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Orangetheory Fitness Red Deer

Last Friday, I arranged for a mini blog squad workout with Lindsey and Laura at the newly opened Orangetheory Fitness Red Deer, before heading across the street for a cocktail. Do we know how to kick off a long weekend, or what?

Despite knowing the general format of an OTF workout, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a ‘regular’ class (currently this facility doesn’t do private classes like I experienced at my first OTF class). We arrived half an hour early to fill out our client intake and get a rundown on what our workout would look like. The cool thing about OTF is that every studio is designed and layout out exactly the same.


IMG_5911The biggest difference right off the bat, however, was that we were outfitted with heart rate monitors worn on our forearms, rather than the chest strap style I had tried in Calgary. We were told that the give a more accurate readout, especially during rowing where the chest strap may come off your body with the forward reaching movement. I did notice that once I got nice and sweaty in the workout, my forearm band would slip down. It was definitely more comfortable then the chest strap so I must say, I preferred this style of monitor.

Our trainer, Kevin (who may have won me over with his cute accent by the end of the class), gave us a whirlwind rundown of what to expect that made my head spin before saying that we’d get the hang of it once we got going. He wasn’t wrong, we did figure it out. I do appreciate that they take the time to go over the class format and how the equipment works prior to class starting to ease the ‘newbies’ in, even if our introduction felt a bit rushed.


Before we knew it we were on the rowers completing a 1km row. Once upon a time when I was an avid Crossfitter, I perfected my rowing form and from my last OTF class in Calgary, felt like it came right back to me, rowing with ease throughout my workout. This time, however, Kevin kept a watchful eye on me and kept stopping me to show me what I was doing wrong. It was definitely frustrating because I felt like I was doing it right! Despite my slight annoyance, I really appreciate that OTF trainers are able to give you tips to help your form, keep you safe and improve your abilities. It’s not often that you get that kind of personalized attention in a group fitness class.

After we completed our 1km row, we headed to the weight area to complete our floor circuits. This consisted of

  • 12 overhead TRX pulls
  • 12 seated balance bicep curls
  • 12 ISO lunge with shoulder press/side
  • 20 total alternating plank rows
  • 12 supermans
  • 250 metre row
  • Repeat as many times until time was up.


While we completed our floor series, the other half of the class was working on the treadmills. The treadmill portion consisted of intervals between base pace and push pace, with only one all out sprint at the end. I kept my pace at the very low end of the jogger level, since I was running a race the Sunday and didn’t want my legs to be totally fatigued. Regardless, the formula for these workouts leaves you dripping with sweat.


I ended up with the perfect number of splat points in the end, which I learned represented a fat cell exploding! Boom! I had no regrets about following up this workout with a cold brew, knowing I burned almost 600 calories and would continue burning calories with the after-burn affect. It’s really quite amazing reading about the science behind these workouts.


While some may look at the cost of these classes as being high ($28 per drop in, $360 for 20 classes, etc), I think the value justifies it indefinitely. I feel as though you’re receiving the same benefit you would from a personal training session, but in a group environment. The trainers are attentive to your needs and genuinely interested in helping you succeed in your goals. You can’t get that level of attention from other group fitness classes.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend going online to book. Your first class is free, so you’ve really got nothing to lose (save for some calories and fat cells).

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  • May 26, 2016 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Oh! I like the wrist bands way better than the chest strap! I agree – they are such a great workout. I feel like I have pushed myself hard after class and it’s a good feeling. I wish there was one that was a little closer to my house.

    • May 26, 2016 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Definitely, especially with the running, there’s no way I’d push myself to those all out paces on my own.

  • May 26, 2016 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    I loved the workout too! I really liked that it included running so can easily be part of race training too. Thanks again for setting this up!

    • May 26, 2016 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Heck yeah. Good way to get in speed work in my mind!!

  • May 26, 2016 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    so cute. so so cute.

    and thanks for the numerous pep talks and making sure i didn’t die.

  • May 26, 2016 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    I LOVE Orange Theory!!!! Can’t wait for it to open here! The wrist monitor is awesome! I love that you can use it for other workouts, outside of class, and then upload your results to an app too!!

  • Jade
    May 26, 2016 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I have read that the chest strap ones are more accurate versus the wrist. I had a garmin with a chest heart rate and felt it was pretty accurate minus sometimes when it would slip (which was rare – even with rowing!). The battery or something died in it and because it was so old I figured I’d jump on the fitbit train and got one that has a wrist monitor. I find it really not accurate unless I am running or walking. I do crossfit and the other day I was really working out hard, took a peak at my heart rate (i’m prego so I figured it was a little bit too high) but the wrist said it was like 110… I felt my own heart rate and was like, that is in no way accurate! Long winded comment to say, they may think it is more accurate but I don’t think so!

    • May 26, 2016 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      These we wore on our forearm, not our wrists like other HRM. So I’m not sure if that makes a difference. But given the science behind the workouts and equipment, I’m trusting of their advice.

  • May 26, 2016 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE that you had an optical HR instead of a chest strap!

    I feel like it would be way more comfortable and less gross to share.

  • Alison
    May 26, 2016 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I love the wrist monitors versus out chest ones!! I found it a bit uncomfy. I love that you were again! I did love the workout. Yours seems to have much better drop in rates. Cute trainers always help!!

    • May 26, 2016 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes I definitely don’t like the chest strap enough. I really need to find a way to make OTF a regular occurance for me. $28 isn’t TERRIBLE for a drop in. It’s high but not bad considering the level of training you receive.

  • May 27, 2016 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Nice work on your splat points!! The wrist HR monitor is cool…personally, the chest one didn’t bother me once it was on as I didn’t even notice it. It would be neat to wear both at the same time and see if the numbers come out the same…

    • May 27, 2016 - 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that would be interesting actually to see how they compare. I wonder if that’s allowed lol

  • May 29, 2016 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I’d probably try it again, but not for the $$$ it costs:( I like the forearm monitor though!!

  • Shelby
    May 31, 2016 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Honestly I would not recommend this gym to anyone! My bf signed up in the pre sign up a month or so before they opened their Red Deer, AB location and he was told if he cancelled within the first month he would be refunded. He went to his first class and they turned him away because he did not arrive 30 min prior to the class starting, when he called to book in no one told him to come early, he was not contacted to tell him to come early, then he’s tried to book in other times and their classes were always full. He phoned them to cancel and he was told he was 3 days late for the refund, the company charged him for this month and also told him he was 3 days late for his “months” notice to cancel. So he’s paying their membership for 3 months and will not be using any of it. I was planning on signing up this fall and can tell you I will not be going there. I cannot believe their brand new company is so greasy that they used a 3 day technicality to charge someone for 3 months when they haven’t been able to get into a class once! The manager even admitted that most of the classes book up and people can’t get in. Seems like they are over selling memberships to make a few extra dollars if you ask me. It’s pretty bad that they charge people even when they want to cancel and they admit to them that the classes are always full so basically told us yup we will take your money and we know you won’t be able to get in anyways.

    • May 31, 2016 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I’ve had extremely good service from the owner and staff that I’ve dealt with. Understandably classes are full, but they do allow you to book your class well in advance and cancel closer to if you are unable to make it and I believe they have been adding new class times as well. I don’t believe they were just out to get your money. From my experience they are truly passionate about their business and helping people fall in love with the workout and reach their goals. I would bring your concerns forward to Rocky, who should be able to help find a resolution.

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