Orangetheory Fitness is one of the gyms helping Oxford residents get in shape for spring

Coach Eric

Coach Eric Williams in action at the studio. Photo by Rachel DePaolo.

Rachel DePaolo 
Oxford Stories 

Spring will be here before you know it. That means many Mississippians will be heading to the gym to work out and become more healthy. Some seek encouragement on their fitness journey.

Mackenzie Tranberg, a senior at Ole Miss, has been a member of Orangetheory Fitness for three years and attends three to four classes a week.

““I like Orangetheory because it is more than just coming to a gym and working out,” she said. “It is a family.”

Tranberg said no matter the age, everybody is there to improve their lives and motivate each other. 

“What drew me to Orangetheory was the cardio and the ability to see my heartrate, and knowing every class is going to be different,” she said. “I have noticed my running is a lot stronger, and I am stronger. I feel physically stronger, mentally more driven and motivated, emotionally happy after workouts and (have) a feeling of accomplishment.”

Eric Williams, head coach of Orangetheory Fitness in Oxford, has been coaching four years. A track athlete in college while earning his degree in science, Williams saw the benefits Orangetheory provided for the community, and decided to join the team.

According to the Orangetheory website, it is a “science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside out.”

The workouts are designed to be challenging, and the owners believe: “You shouldn’t live to exercise. You should exercise to live.”

“More life is what Orangetheory means to me,” said Williams. “That is the motto the company as a whole stands by, and it is one that really sticks with me.”

Orangetheory focuses on building a community that enables members to connect with each other. Empowerment, excitement, and encouragement are the three Ess for fitness group training that Orangetheory strives to achieve.

Orangetheory starts the class by making sure the coach and members engage with each other.

“Before every class, the coach stands at the door and high fives or fist bumps as the members walk in,” Williams said. “Personal touches go a long way. As a coach, I have to be able to go up to a member and help them, and also encourage them while they are in the Orange eye.”

The “Orange eye” gets the members’ heart rates above 84 percent for 12 minutes or more to burn calories post workout. Each workout challenges members with three levels; a base, a push, and an all-out.

  • The base rate is the rate a member could do for a full 30 minutes. 
  • The push rate is the rate that challenges members a little more, and helps members get into the “Orange eye” a little bit.
  • The all-out rate is when members give it all they have. This rate will really allow members to get into that “Orange eye.”
Base, push, all out rate

Inside Orange theory’s studio defining the different levels. Photo by Rachel DePaolo.

For front desk employee Brianna Florian, Orangetheory means bringing the community together and making Oxford healthier as a whole.

“With being the first person a member sees when they come into the studio, I always make sure to have a smile on my face and have good energy,”  Florian said. “Energy transfers, and if a simple smile can help turn a member’s day around and have a little more encouragement to have a better workout, I want to make sure I do that, even if it is before 5 a.m. workout.”

Outside Orange Theory

Outside of Orange theory. Photo by Rachel DePaolo.

Orangetheory switches up the workouts, so no member will feel like they are doing the same workout every single day. The only time a member would ever do the same workout is during a benchmark, where a member can check in on their personal growth.

Each workout is designed to be a complete body workout, but they allow each member to go at their own pace. No member has to run. Members can walk, bike, or just jog. Each workout is the same throughout Orangetheory studios. A workout a member might do at 5 a.m. in Oxford is the same workout a member will do at 7:45 p.m. in Dallas.

Oxford’s Orangetheory studio is home to 660 members, Williams said. “We offer 12 classes a day and about 64 a week, depending on Saturdays and Sundays. Orangetheory is open to anybody over the age of 14 and up to any age. The oldest member Oxford has is 80 years old.”

If you’d like to sample Orangetheory, the managers say they will be having popup workouts in Lamar Park that are open to the community.

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