Look out, CrossFit, there’s a new workout in town. The first Orangetheory Fitness Studio on Long Island opened in East Northport in 2012 and now half a dozen studios around the Island are offering locals a chance to meet their fitness goals. I caught up with Long Island Area Representative Nick Galanis of Dix Hills to find out what happens in Orangetheory studios across Long Island, how the program is designed and why workout newbies shouldn’t be afraid to try it.
Long Island Pulse: From CrossFit gyms to yoga studios, there’s no shortage of fitness options for Long Islanders. Why is Orangetheory special? How is it not just another workout fad?
Nick Galanis: Orangetheory is special because the workout is individualized for each participant based on their own unique ability and the goals they wish to achieve. We are definitely not a fad, and the main reason is because we become family. We call ourselves FitFam. You belong to something special when you become a member at one of our studios. Between the front staff, fitness coaches and members a camaraderie is formed. We have members of the month, specialty workouts like 80s night where everybody gets dressed up and studio outings and often hold charity events to help raise money for worthy causes.
Pulse: What is an Orangetheory workout like?
Galanis: A big part of what we do is based in science. The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory Fitness workout is known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” or EPOC. By providing each member with a heart-rate monitor, we can monitor their five-zone interval training sessions. During the 60-minute workout, participants will perform a mixture of cardiovascular and resistance training in unique ways each day. These workouts are designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is zone four of the five heart-rate zones. Zone four is the orange zone. If those results are achieved, then you have reached EPOC. This means your body will continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours after the workout. The results our members have been getting are amazing. If you combine the calories burned during class with the after-burn, the results can average 500-plus calories per workout.
Pulse: What if someone is new to working out? Will they still feel comfortable in a class?
Galanis: Orangetheory Fitness is for all fitness levels. You are working hard for yourself and trying to improve each time on the results you achieved the previous time you were there. Our fitness coaches get to know you and get to understand what your goals are. If you have any restrictions [they] make modifications for you. They take a personal interest in you.
Pulse: If someone is coming to a session for the first time, how should they prepare and what should they bring?
Galanis: They should arrive 30 minutes before class with comfortable gym attire, a towel, water bottle and a positive attitude. They will get set up with the heart-rate monitor, meet the coach and go over their goals and the elements in the class so they are comfortable with the language. The personal group coach will pay close attention to them during that first group session so they don’t need to worry that much if they need help with an explanation. All our coaches are certified and have been through the Orangetheory Fitness certification. They have a wealth of knowledge on the workout.
Pulse: Let’s hear about your instructors. Are they more drill sergeants, fun loving or something in between?
Galanis: I will never have enough words for our coaches and how much they mean to me. They each come with something different. They have their own unique personalities and you get to experience something different with each one of them. They care about the members and stay after class to answer questions and have such strong desire to ensure these members reach their goals. Do not expect anybody to scream in your face, but expect to be challenged. Expect some high energy and great music. Above all, expect to leave that studio feeling accomplished and that you did something great today.
Pulse: Tell me about your Long Island locations. Are there plans to keep growing in the area?
Galanis: Our current locations from west to east include Rockville Centre, Massapequa, Carle Place, Syosset, Melville and East Northport. We have actually just signed leases to open in East Meadow and Stony Brook and are close to another one in Bethpage as well. We have plans on having 12 to 15 studios in the next few years and then to head out to the Hamptons right after.