RubmdFitnessFeel the Burn with Orangetheory's Inferno Workout

Feel the Burn with Orangetheory’s Inferno Workout

Orangetheory Fitness has cemented it’s spot as one of the most popular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Their intense 60-minute sessions blend cardio and strength training to send your metabolism skyrocketing. The Inferno is one of their toughest templates that will have you feeling the burn. So what exactly does this fiery workout entail? Read on to find out if you have what it takes to brave the Inferno!

What is Orangetheory Fitness?

Before diving into the Inferno, let’s take a quick look at what Orangetheory Fitness is all about. Founded in 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Orangetheory has grown rapidly across the US and worldwide. Their workouts incorporate endurance, strength and power elements through treadmill running/walking, indoor rowing and floor exercises using free weights, TRX suspension straps and more.

Certified coaches take members through HIIT-style workouts using heart rate data. The goal is to hit at least 12 splat points during the 60-minute session, which occurs when your heart rate surges at least 20 beats per minutes (BPM) above your resting rate. This spike in intensity followed by active recovery is said to lead to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). That’s a fancy way of saying it jacks up your metabolism so you burn more calories even after you leave the studio.

What is the Inferno Template?

The Inferno is one of the toughest templates in the Orangetheory library. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s designed to make you feel the burn throughout the hour-long workout. This template injects long endurance blocks on the treadmill and rower punctuated with short strength sets on the floor.

The workout is broken into three 20-minute blocks:

Tread Block 1: A 10-minute push pace run followed immediately by a 2-minute all out run. Members then recover for 8 minutes at base pace.

Floor Block 1: 10 minutes of strength training targeting the upper body, core and lower body. The fast-paced circuit gives muscles little time to rest between sets.

Rower Block 2: Athletes row for distance for 14 minutes straight, keeping their strokes per minute above 26 the entire time. They then move to the floor with 6 minutes remaining.

Floor Block 2: A 6-minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) lower body finisher. Members alternate between sumo squat to upright row and power sit-ups with oblique rotations each minute.

The Inferno tests mental grit as much as physical endurance thanks to the long stints of cardio. Coaches urge members to up their paces and watts steadily so they empty their gas tanks by the last few minutes. If you can survive the gauntlet, you’ll torch calories and leave feeling like a fire has been lit under you!

Benefits of the Inferno Workout

Why submit yourself to such a grueling workout? What benefits does Inferno provide that other Orangetheory templates may not? There are a few key perks of braving this intense workout:

Sky-High Calorie Burn

The extended treadmill and rowing segments coupled with short strength sets add up to massive calorie burn during the session. Most members can expect to torch 700-1,000 calories in the single hour, making it one of the most efficient Orangetheory workouts for weight loss. The afterburn effect keeps your metabolism fired up for hours after you leave the studio too.

Increased Endurance

All of that time spent running, rowing and moving builds cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance enormously. You can literally feel yourself getting more fit if you incorporate Inferno workouts into your training a few times per month. Completing long distances on the tread and rower does wonders for increasing lung capacity.

Full-Body Strength Training

While the cardiovascular training takes center stage, the Inferno still manages to hit all the major muscle groups with strength moves. The upper body, lower body and core each get dedicated time during the floor blocks. Multi-joint and compound exercises like thrusters, sumo squats and rotating planks target large muscle groups to raise your heart rate.

Mental Toughness

Perhaps the greatest benefit of suffering through an Inferno workout is the mental toughness it builds. Pushing through the urge to slow down or give up during those long endurance blocks requires grit and determination. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the end is invaluable. That mental tenacity carries over into other areas of fitness and life too.

Who Should Attempt Inferno?

The Inferno isn’t designed for beginners. The extended periods of cardiovascular work require an existing aerobic base. Prior strength training experience helps too since the floor circuits move quickly. Here are some guidelines for who should attempt Inferno:

Attended Orangetheory for 3+ Months

It takes time for new members to learn proper running, rowing and lifting form on top of building an aerobic base. Attempting advanced templates too soon risks injury, so waiting at least 3 months is wise. That allows your body to adapt to regular HIIT training.

Run/Rows for 20+ Minutes Comfortably

Treadmill and rower endurance is a must since they make up the bulk of the Inferno template. Being able to maintain your base and push paces for 20+ minutes shows you have the needed running strength and cardiovascular fitness. The same goes for rowing comfortably for extended periods.

Knows Proper Lifting Form

There’s no time to learn proper exercise form during Inferno! Since the floor circuits move quickly between strength moves, you need to know how to do each efficiently. Take the time to get coaching and practice lifting prior to Inferno.

Seeks an Extreme Challenge

Lastly, the Inferno isn’t for anyone looking for just a “good workout.” This advanced template pushes even seasoned Orangetheory members to their limits! Come prepared to feel completely gassed by the end if you try it. For athletic types seeking an extreme challenge, though, it delivers.

Inferno Workout Tips

If you meet the above criteria, the Inferno may be an appropriate test of your limits. Make sure you set yourself up for success on Inferno days by keeping these tips in mind:

Arrive Early: Get to the studio 10-15 minutes early to warm up properly and hear the full workout breakdown from your coach. Dynamic stretching, light cardio and warmup sets activate your muscles so you can start strong.

