meals out with friends, or mindlessly overeating.
Here at Stronger U, we recommend tracking your food as the primary tool to pay attention to how much you’re eating. Simple, right? Logging the foods you eat in an app like MyFitnessPal is the easiest way to understand how much you’re actually eating on a daily basis and where your calories are coming from.
If you’re not losing weight at the rate you want, you can look at your log and identify the areas where you could improve your approach to food. Tracking brings a level of awareness to your eating that most of us tend to lack. Once we have that awareness, we can begin improving our food choices. Like Peter Drucker once said: “What gets measured gets managed.”
The relationship between diet and exercise are deeply connected. And when you effectively connect the two, you establish a system where one positive behavior feeds the other. You begin to recognize that staying active, eating well, and tracking your food helps you achieve weight loss while properly fueling you for your workouts. So get out there, get those splat points, and make sure you’re prioritizing the habits that bring you closer to your goals.
Interested in learning more about Stronger U? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to schedule a free informational phone call with someone on our Member Experience Team just CLICK HERE! Can’t wait to hear from you!