The "game-changing" wearable tech behind American gym giant that's opened near Manchester

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by Josh Peachey

It's America's fastest growing studio gym franchise - and now Orangetheory Fitness is hoping its wearable tech workouts will catch on just as quickly in the UK. 

Orangetheory has just opened its first UK gym eight miles south of Manchester in Altrincham, and it's hoping to open at least 40 studios across the Midlands and Northern region over the next eight years.

People go to the gym to see results, but Orangetheory - which has over 1,000 studios across 48 US States and 18 countries - is taking that to the next level by turning the workout data into motivation.

Its technologically-enhanced approach to fitness has the potential to be a New Year’s resolution people actually stick to.

Your heart rate is tracked using the wearable monitors provided

The technology aims to keep members on track, both during sessions and afterwards, by sending an email summary filled with details of calories burned, ‘splat points’ earned and other metrics.

A 60-minute Orangetheory class involves using a variety of gym equipment whilst constantly keeping an eye on your heart rate, tracked using the wearable monitors provided.

The aim is for people to push their heart rate into the target ‘Orange Zone’ for at least 12 minutes of the hour-long workout, in order to maximise calorie burn.

Jason Zavasnik, Franchise Director of Orangetheory Fitness Midlands & Northern England, said: “The interactive technology delivers your heart rate data and performance metrics in real-time. From the moment you step into the studio, your OTbeat wearable device will seamlessly connect. Your workout, your stats are all right in front of you on the screens.

Jason Zavasnik, Franchise Director of Orangetheory Fitness Midlands & Northern England

“Our OTbeat heart rate monitors help you scale the workout to your unique fitness level as you work through our heart rate zones. The data also lets you and your coach know when you should push a little harder or scale back and recover.”

The “game-changing technology” captures live performance data and each target zone is tailored to each user’s optimum heart rate.

People can see which colour zone they're in with real-time monitoring on screens

One splat point is equal to one minute spent in the orange and red zone. The name "splat point" apparently comes from the sound of a fat cell exploding. Users should aim to reach at least 12 splat points per workout to attain optimal calorific burn.

“By having the instant gratification of seeing your results in class and then receiving these stats after every workout to your email or via our app, we can provide each member with ongoing motivation and proof of their progress,” Jason added.