The Orange Theory

July 11, 2014 | South Tampa Magazine | Categories: Editorial, Health & Fitness | Tags: David Long, Ellen Lathem, European Wax Center, Jerome Kern, Massage Envy, Orangetheory Fitness, Terry Blachek

The Nation’s Newest Revolutionary Fitness Studio Has Tampa Roots


You can call it a fitness studio and even a specialty group training facility; just don’t call Orangetheory Fitness a gym. As one of the fastest-growing boutique fitness franchises in the country, this Florida-based company is revolutionizing the average everyday workout.

The brainchild behind this new exercise regimen is Tampa resident Terry Blachek, who partnered with personal trainer Ellen Lathem from Davie, Fla. back in 2010 and David Long and Jerome Kern of Massage Envy and the European Wax Center to introduce this new take on staying in shape and losing weight.


Lathem was receiving tremendous success with a new high-intensity training program that was causing her client-base to burn up to 1,000 calories in a 60-minute workout session. After witnessing the results first hand, Blachek knew this ultimate workout would be the future of weight loss and fitness in the country.

Orangetheory Fitness started with just grassroots viral marketing that included locking orange-painted bikes all over town. After a few weeks, Blachek would mail thousands of postcards to locals with a headline asking, “What’s up with those orange bikes?” The idea was to create some buzz before introducing the studio to locals.

Thus far, his theory on fitness is proving correct. After seeing success in his South Florida locations, Blachek has sold 77 franchises across the U.S. and Canada, with more than 30 already up and running.

The workout concept is fairly simple. Clients purchase a spot in a group training session through the company’s website. Each studio has anywhere from 55-60 classes available everyday from 5am-8pm. Before the workout begins, they’re connected to a heart rate monitor, as well as a television monitor that is displayed prominently for all clients to watch during their workout.

Every session is coached by at least one personal trainer and custom tailored to your age and current fitness level. The trainer leads the class through various interval exercises that gradually increase their heart rates to what’s called the Orange 60, a targeted zone of 84-percent or higher that results in higher caloric burn. By staying at that rate for 12-20 minutes, clients have an increased metabolic rate that can burn 200-400 extra calories in the 24-36 hours after your workout.

To get these results, Orangetheory Fitness only uses low-impact, total body movement exercises and equipment, including rowing machines, treadmills and resistance bands. Throughout the session they can even view their progress on the television monitors, which Blachek says instills motivation and competition between the participants.


“The results are resounding,” he says. “Our male clients lose anywhere from 40-50 pounds in 6 weeks and the women lose anywhere from 20-25 pounds in 6 weeks.”

Blachek won’t predict how far Orangetheory Fitness will spread but given the rate of its current success, it’s plain to see that this workout phenomenon has nowhere to go but up.

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