Shelton fitness facility strives for the ‘orange zone’

A member of a Shelton fitness center placed in the top five in the company’s national weight-loss competition.

Melissa Mas, a member of Orangetheory Fitness, lost 50 pounds during the six-week challenge — or about one-fifth of her total body weight.

Mas worked out five days a week during the competition. She has belonged to the facility since it opened five months ago.

More than 9,000 people nationwide participated in the weight-loss challenge at Orangetheory Fitness locations.

Shelton resident Chad Esposito had the second biggest weight loss at the local fitness facility, shedding 33 pounds. “He really focused during the challenge,” said Taylor Scranton, studio manager.

Scranton said Esposito visited the center for workouts at least three days a week, despite frequent snowstorms, and it was inspiring to watch him improve physically. “Chad was flourishing,” she said.

'Feel the motivation'

Carola Armitano, who owns the Shelton facility with her husband Oswaldo, said many people didn’t want to stop or slow down once they reached their goal. “You could feel the motivation,” she said.

During the challenge, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 27, about 50 members participated at Orangetheory Fitness Shelton.

The focus wasn’t just on working out but on improving diets as well.
Orangetheory Fitness held a nutritional workshop before the competition began, and members were given “a toolbox for success,” according to Lisa Benson, a coach who assists with food and health issues.

“It’s all about lifestyle,” Benson said.

Because many of the Orangetheory Fitness Shelton members work in the Scinto Towers, two food establishments located there — Liquid Lunch and Zinfandel’s — offered special meals during the six-week challenge.

Helping people change their lives

Orangetheory Fitness opened last November in the Center at Split Rock on Bridgeport Avenue.

The 3,000-square-foot facility is owned by Oswaldo and Carola Armitano, who are originally from Venezuela and previously lived in Miami. They now reside in Shelton.

Oswaldo Armitano said he’s excited to see all the corporate activity in Shelton. “There is so much potential to grow in Connecticut,” he said, also noting the area’s relative affluence.

Carola Armitano said Orangetheory Fitness Shelton’s goal is to be a supportive place for the community, helping people of varying backgrounds to make progress in their physical well-being.

“We really want to help people change their lives,” she said.

Orangetheory Fitness is based on a “heart-rate-monitored interval training concept” involving five-zone workouts lasting a total of one hour. “We can see your progress on the [TV] screens when you’re here,” Carola Armitano said.

The goal is to get people into the “orange zone,” which is where the establishment’s name comes from. This involves increasing the metabolism so it reduces fat, even when people are at rest.

Members use treadmills, weight equipment, rowing machines, and stationary bikes for a full-body workout.

There are about 200 Orangetheory Fitness sites worldwide, with approximately 170 of them in the United States. The Armitanos own one in Milford as well.