HINSDALE – There aren't many workouts that match Jacquie Fowler's energy and enthusiasm for life and fitness, but Orangetheory manages to take on the tall task.
"You'll literally be high-fiving on the treadmill," said the Hinsdale resident, who is now the owner of an Orangetheory franchise location. "I burn more calories and have more fun in this class than any other work out I do."
Fowler, a former nurse and healthcare consultant, is set to open the Orangetheory Fitness studio location at 894 75th St. in Willowbrook starting in May, but it was a 2013 trip California when Fowler that spurned her love for the brand and the workout regimen.
"We went [to one class] and that was it… I was a hooked," Fowler said.
Orangetheory Fitness is a "personal group workout" that's broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training using treadmills, rowing machines and free weights.
Fowler said everyone wears a heart rate monitor, which displays participants' beats per minute throughout the studio in order to show the range each person is working in. Even though Orangetheory participants exercise in groups, the instructor monitors and exercises alongside individuals as they progress through the stations.
Following initial stretching and warmup zones, each workout is designed so that participants spend 25-35 minutes in zone three (fat burning zone) and 12-20 minutes in zone four – the orange zone (burning both fat and carbs).
Fowler explained that the whole concept is exercise post oxygen consumption, or, "the orange effect."
"The science is, when you work hard, when you spend between 12 and 20 minutes in that zone four, you're consuming more oxygen over the next 36 hours, which means your metabolic rate is higher," she said.
"Even though you're not doing anything, you may not step onto a treadmill or do anything for the next 36 hours, you continue to burn calories, so that's why people are loving this program."
In traditional workouts, Fowler said one of the problems people run into is when they do repetition they hit a plateau, so the body can't respond because it's used to the regimen.
But that's not the case with Orangetheory, according to Fowler.
"There are 2,800 different workouts," she said. "You will never do the same one twice, so you never hit a plateau."
"You can come for three years in a row and never hit that plateau because your body is doing different things and you're challenging it in different ways."
Fowler said Orangetheory Fitness is for everyone, regardless of age or athleticism.
During a recent demonstration, Fowler ran on the treadmill with an professional athlete striding to her left and a a 70-year-old – who was rehabbing from knee replacement surgery – was on her right. The pro athlete ran at a six-minute mile clip, while Fowler was around 10 minutes-per-mile and the 70-year-old was walking on an incline.
"We all had a very different workout, but when you look at the end of the class at our profiles, what zones we were in, we all had the same impact to our own bodies because it was based on our own fitness levels and own endurance," she said.
Folwer recommends three one-hour classes a week, explaining that the typical person will see results after three or four weeks, and after 12 weeks will participants will see "a whole new you."
Fowler has always had an interest in fitness, but it was after retiring from her career in the healthcare field that she was able to pursue her passion. Eventually she wants to open three or four studios in Illinois.
"To be able to tie my entrepreneurial spirit with something that I'm so passionate about it just awesome," she said.
Orangetheory Fitness Studio
Location: 894 75th St., Willowbrook
Grand opening: The studio in Willowbrook will open in early May. Grand opening festivities include giveaways, as well as the kick-off to Orangetheory Fitness’ “Six-Week Weight Loss Challenge.” The participant with the highest percent of weight loss will walk away with $2,500.