Kristie Shifflette describes herself as a competitive athlete.
“I’ve always been into fitness,” she said. “I competed in my first triathlon after my first child was born.”
Shifflette, who has won more than one Sprint Triathlon, has parlayed her fitness knowledge into a career. She and her husband, Matt, opened an Orangetheory Fitness franchise in Park West Village in January. They opened a second studio in Chapel Hill in October, and a third location is expected to open in Raleigh within a few months.
Orangetheory offers 60-minute workout sessions with cardiovascular and strength training for all fitness levels.
“It’s a total body workout in one hour,” Shifflette said. “What makes it unique is that everybody is wearing a heart monitor.”
The heart rates of the class members are projected on screens throughout the workout. The goal is to stay in the Orange Zone for maximum effect. Each class is limited to 24 members.
“Initially, some people think it’s like having their weight up there,” she said. “But everyone is so focused on themselves that it doesn’t matter. It’s not an intimidating or competitive environment.
“It raises each individual’s game by having their heart rate up there.”
Shifflette, 33, came to the Triangle six years ago from Chicago. She said Park West Village is ideal for Orangetheory.
“The demographics of this area support what we’re doing,” she said. “People who enjoy Orangetheory like to shop at the stores around here.”
Juggling multiple locations while parenting two young children has its challenges, she said.
“I sometimes have guilty mom syndrome,” she said. “But it’s important for them to see what hard work is about. They see Mom working hard and helping people get healthier.”
A proliferation of fitness businesses in the Triangle does not bother Shifflette.
“We would love to be as near to as many fitness places as possible,” she said. “Some are quite complementary.
“If your main objective is to get results, Orangetheory is for you,” Shifflette said. “It’s more about results than access to a gym.”
The new year typically brings a spike in the number of people wanting to get fit.
“Once the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to clean living,” Shifflette said.
In January, Orangetheory will hold a six-week national weight-loss challenge. The national winner will take home $50,000. A local prize of $2,500 will be awarded. There are a limited number of spots in the challenge, so Shifflette encourages people to sign up early.
Shifflette has advice for those thinking about making fitness resolutions.
“The first class is free,” she said. “Don’t waste time. Come make this your new lifestyle. It’s fun, and it works.”