Moorestown's Orangetheory gym uses heart rate science to create the "ultimate workout"

Source: Daily Journal.com
It stands out in the Moorestown Mall, buzzing with energy and glowing with orange light.
Orangetheory was created five years ago by a Florida-based exercise physiologist who wanted to design “the ultimate workout,” area manager Marvin Santiago said. Nine years ago, when he weighed 300 pounds, Santiago decided to not just join a gym, but to start working at one in management. “From there, I lost 80 to 90 pounds,” he said.
High-intensity interval training, the basis of Orangetheory, is what worked for him. Orangetheory promises to increase the calories burned post-workout for maximum weight loss. Orangetheory also works to combat exercise boredom — the training is split up into intervals between treadmills, high-tech rowing machines and a weight training area, where members use free weights, medicine balls, resistance bands and their own body weight for exercises.
The goal is to spend between 12 and 20 minutes with your heart rate in the “orange zone,” the second most intense of the five designated heart rate zones ranging from gray to red. This creates an effect called the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), or “afterburn,” as Santiago called it. This, Orangetheory claims, means that if one spends the optimal amount of time in the orange heart rate zone, they can burn up to 600 extra calories in the 24 hours following a class.
Members buy heart monitors from the gym and wear them on their torsos during the workout. The monitors project the wearer’s stats, such as heart rate and calories burned, on the two flat screens mounted over the room.
Gregory Biren, a professor in the department of health and exercise science at Rowan University, said he liked several things about it, says, “It’s constantly changing … I think you’re optimizing the amount of exercise you can do in a short time.”
Weight loss is the main reason people join Orangetheory, but many are just looking for a good cross-training workout. Anthony Dain, a trainer at Orangetheory, told of one member, a state trooper, who discovered while pursuing a criminal on foot that his endurance had improved from the class while “his partner, who does CrossFit, was huffing and puffing and couldn’t keep up.”
While the classes aren’t cheap, there are a variety of options for attending, from dropping into a class to class packages of four or eight sessions and monthly unlimited memberships.
“This is the best workout,” said Julie Botel, who lives in Philadelphia during the summer and Florida, the home of Orangetheory Fitness, during the winter. She attends the classes in both locations. “I’m addicted to it.”
Botel pointed to MaryAnn Corr: “She’s my inspiration.”
Corr joined the gym when Orangetheory opened in Moorestown in December 2014 and said she lost 25 pounds from the program. She was working out before at another gym, but “It just wasn’t doing anything.” Corr, who is 65 years old, now comes to the sessions four times a week!

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