US FITNESS CHAIN'S BID TO GET LOCAL HEARTS PUMPING

US FITNESS CHAIN'S BID TO GET LOCAL HEARTS PUMPING

AN American fitness franchise expanding across the world is set to get hearts pumping in Brisbane.

Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) consists of one-hour high intensity group exercise sessions while strapped to a heart-rate monitor to track progress and maximise output.

OTF, which has 250 studios across the US, has ambitious expansion plans for Australia, the fifth country to join the international launch. Three studios are slated to open in coming months, including Aspley, Bondi Junction and Adelaide.

Co-owner Steve Meyer came across the concept last year, after his business partner approached him with the opportunity.

Meyer has managed a number of fitness clubs at a regional and state level in the past eight years, and says he knew he had to bring OTF home after seeing it in action in the US.

"What really separates us from other fitness programs is the fact that it's backed by science and written by exercise physiologists," Meyer says.

"People are tired of failing in fitness. Most people have tried three or four things, whether it be gym, fitness DVDs, boot camps or sport - they still struggle to achieve their goals.

"With OTF we really believe we can take people from whatever fitness level they're at and get them to where they want to be by having that heart rate monitor as accountability."

Developed by exercise physiologist Ellen Latham, the system is designed to harness 84 per cent or more of your maximum heart rate to increase energy and metabolism.

The result is an 'afterburn effect' which boosts the metabolic rate to burn calories for up to 36 hours after the workout.

"We get a lot of support from the master franchisor back in the States, especially when it comes to systems," Meyer says.

"Before we open, the American guys will fly out and take our trainers and management staff through a week of intense training.

"A wide range of equipment, including treadmills, rowers, elliptical, strength and power equipment, has been sourced from the States."

Meyer says the majority of fitness operators tend to target the CBD, while OTF considered a number of locations before selecting Aspley.

"I think the north side has been left in the lurch when it comes to innovative fitness studios," he says.

"We started pre-registering people as founding members of the studio in May and we've had a great response from the public.

"A lot of members have come right out from the south side and as far north as Caboolture it seems like a great location for the first one."

OTF Aspley will celebrate its grand opening in September, with mock classes for founding members and prospective clients held two weeks prior.

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