It was a serendipitous encounter with Orangetheory Fitness that led Stephanie Cronk to open her first franchise location in Lexington. “Three years ago while traveling in South Florida we [Cronk and her husband] popped into an Orangetheory Fitness for a workout and fell in love, especially after talking with the staff and finding out how every workout is scientifically based,” says Cronk.
Cronk spent over 25 years in the medical industry as a Physician’s Assistant. During that time she became all too familiar with patients’ health struggles. As time passed Cronk found herself becoming increasingly passionate about the role of fitness and education as preventative measures.
Cronk’s fiery passion for fitness and education has only grown with the success of the Lexington based Orangetheory Fitness so she decided to open up a location in West Chester to support Tri-staters in their fitness needs and goals. Orangetheory Fitness is designed for all fitness levels whether you are a seasoned athlete, enthusiast or absolute beginner. “I’ve had classes where I’m running on a treadmill next to a 70 year old beginner and both of us are being pushed to our target heart rate,” Cronk says.
According to Cronk, heart rate is a large part of what makes Orangetheory Fitness uniquely effective. During the 60-minute workout participants perform multiple intervals which are designed to have them reach 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84 percent or higher of their maximum heart rate. Reaching this target heart rate puts you in the “orange zone.” This zone drives excess post-exercise oxygen (EPOC) otherwise known as “afterburn.”
Afterburn is the process in which your body continues to burn calories post-workout. According to Cronk, “the goal of each session is to get participants to reach the orange zone for 12-20 minutes which creates up to 36 hours of afternburn.” In order to maintain the most engaging fitness experience each class is limited to 24 participates who are then split in half. Each class cycles through intervals of cardio, indoor rowing and weight/resistance training. The heart rate monitor worn by each class member displays their statistics, such as zone and calories burned on 60-inch TV monitors so they can track their progress. Each workout is different in order to keep things interesting and to avoid plateaus. “Every workout is designed by a team of Kinesiologists, burning a minimum of 500 calories,” Cronk says.
A large part of what keeps Orangetheory’s workouts cutting edge is their highly qualified professional trainers. Prior to becoming part of the Orangetheory Fitness team each trainer must be certified by an accredited institute and then pass “a rigorous Orangetheory Fit certification program with master trainers,” Cronk says. In addition, Cronk conveyed that each of her trainers has several years of experience as a group fitness instructor.
Highly experienced trainers is just one benefit of the studio. Membership also includes the exclusive Orangetheory App, which allows you to stay in contact with the studio between workouts, reserve a spot in class and displays your workout statistics. The app also has a heart monitor, which allows members to track their heart rate for workouts outside the studio.
As February comes to an end, Cronk says her team is gearing up for their March 25 grand opening. Future members of the studio are getting prepped for the big opening, too. “Individuals joining Orangetheory Fitness West Chester between now and March 24 benefit from pre-opening rates,” she adds.
Orangetheory Fitness is located at 7641 Voice of America Centre Drive in West Chester. To learn more, visit their website or call (513) 718-2535