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!

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Heart-rate monitoring is undoubtedly the latest fitness craze. More often than not, you spot joggers on the street so consumed in the state-of-the-art equipment plastered on their wrist that they risk running in the road in the middle of oncoming traffic. Or you visit a tech-savvy fitness facility with heart rate metrics displayed on a screen, and the users are too busy watching the pretty colors fluctuate that they lose sight of what that data truly means.

Put aside the fact that strapping on a nifty, high-tech device on your body makes you look the part. At the end of the day, looks only go so far. It’s how you interpret that information that will categorize you as a fitness guru and facilitate the internal body changes at the cellular level. Only then will you experience external changes.

At Orangetheory Fitness, we capitalize on heart-rate high intensity interval training as a tool for our members to glean insights from their performance and embark on a path of continuous improvement.

But first things first. Let’s take a moment to analyze what these pretty colors you see on a screen mean to you.

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Grey Zone (50-60% Maximum Heart Rate) – This is the safest, most comfortable zone, consisting of very light activity.

Blue Zone (61-70% Maximum Heart Rate) – This zone is specifically geared for warm up and cool down exercises. You are merely preparing your body and mind for high intensity interval training, but you haven’t unleashed the burn just yet.

Green Zone (71-83% Maximum Heart Rate) – In this zone, you have reached a challenging but doable pace. This is what Orangetheory categorizes as “Base Pace,” a pace that you can maintain for 20-30 total minutes. Your body starts to burn fat and carbohydrates evenly.

Orange Zone (84-91% Maximum Heart Rate) – This is where the magic happens and where you achieve “EPOC” (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) – what we call the “Orange Effect / Afterburn.” The goal is to accumulate 12 minutes or more in this zone within a 60-minute period to achieve the maximum caloric burn up to 36 hours AFTER your workout is completed.

Red Zone (92-100% Maximum Heart Rate) – This zone happens organically and may be achieved during ‘All Out’ efforts when you’re emptying the tank and using every ounce of energy left in your body. You don’t need to set an All Out pace for more than 1 minute at a time to experience maximum results.

The term “splat” was kind of thrown into the descriptions of the heart rate zone levels outlined above. But what does it mean, exactly? Just imagine the sound of a fat cell exploding. We all can agree that we like the sound of that, right? In the world of Orangetheory, splat points indicate minutes spent in the orange and red zones. Orangetheory co-founder Ellen Latham and the OTF fitness experts challenge us to aim for at least 12 splat points per class to achieve optimal caloric burn, even after your one-hour workout is done.

So – does training in the grey and blue zone mean that you’ve achieved nothing? That you should have instead enjoyed that greasy Big Mac and French Fries? Absolutely not. You still become healthier in the grey and blue zones, and you’re preparing your body for an increased rate of fat burning, but you haven’t burned any fat just yet. Put the burger down, and keep pushing. Your fitness journey doesn’t start today and end tomorrow – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Similarly, does training in the orange and red zones to accumulate as many splat points as possible mean that you are necessarily getting the most out of your workout? Certainly not. Unless you are the energizer bunny or a hamster actively spinning its wheel to the point of physical exhaustion, your goal should not be to live in the orange and red zones the entire time. You are essentially beating your body up to the core, causing an excess level of physical and emotional stress on your muscles and ligaments. Don’t be fooled by the overwhelming urge to push yourself to the extreme and then be disheartened by the fact that your neighbors are progressing at a faster rate than you and aren’t killing themselves in the studio. You must listen to your own body. Orangetheory is 5 zone heart rate based interval training workout; the basis being interval training, which means fluctuations in heart rate and intensity. These variations are what creates an oxygen deficit within the body – thus creating EPOC. While you want to challenge (push) yourself during a workout, you want to ensure that you are allowing your body proper time to recover between efforts. This allows you to challenge yourself more during the Push and All Out moments.

Think of your base pace, the green zone, as your home’s foundational structure. The walls that add a framework to your house will eventually crumble if they aren’t situated on a sturdy base foundation. When you have worked to build your base pace, only then can you enjoy the benefits of the Orange. In this zone, you reap the benefits of filtering more oxygen through your cells, which will eventually lead to more All Out moments.

Say you’ve uncovered that glossy new heart rate monitor from its pristine packaging. Are you going to fall into the trap of being so enamored by the technical features that the data gets overlooked? Or are you going to take the time to understand your body’s performance in the different heart rate zones and enlist in a fitness routine backed by science?

The choice is yours. But we are here to help! Take advantage of our proprietary OTbeat technology and take your training to the next level. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. We are your accountability partners.

Find a studio near you!

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How many workouts have you tried before you found a routine that finally stuck? We’ve all been there. You might remember the days of walking into your neighborhood big box gym and wandering around the various machines with no idea where to start – no direction on what combinations of workout machines will work in your body’s favor. You walk out feeling like you just wasted your time and money – two of life’s most prized possessions.

Key takeaway? Don’t settle on a fitness routine that doesn’t inspire you to change.

