Orangetheory-type workout @ home



As you may have heard, Orangetheory Fitness is all the rage these days.  If not, you must live under a rock!

The science behind this type of workout focuses on post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).  They give you a heart-rate monitor and POD and then monitor your session, which takes you through 60 minutes of interval workouts.

According to their website, the goal is to get you to “produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate” (orange zone) for a stimulated metabolism and increased energy.  But the best part is the “afterburn” effect, which allows your body to maintain an increased metabolic rate for up to 36 hours post-workout!  So, the harder you work, the longer you will be in the orange zone, and the more calories you will burn!


If you haven’t tried OTF, I highly recommend it, and if nothing more, at least trying out the free class or even the free week trial they offer.  I did just that but when I saw how much money the classes cost per month and that they didn’t offer childcare, I was bummed that my OTF experience would have to come to an end.

But…I wouldn’t say that was actually the end to my super intense Orangetheory-like workouts.  I just started doing them on my own, both at home and in the gym I pay only $20 a month for!

All you need to get started is a heart rate monitor (HRM), an app that is compatible with whichever HRM you choose. I prefer to use one that uses a chest strap but the wrist watch ones are decent too.

HRM watch
HRM watch

You can do this workout on the treadmill or you can walk/jog/run outside if you prefer.  Ideally, to get the closest to an actual OTF workout, you would also need to have a rowing machine and some free weights, but you can modify that with some extra cardio/strength workouts such as burpees, and using your own body weight instead of weights is also another option.

Also, I typically follow the block times exactly when I am on the treadmill, but tend to not be as diligent when I am doing the rowing machine and free weights, and often just do 2-3 sets of each exercise before beginning the next block.  Does this make sense?  But if you want to follow it exactly like OTF…

Here is a breakdown of one of the OTF-inspired workouts I do on my own at the gym:

free weights treadmill






Block 1:

I usually like to start out on the treadmill for the first block, which is 12 minutes long and goes like this:

  • 3 min. warmup (target heart rate – % max = 61-70)
  • 2 min. base (target heart rate – % max = 71-83)
  • 3 min. push (target heart rate – % max = 84-91)2 min. base (target heart rate – % max = 71-83)
  • 1 min. all-out effort (target heart rate – % max = 84-100)
  • 1 min. walk

Next, I do a 12 minute rotation of the rowing machine and 3 different workouts (2-4 rounds).

  • Row 250m
  • Kettlebell swings x 8 (each side)
  • Reverse lunges with 40 lb weighted bar x 15
  • Chest press using TRX bands x 15
  • Repeat

Once I have gotten through these three exercises, I get back on the rowing machine for another 250m and then try to get through as many of the weight exercises as I can before my 12 minutes is up.

Block 2:

This block was slightly shorter at 9 minutes on treadmill and 9 minutes of rowing/free weights, and it goes like this:

1 min. base
2 min. push
1 min. base
2 min. push
1 min. base
1 min. all-out
1 min walk

Followed by as many rounds as possible of the following in 9 minutes:

  • row 100m
  • 10 squat, bicep curl, shoulder press, using 15 lb dumbbells, (each side)
  • row 200m
  • 10 squat, bicep curl, shoulder press
  • row 300m
  • 10 squat, bicep curl, shoulder press
  • row 400
  • 10 squat, bicep curl, shoulder press
  • Repeat

Block 3:

This block is the shortest (THANK GOODNESS!) at 6 minutes on treadmill and 6 mins of rowing/free weights:

  • 1 min. all out
  • 1 min. walk
  • 1 min. all-out
  • 1 min. walk
  • 1 min. all-out
  • 1 min walk

Followed by as many rounds as possible in 6 minutes of the following:

  • Row 200m
  • Plank position straight-arm kickback x10 (each arm)
  • Row 100m
  • 10 jump squats with TRX suspension cable
  • Row 200m
  • Tricep dips on bench x 10
  • Repeat

Let me tell you, if you don’t like to sweat then this is not the workout for you.  By block three I am usually telling myself that I am about to die. No joke.

I also look like I have just been pushed into a swimming pool, and I’m sure I probably smelled like something not pretty.  But…I feel SO amazing once I am done, and I continue to feel amazing as I sit on the couch and tell myself that I shouldn’t feel bad about the brownie I am about to devour because I worked my butt off!  Hey, I’m only human.

Here are what the results look like from the Digifit app:
(Again, I typically go a little over an hour because I don’t necessarily always time my row/weight segments like I should.)

otfresults otftimeinzonesotfchart







In case you have no clue where to start as far as purchasing a heart-rate monitor, the one I use and love is the Jarv Run BT.  It is compatible with several different fitness apps but the one I like, that gives you the most OTF-like results chart, is called Digifit.  I downloaded it from iTunes and paid the extra one-time fee of $7.99 for the pro version.

If you decide to try this workout, let me know what you think in the comments below!



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