So what is the science behind Orange Theory Fitness (OTF)? Most OTF members have heard of the E.P.O.C principle or the Energy Post Oxygen Consumption rate. This is the “after burn” effect and the reason calories are still burned even the following day after a workout. While this is a great benefit of an OTF workout there is even more science behind an OTF workout than just the after burn concept. There are numerous other benefits that come with a high intensity interval workout
OTF is based on high interval training or HIIT. HIIT is defined as a workout consisting of short duration high intensity interval bouts performed between 80-95% of the exerciser’s maximum heart rate followed by an interval at a lower intensity. Some of the other benefits of HIIT include an increase of fat and carbohydrate burning enzymes, increase fitness level, and a high adherence rate to the workout program.
Subjects who participated in high intensity interval training showed an increase in fat and carbohydrate oxidation (Perry, Heigenhauser, Bonen, & Spriet, 2008). Fat oxidation is the mechanism the body uses to break down fats into energy for the body. Carbohydrate oxidation is the breakdown of glucose and fructose in the tissues of the body to be able to use as energy. This means that the body is able to breakdown fats and carbohydrates faster with the effects of high intensity interval training.
HIIT was also found to be to reduce body mass index, body fat percentage, decrease blood pressure and increase peak oxygen pulse. This means that HIIT is extremely effective in reducing cardiovascular risk factors that lead to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome. HIIT leads to a greater quality and longer life. Thanks to an Orange Theory workout you are receiving these incredible benefits with every workout!
Perry, C. G., Heigenhauser, G. J., Bonen, A., & Spriet, L. L. (2008). High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 33(6), 1112-1123.