A Guide to Why Heart Rate-Based Interval Training Works.
Interval training is quickly spilling into the mainstream. In particular, Orangetheory Fitness' heart rate-based interval training is making some serious waves throughout health and fitness circles. This new style of workout is centered on pushing oneself to varying degrees of physical activity for brief periods of time.
What is Orangetheory Fitness?
This style of workout lasts for an hour or less and pushes participants toward the “Orange Zone”. The workout generates “Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption” (EPOC). This state of oxygen consumption burns calories following the workout and provides substantial physical fitness results.
Here is how it works: Participants exercise for brief periods of time. They enjoy a short rest and then ramp the intensity right back up for another workout session. Orangetheory Fitness activities include jogging, running, sprinting, biking and anything else involving cardiovascular activity. As an example, an Orangetheory Fitness class starts out with participants running for a few minutes at a moderate pace. They then segue to a short break followed by a couple of more minutes of running at a faster pace. These minutes get the heart rate up and make the participants feel the burn. Another short rest follows. After this break, the Orangetheory Fitness participants embark on another exercise session of an all-out sprint. The session is finished with a couple of minutes of regular walking to return the heart rate to normal.
Why Orangetheory Fitness Training is Popular
This style of interval training has generated significant buzz for good reason. Studies show that exercising with the same movements and rates of intensity over and over again causes the body to plateau. As an example, running a couple of miles every other day at a fast pace will eventually produce little benefit. These plateaus occur as a natural result of the human body's design. If the body is pushed to the same limits with the same styles of motion over and over again, it treats the activity as habitual and reaps little benefit.
Orangetheory Fitness is comparably dynamic. Its repetition of intense exercise sessions followed by short breaks keeps the body guessing. Numerous physical fitness studies have found that maximum health benefit is derived from achieving a fast heart rate rather than maintaining a fast heart rate over an extended period of time. Orangetheory Fitness is centered on achieving a fast heart rate several times spaced out in between periods of rest.
Interval training requires less time and energy than most traditional workouts. There is no sense in investing an hour or more in a long jog or gym session several times a week if it does not produce significant health benefits. As noted above, adhering to a strict physical fitness regimen causes the body to plateau and obtain little-to-no benefit from exercise. Alternatively, interval training produces clear benefits as it switches up the exercise regimen. Interval training allows participants to take short breaks in between intense exercise sessions so they don't feel overly fatigued. Give Orangetheory Fitness training a try, reach the Orange Zone and you will find it is much easier to complete the rest of your day than it would have been had you engaged in the typical grueling workout at the gym.
Orangetheory Fitness is More Enjoyable Than Traditional Workouts
Studies show that high-intensity interval training is more enjoyable than traditional exercise regimens. It is no fun to push oneself to the max each workout session without breaks mixed in. Interval training's frequent breaks give participants something to look forward to. It is much easier to go “all out” when the prospect of a break looms. Also, consider the fact that Orangetheory Fitness workouts are regularly altered. No two interval training workouts are exactly the same. The style of cardio can change as well as the timing of activity sessions/breaks. This is a stark contrast compared to the typical workout that involves the same movements over and over again without much variety.
Orangetheory Fitness Heart Rate Monitors
Orangetheory Fitness incorporates heart rate monitors to determine if participants are going hard enough and resting properly during recovery periods. These heart rate monitors analyze one's pace and effort, producing specific data that serves to guide progression.
For example, an Orangetheory treadmill session has a base pace between 71-83 percent of one's maximum heart rate. The push pace is 84-91 percent of the maximum heart rate. The “all out” sprint pace is 84-100 percent of one's maximum heart rate. The heart rate monitors produce accurate information that guides participants through their Orangetheory Fitness workouts. This data is conveniently presented on a large screen so participants can gauge their average heart rate, calories burned etc. The exercise gurus at Orangetheory Fitness even go as far as sending a personalized training report to participants after each session so they can quantify their progress.