Orangetheory’s cosmic success hasn’t burned out since 2010. That’s because its research-minded approach to fitness actually works. It’s all about heart rate-based interval training. When you spend 12 or more minutes of an hour-long class in orange or red zones (see chart below), muscles’ need for oxygen skyrockets. Your body answers by oxidizing carbs and fats, torching calories up to a day later in what’s called the afterburn. While Orangetheory gamifies the in-class experience by having clients wear heart-rate monitors and displaying real-time results on flatscreens, you can get the same body-sculpting results at home or your local gym. Here’s how to recreate
This is a signature 30-minute Orangetheory workout combining power, strength and endurance. Perform as a standalone HIIT session or repeat 2-3x a week for 2-3 weeks to make progress on this workout specifically. You’ll need access to a rower, dumbbells, and a treadmill or space to run. Move quickly between sections with little rest.
- Green Zone: Base effort 5-6 RPE
- Orange Zone: Push effort 7-8 RPE
- Red Zone: Max effort 9-10 RPE
Set the display to “Just Row” or 150-m intervals. These are all-out efforts. Strive for powerful strokes, keeping the rate around 24s/m or less. A 3- to 5-min. base-effort row is advised prior to first max-effort interval. Use a 1:2 (or 3) work-to-rest ratio (if you complete the interval in 20 sec., rest 40 to 60 sec.). Try to hold the same split each time. Aim to complete in 10 min. or less. Power through your legs, not your arms.
Complete 8 to 10 reps (each side is 1 rep for unilateral moves) and 2 to 3 sets. Use moderate-to-heavy weights and a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio. Aim to complete in about 10 min.
1. Dumbbell Squat to Alternating Single-Arm Press with Rotation
Start with feet at hip width and dumbbells in a neutral front rack position. Hinge at hips to lower into a front squat, pause at bottom, then drive through feet to return to start. Before you reach the top, rotate your torso and pivot off right foot while pressing the same side arm overhead, keeping bicep by ear. Pause at the top. Repeat, alternating sides for 1 rep.
2. Split-Stance Deadlift
Holding dumbbells at side, assume a split stance with rear toes in line with front foot’s heel. Keeping a slight bend in front knee, push hips back into a hinge as you lower weights to ankle height. Keep a flat back and strong core. Pause at bottom, then reverse to start, driving through front foot and engaging glutes. Imagine your feet are magnetized to each other, like there’s energy between to really light up your posterior chain. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch. Move slowly, with intention.
3. Pushup to Alternating Dumbbell Pull-Through
Come into a high plank with hands wider than shoulders and feet wider than hips, and a dumbbell just outside right hand. Slowly lower into a pushup, then drive back up. At the top, brace your core, then use left hand to reach under body and grab the dumbbell (shown), then drag it across the floor, placing it outside left hand. Repeat, alternating sides for 1 rep.
Use a treadmill set to a 1% incline, or head to a track or flat road (with a watch, phone timer or stopwatch). If outdoors, focus on the efforts and durations; don’t worry about incline. Ease into your first push effort (think: 1-mile pace). From here, the goal is to hold it or increase slightly as each push duration decreases. Keep a small reserve in the tank for the last 30-second, all-out interval. Then rip it.
- 3-min push
- 1-min base
- 2-min push
- 1-min base
- 1-min push
- 1-min base
- 30-sec. all-out