If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a bit of a gym snob – a great workout aside, it also helps if the gym looks slick. This is probably part of the reason why I never really considered trying Orangetheory (OTF). I’m glad I was proven wrong by my preconceptions and tried the new studio in Hong Kong though, it’s probably one of the more underrated workouts in town and will be giving the two locations in London a spin soon!
It’s free for first timers, but booking your free trial isn’t as straightforward as it could be – you need to wait for a rep to book you in after entering your details online, so plan ahead if you’re planning on visiting.
The studio was in a trendy skyscraper in Causeway Bay and had a great view of the city – I can only imagine how beautiful it must look training here in the evenings.
The format of the workout was nothing new – you spend half your time doing strength and the other half doing cardio, different workout combinations depending on the day of the week. But what I loved about it was the focus on endurance and maintaining your heart rate above a certain level and being held accountable to it. Again they’re not exactly pioneers in using heart rate monitors in class, as more and more workouts use them as part of training (see UN1T, F45 etc), but it was good to have everyone wear them instead of the dedicated few. The goal is to stay in the green zone for as long as possible (71-83%) and in the orange zone (>74%) for at least 12 minutes to maximise your EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) in theory.
The strength section of the workout was upper body and core, and the cardio section consisted of two blocks alternating between the tread and the rower – 600m row followed by a 6 min run, increasing 1% every minute and repeat until you finish the first 12 min block; then 300m row followed by a 6 min run, again increasing 1% every minute and repeat until the end of the second 12 min block. After the workout, the trainer took a good 10 minutes to explain our results and offered advice on things we should work on – something not many would do.
I liked that it was manageable and scalable – I was fighting a heavy cold when I tried this out but still managed to push myself to stay in the orange zone for 20 minutes.
The only thing is their drop in rate – as with most places in Hong Kong as they prefer memberships over individual classes or packages – is pretty hefty once you’ve done your free class.
Sweat index: 8-10
Classes: All classes are an hour long, with some 45 minute-lunch time slots.
Price: Free trial for first timers, $390 for a single class. They encourage buying multipacks and memberships, information available upon request.
Amenities: Showers, towels, toiletries, hair dryers and hair ties provided.
Address: 23/F, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong