Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business, where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is Ellen Latham, Founder of Orangetheory Fitness; Ellen, welcome to Women Mean Business.
Ellen: Thank you so much.
Leisa: Tel me how you got to Orangetheory Fitness. I’m guessing you didn’t dream of owning a fitness studio in your backyard when you were a little kid.
Leisa: So how did all this happen?
Ellen: No but I was a Phys Ed teacher and so I was always around physicality in a positive way. I actually went to school and got my bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, my Masters in Exercise Physiology and I’ve been in the fitness industry for 40 years now. And about 15 years ago I decided to go hang my own shingle, open my own studio and it was a Pilates studio. Only problem is Pilates has great things going on with your posture muscles, your inside muscles; no fat burning or metabolic work. So when I went to look at outing another workout in that studio that would be a great fat burning workout and I looked at carious workouts that presently existed, one didn’t have all the elements I would put into it; so I decided I’d create my own.
So I put together this room with the intention of just my Pilates clients getting great metabolic results from this workout. Well it ended up being ridiculous. They got such dramatic results, people were asking them what they were doing; their friends were coming to the studio and before you knew it it was like Grand Central Station in my studio. I was approached by a franchise company to see if this is something that they’d like to work with me on franchising, and the key is it’s based on science; it’s based on how the human body works. If you get the heart rate over 84% – and that’s why we monitor, everyone wears their monitor and there’s a screen in the studio that shows you where your heart rate is.
Leisa: So you see how everybody else is doing.
Ellen: You see it through the whole class, but it’s really more for you to be monitoring where you’re at during the class; your goal is to get to at least 12 minutes. So it will show you during the class you’re at 10 minutes, so there’s 20 minutes left in class you’re like great, I’ve only got 2 more minutes that I have to be uncomfortable and push a little bit harder; you have a very measurable way to see where you’re at so when you exit here you’re going to get the results. As opposed to a workout where someone’s just yelling at you “go harder, go faster” and what does that mean? Do you really need to go harder and faster? I don’t know unless I’m monitoring your heart rate.
Leisa: Wow, wow; thank you, thank you. There you have it.
Ellen: I got your heart rate up didn’t I?
Leisa: Way up. There you have it, another extraordinary woman doing extraordinary things. I’m Leisa Holland Nelson, President and Co-founder of ContentActive, Houston’s leading web and mobile technology company and part time fitness enthusiast. You can find me at ContactActive.com or follow me on Twitter @LHNelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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