Some of my friends are new to Orangetheory. I’ve been a few dozen times, and as far as franchise fitness goes, I like it more than Flywheel and CrossFit but less than SoulCycle.

There is nothing better than SoulCycle.

Orangetheory’s secret sauce is that everything is orange. The walls are orange. The lights are orange. And, to be your best self, you collect something called “splat points” that are totally orange.

The more splat points, the better. When you earn splat points, you’re in the orange zone and “you burn maximum calories for 36 hours” or some marketing nonsense like that.

So how do you maximize your efforts at Orangetheory and earn the most splat points possible? Here are my tips.

1. Don’t lie about your age or your weight. Splat points are awarded by calculating your target heart rate along with other stuff that is fuzzy and unclear. But you can’t get an accurate read of how hard you’re working if you lie about your body. It might take an NDA to reveal your weight, which is fine, but don’t lie on your Orangetheory profile.

2. Do the hardest thing first. Orangetheory splits the class into two groups: treadmills and rowers. If you hate running, get that out of the way first. It gets your heart rate up, by the way, which also aids in getting splat points.

3. Focus on your form and breathing. All exercise benefits from good form and breathing, but Orangetheory truly pays off when you’re challenging your body and doing the exercises properly. I always get more splat points when I focus on form versus speed and rep count.

4. Dance. Whenever I hate doing something at Orangetheory, I add some dance moves. Yes, really, I look like a sassy mom who’s cheering on her kids at the bus stop, but it works for me. I might not be moving quickly, but I am burning calories. Moving earns you points.

5. Don’t sip water. It’s tempting to nurse from a bottle of water while on the treadmill or rower, but sipping water causes cramps. If you’re cramping up, you’re not earning points. Hydrate before the class, make sure you’re not loaded with food and get ready to move. Bring water with you, but remember that exercise is hard. Sipping that water bottle won’t help you earn splat points.

I think the number one way to earn splat points is to crush it, but there may be a medical reason that prevents you from crushing it right now.

If you can’t crush it, that’s understandable. Take some time, learn the Orangetheory system, and work hard in 2017 to crush it at 100%.