Debunking Orange Theory’s “theory”.

Wednesday September 4, 2019

Debunking Orange Theory’s “theory”.

Using “Science backed heart rate training” as it states on the OT website is not anything actually backed by science at all.  Orange theory (and other projected heart rate fitness programs) is misleading the exercising public by informing them that working out at a certain target heart rate for a period of time is going to make them lose weight and become “fit”.  Most of OT members might say targeted heart rate fitness worked at first but shortly after stopping the program they gained the weight right back and those who continued the program became weaker.  This is because the program is incomplete and lacks some serious components.  Where are the major lifts to support healthy bones and joints?  Where is the neurological exercises to support speed and quick reaction time?  Where are the stability and balance movements? That’s OT’s problem: these components are nowhere to be found.

The whole idea of targeted heart rate fitness is that the athlete’s heart rate is projected up on a screen so the athlete and everyone else can see inconclusive pointless data.  Even the doctors behind the max heart rate theory think it should not be use in fitness training program. Dr. Haskell was quoted saying *”I’ve kind of laughed about it over the years.” “The formula”, he said, ”was never supposed to be an absolute guide to rule people’s training.” “But”, he said, ”It’s so typical of Americans to take an idea and extend it beyond what it was originally intended for.”

 The formula he is talking about is max Heart rate equation (HRmax = 220 – Age). 

The intent that Haskell is referring to was to monitor exercise within heart disease patients and watch the rate in the which heart rate fell after the exercise was complete. It was never intended to convince people that they should stay in a certain color on a screen to achieve optimal health. We have learned that only a complete training program can help you reach optimal health.

Don’t be fooled by the colors on the screen or the “data” you receive at the end of or during your workout, the data adds no value to your workout; it’s just smoke and mirrors.  Look at the completeness of the program when choosing a workout routine, if you are going to invest an hour of your time, you should get the best bang for your buck!


*Kolata, Gina (2001-04-24). ‘Maximum’ Heart Rate Theory Is Challenged. New York Times.
Written by Matthew Souza