Hydrate Well: Drink 16-20 oz of water in the 2 hours before your workout to ensure optimal hydration. Have water on hand during the session for smaller sips since overhydrating can lead to cramps or nausea. Electrolyte tablets in your water help replace sodium lost through sweat.

Fuel Your Body: Eat a balanced meal 2-3 hours pre-workout that contains quality carbs, protein and fat. The combo provides lasting energy via glycogen in the muscles and bloodstream. Bring a fast-digesting carb like a banana to have halfway through class.

Set Strategic Paces: Talk to your coach ahead of time about appropriate paces for the long tread and rower segments. Having heart rate and pace targets for base, push and all out efforts helps you budget your energy instead of going full throttle too soon.

Embrace the Burn: Expect to feel decreasingly comfortable the longer each cardio block goes on – that’s exactly how Inferno is designed! The burn signals muscle fatigue and your cardiovascular system adapting to the demand. As long as you maintain proper form, embrace the growing fire within to ignite fitness gains.

Stick with Proper Form: Speaking of form, resisting the urge to sacrifice it as fatigue sets in is critical to prevent injury. Coaches will remind you to maintain upright posture for running and rowing as well as safe joint positions for floor exercises. Leave your ego at the door if you need to lower intensity to preserve form.

Conquering the Inferno Workout

Decided to brave the heat and go all in on Inferno? Here is a detailed breakdown of the hour ahead so you know exactly what to expect:

Tread Block 1 (20 minutes):

  • 0:00-10:00 = Push pace run
  • 10:00-12:00 = All out run
  • 12:00-20:00 = Active base pace recovery

Floor Block 1 (10 minutes):

  • 0:00-3:00 = 10x goblet squat to overhead press
  • 3:00-6:00 = 20x mountain climbers to 10x knee tucks
  • 6:00-10:00 = 20x plank jacks + 10x each side plank leg raise

Rower Block 2 (20 minutes):

  • 0:00-14:00 = Row for distance, keeping strokes per minute above 26
  • 14:00-20:00 = Floor work

Floor Block 2 (6 minutes):

  • EMOM x 6 minutes
    • Odd minutes: 10x sumo squat to upright row
    • Even minutes: 20x power sit-ups with oblique rotation

If at any time you feel dizzy, lightheaded or unable to maintain proper form, stop the exercise and alert your coach. Listen to your body and remember hydration is crucial. An Inferno workout pushes even the most advanced members to their limits, so don’t feel discouraged if you need to make modifications. Simply completing the workout is a huge accomplishment worthy of pride!

The sense of exhaustion and joy you’ll feel at the end of 60 minutes can become addictive. Inferno workouts remind you of the incredible capabilities of your body and mind. Some may even say they leave you feeling “high on life” from the rush of endorphins and gratification of hard work. Expect to keep feeling the pleasant effects for 24 hours post-workout thanks to elevated metabolism too.

Conclution

Incorporating Inferno workouts into your Orangetheory Fitness regimen every 4-6 weeks keeps you honest. It forces you to evaluate areas of weakness, confront physical and mental barriers and come out stronger on the other side. Over time, you build grit and resilience beyond the studio walls. A workout that once reduced you to a puddle of sweat suddenly empowers you.

So when you’re curled up in a ball wondering if you can survive another minute of burpees or inclined treads, remember the fighter within. The beauty of the Inferno is that the heat burns temporary while the rewards forge permanent empowerment. Let the fire stoke your inner warrior – you’ve got this!

So are you ready to brave the heat and discover your inner firefighter? The Orangetheory Inferno awaits – lace up your sneakers and prepare to burn!

FAQs

What if I can’t finish certain blocks as scheduled?

Don’t worry if you can’t quite make it through certain milestones like the full 10-min push pace run. Coaches expect modifications here and there. Do what you can while maintaining proper form and use the full recovery periods as needed.

Should I skip Inferno if I’m sore from my last workout?

It depends on the severity of soreness. Mild muscle soreness is fine to work through, but sharp pain suggests injury requiring rest. Use your best judgment and consult your coach if unsure. They can help you modify if needed.

What if I don’t hit 12 splat points during Inferno?

Not everyone will hit the signature 12+ splat points in this workout since the extended treadmill and rowing segments keep heart rates elevated throughout. As long as you feel challenged and put in sincere effort, splat points aren’t the priority.

Will I burn more calories if I start on the tread vs. rower?

You’ll burn roughly the same amount of calories regardless since the workout includes the same durations of cardio and strength work. Starting position comes down to personal preference! Both tread and rower will get your heart rate up.

What Should I Eat After completing Inferno?

Refuel with a mix of protein and carbohydrates within 60 minutes after Inferno to aid muscle recovery. Good options include chocolate milk, egg sandwiches, smoothies and nutrition shakes. Aim for a 4:1 carb to protein ratio.

Dr. Preeti (Fitness Geek)
Dr. Preeti (Fitness Geek)
M.Sc. - Home Science (Food & Nutrition), Therapist, Dietitian and Weight Management consultant, actively practicing for 17 years.

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