At Orangetheory Fitness, we take the guesswork out of exercise, and we also find ways to make your workouts anything but routine. With workout templates changing every day, and fun, engaging benchmark challenges strategically scheduled at different points in each calendar year, there are always new goals to set your mind to. And the only person you’re competing against is you. Constantly switching up the workout not only makes it more fun, but it helps challenge your body in new ways to ensure you never plateau. This day-to-day change will continuously change your body from the inside out. And that’s what will create results!

No matter what you’re looking for in a workout, you’re sure to find it at Orangetheory. We tailor every workout to your unique fitness abilities to ensure you always walk out of our studios feeling successful. But the best part is, you might discover your inner athlete with all of our events throughout the year. Whether you’ve set your sights on an upcoming 5K, are conditioning for a triathlon, or are just ready to up the intensity, every Orangetheory workout provides a foundation for more strength, more energy, and more LIFE.

Participation in the annual fitness events is not mandatory, but they’re a great way to quantify and track personal improvements over time. For example, how you performed during a 200M row in January versus a 200M row in April will be different with consistent attendance at OTF. For those of you looking to challenge yourselves or engage in a little friendly competition, consider participating in these annual (or semi-annual) events. The best part is, if you don’t want to compete, results are tracked via personal improvements in addition to a leaderboard. And again, they are for all fitness levels! 

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  • Overview: Develop the groundwork for changing your lifestyle habits to start transforming your body at the cellular level.
  • Duration: 8 Weeks
  • Perfect For Members Who: Want to kick off their New Year’s resolutions on the right foot, and keep themselves accountable for the full duration of the challenge.
  • Why You’ll Love It: You have a systemized way of tracking your results each week, as you’re surrounded by a built-in support system cheering you on every step of the way. This helps keep you accountable to build a healthy habit and continue your fast track to more life.

 dt

  • Overview: An OTF-inspired triathlon, consisting of a 2000M row, 300 body weight repetitions, and a 5K run
  • Duration: The length of one class
  • Perfect For Members Who: Strive to test their level of endurance in this semi-annual event, in an effort to make gradual improvements over time. If you want to test your fitness ability before diving into the entire triathlon, there is a Dri-Tri Sprint version available. The distances and reps are cut in half, but you still reap the full experience.
  • Why You’ll Love It: You’re able to switch things up with a little friendly competition. Crush your personal bests and challenge your neighbors, all while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and into the Orange Zone.

 marathon

  • Overview: Track your mileage over the course of a month that will total the equivalent of a half-marathon, full marathon, or ultra-marathon by month’s end.
  • Duration: 1 month
  • Perfect For Members Who: Train for running or cycling competitions, or those who want to face their fears of long distance running.
  • Why You’ll Love It: The process of tracking your mileage encourages you to go all out on the treadmill, bike, or strider in class in hopes of achieving your marathon goal.

 all out mayhem

  • Overview: An intense fitness challenge for all levels, in which every class incorporates a surprise fitness challenge that’s a slight variation of the OTF workout template. Named workouts correlated with a specific focus of the day increase the intensity of the Orangetheory experience for 6 straight days.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Perfect For Members Who: Love to spice up their normal workout routine with built-in fitness challenges each day of All Out Mayhem.
  • Why You’ll Love It: You never know what you’re going to get. You will be shocked at what your body is capable of when you put mind over matter.

 hw

  • Overview: Every workout within Hell Week represents a Halloween-inspired theme to ensure your heart rate gets in the Orange, and you’re burning long after the workout is completed.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Perfect For Members Who: Crave intense workouts and enjoy getting in the spooky spirit for Halloween!
  • Why You’ll Love It: Each challenge will push you, both mentally and physically, to achieve new milestones in your fitness journey. Plus, you can earn a Hell Week T-shirt!

Orange Voyage (002) 

  • Overview: Track your rowing distance the entire month of November to strive for the most distance by month’s end.
  • Duration: 1 month
  • Perfect For Members Who: Aim to increase their endurance on the rower and get the most out of this power-driven exercise.
  • Why You’ll Love It: You have the opportunity to row for a purpose. You can measure your distance and equate it to traveling somewhere around the world based on the mileage accrued.

 12

  • Overview: Enjoy these holiday-inspired workouts to burn off the additional calories that are consumed during the holiday season. But don’t forget to take a break – with Hell Week and Orange Voyage preceding this event, this one is really just for fun!
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Perfect For Members Who: Are determined to stay accountable during the hectic holiday season.
  • Why You’ll Love It: Orangetheory Fitness studios turn up the heat in the cool winter season by incorporating festive, holiday-inspired workouts. Let’s just say, we get a little creative.

  At Orangetheory Fitness, we’re not just a studio with static workout equipment. The coaches, the community vibe, the sweat, the music, and the technology all work together to enhance the experience for you every single day – an experience that’s always changing, an experience that never gets boring. It’s all about what you put into the workout that counts. In case you ever wanted to know, the Experience Development Team spends roughly 30 days and 900+ hours creating, testing, and editing 90+ unique workouts designed to challenge members of all fitness levels across 17 countries and 900+ studios.

It’s simple, really. Clint Eastwood said it best when he stated, “What you put into life is what you get out of it.” The vision of Orangetheory is no different: the more you put into the workout, the more you get out of life.    

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