When local Jewish businessman Mitchell Heft invited me to come visit his new Orangetheory Fitness studio on Somerled Avenue in NDG, near Madison, I was curious.
I arrived at 7:30 pm to the facility, which previously housed a large Russian bakery. Orangetheory is a one hour, full body workout, focused on training endurance, strength, and power. They use heart-rate based interval training, which burns more calories post workout than traditional exercise. When wearing their exclusive OTbeat heart rate monitors, the real time results of clients are displayed on large screens throughout the studio. Intensity is based on the person’s individual heart rate zones, making the workout effective for all fitness levels. To top it off, certified coaches like Côte Saint-Luc’s Melanie Shernofsky lead the workout to prevent you from over or under training.
On this day Melanie had arrived at work by 5:45 am for her first class.
There are 1,100 Orangetheory locations in 19 countries. Heft and his partner Cynthia Brunner met at the Pointe Claire franchise. Heft was working out and Brunner was a trainer, When they decided to open their own studio they needed to find out what territories were not already occupied by other Orangetheory franchisees. The NDG-Côte Saint-Luc-Hampstead-Montreal West sector was available. They soon landed the 3,200 square foot Somerled storefront and after pouring in the necessary $750,000 investment to bring the premises up to Orangetheory standards they opened last fall.
Business keeps improving, with people of all ages signing on. A women’s only class, which could appeal to members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, may start soon.
Orangetheory is geared toward all levels of fitness, and everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace. They recommend signing up for a free* introductory workout, then discussing any thoughts or questions you may have regarding your fitness goals with a coach before class.
The workout room has a variety of equipment, including treadmills (bikes and striders as alternatives), WaterRowers, and floor equipment, including dumbbells, benches, TRX suspension trainers, medicine balls, BOSU trainers, and Ab Dolly’s.
There are a variety of membership options. Just call 514.500.5464 or log on to www.orangetheoryfitness.ca . The address is 6275 Somerled Avenue.