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Project: Hell Week 🤐 - Preview & Expert Tips

By Melissa Fiorenza

Spooky music. Sweaty palms. Surprises at every turn. 

Halloween night? Nope, Hell Week at Orangetheory Fitness studios across the globe.

That’s right, it’s that time again. One of the most highly anticipated Orangetheory challenges of the year, Hell Week consists of eight days of high-intensity, yet doable workouts to encourage members to awaken their inner beast and prove to themselves what their bodies are capable of. Workouts for the arms. Workouts for the legs. Workouts for the psyche. 

Now, every OTFer knows that Hell Week is typically shrouded in mystery, but what's a good mystery without a few tantalizing clues? Come closer, friends. We're about to leak a few top-secret details about Hell Week 2022, along with our best tips to endure one of OTF's most grueling—and rewarding—weeks of the year. 

Non-members, don't go anywhere, we're dropping facts for you too.

<one sec, closing the blinds>

THE THEME

Introducing Project: Hell Week  🤐. This year, Orangetheory will go down into our deep dark vault and release the eight most challenging (but doable!) workouts that have never seen the light of day...until now. Countless planning sessions, hundreds of tests, now rolled out into eight days. What will the fitness team select? Show up and find out.

WHAT TO EXPECT

What follows are bits and pieces from a hush-hush conversation with Stephen Marcotte, Workout Design & Experience Manager at Orangetheory. In a nutshell? Expect variety.

On the treads: “All outs, inclines, long pushes—you’re going to see it all,” says Marcotte. “Whether you’re an endurance runner or more into short, high intensity efforts, you’ll get some workouts that’ll scratch that itch.”

On the rowers: “You’ll see all out rows, short recovery rows, and some nice challenges—do a run, hop off, do an exercise or two, then hop back on the rower. And, of course, long endurance rows, because it wouldn’t be Hell Week otherwise.”

On the floor: Really exciting stuff in store, he promises. “You’ll have opportunities to lift heavy, to be explosive, and to do a lot of reps during some workouts. There are some fun challenges mixed in.”

P.S. “Yes, there will likely be burpees.”

THE RULES

Your mission: Complete four of the eight workouts from October 24-31. This year, members can complete Hell Week in-studio or on Orangetheory Live, and the registration fee is $15. Members who successfully complete four of the eight workouts will  receive what’s become a collector’s item for many OTFers: the highly coveted special edition Hell Week shirt or tank. And mark Marcotte’s words: “I’ve been with Orangetheory since 2014, and I can tell you it’s personally my favorite design yet.”

HOW TO SURVIVE

Maybe this is your first Hell Week or your fifth. Either way, follow these guidelines to get through the week with your health and happiness intact – and get that lit-up badge on your Mobile App Challenge Tracker tab.

Sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for more adults. Falling short? A few of their sleep suggestions: Avoid screen time at least one hour before bed. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and increase your exposure to bright light upon waking.

Nourish You know the drill—stay hydrated, refuel after workouts, and eat balanced meals throughout the day. But make sure you prioritize protein intake too, as protein is critical for building and repairing your muscles.

Don’t overdo it. “It's okay to have a Green day during Hell Week! Or, just a low Splat day,” advises Emilia Sainato, Senior OTF Head Coach and Fitness Educator based in Hudson Valley, NY. “During walking recoveries, weight room rests, or exercises on the rower, use your HR data to make sure your heart rate actually falls back to the Green Zone. If it makes you feel better, let your coach know before class that you are trying to limit your time in the Orange and Red Zones.”

Stretch. Always stay for the last five minutes of class, or else. (No, really, here’s why you need to stretch.)

Plan ahead and have fun. OTF member Mike Reyes of Alexandria, VA, says of his last Hell Week experience, “I really enjoyed the different daily challenges. The coaches always make it a joy to work out and especially during Hell Week. And if you plan the week ahead and sign up for classes, you’re more likely to go.”

A MEMO FOR NON-MEMBERS

Thinking of joining Orangetheory but want to wait until after Hell Week passes? No, no, no. Channel your inner Laurie Strode or Deputy Dewey and get in there. Here’s what you need to know.

You can absolutely do it. Yes, it’s high intensity, but it’s accessible for everyone, says Marcotte. Your coach can help you modify the workouts to meet you at your fitness level. 

You’ll feel amazing. “It might actually be the BEST time to try a class!” says Sainato. “The added challenges to our normal class structure will make you feel like a pro for every class after Hell Week ends. Plus, you will have those badass bragging rights forever that you THRIVED (and survived) in your first class during Hell Week.”

It brings out the best of Orangetheory. OTF member Katilin Elliott White of San Marcos, CA looks forward to Hell Week every year because it doesn’t matter how fit you are. “Hell Week is about getting through the workouts, and seeing the changes is fun.” Speaking of fun, the special culture that is OTF is on full display this week. She adds, “My favorite part of Orangetheory is the community and Hell Week always brings out that spirit.

Want more details? Our lips are sealed.

REGISTER FOR HELL WEEK NOW >