It was AWESOME and the 55-minute class flew by. I had a bunch of you guys request more details when I shared a brief recap of my experience on Snapchat, so I wanted to provide a more detailed rundown of the class format, what I thought about the workout and what you can expect during your first Orangetheory Fitness workout.
What is Orangetheory Fitness?
Orangetheory Fitness is an interval-based workout that uses heart rate monitors to encourage you to push yourself (based on your own fitness level) and includes three different components – interval training on the treadmill, indoor rowing and weight room floor exercises.
Orangetheory Fitness is a studio fitness franchise and the group fitness classes are typically limited to less than 30 people. Workouts vary day-to-day and often have a certain focus (strength, endurance or power, etc.). An instructor leads the class through a workout rotation on the treadmill, indoor rower and weight room floor and offers form correction, exercise demonstrations, encouragement, cues and more.
What is the flow of a typical class?
During an Orangetheory Fitness class, you can choose where you begin and participants rotate through time on the indoor rowing machine, treadmill and weight-room floor. In the class I took, we rotated through every station three times but, as my instructor explained, you can expect to typically spend a total of 25-30 minutes walking or running on the treadmill (broken up into shorter blocks) and the rest of the class time split between the indoor rower and the weight room. My class also included a five-minute stretch at the end of the workout.
An instructor will lead you through the workout, demonstrating weight room exercises and calling out when to crank up the intensity on the treadmill and indoor rower. I found the cues easy-to-follow and while everything was very fast-paced I never felt lost or overwhelmed.
One of my favorite aspects of the workout from a personal trainer’s perspective is that it is a workout that can be completed at various levels to meet you where you are in your fitness journey. Whether you choose to walk on the treadmill and challenge yourself with inclines or kick things up and sprint your heart out, you can modify the workout to make it suit you and your current fitness level. And I loved how our instructor went around to check on everyone on the weight room floor to correct form and offer modifications. So important and so great to see!
What makes Orangetheory Fitness unique?
The workout was definitely the most high-tech workout I’ve ever done! A big screen above the treadmills displays your name, heart rate, percentage of your max heart rate, calories burned and “splat points.” (I absolutely LOVED the way this information was displayed and found it seriously motivating.)
Heart rate levels are represented by colors and you earn a “splat point” for every minute you spend in the orange or red zone. The orange and red zones are the “after burn” zones that occur when your heart rate is up to or over 85 percent of your max heart rate, allowing you to continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours after the class is over. Basically, you get a splat point when you are working your butt off!
Our instructor said that ideally you’ll spend most of your Orangetheory workout in the green zone – your “base level” zone – and 12-20 minutes per workout in the more challenging orange or red zones.
Throughout the workout, we moved from the treadmill to the rowing machine to the weight bench and I never felt like I was at one station for too long. The workout kept me engaged and interested and the time spent at each station was short enough that I felt like I could give it my all without feeling like I was going to die.
At the end of the workout, our instructor said our stats from the workout would be emailed to us which I thought was way too cool!
Another way Orangetheory incorporates technology into the workout is by displaying the weight room floor exercises on TV screens above the weight benches so you can easily reference them during your workout. (The instructor demonstrates the exercises as well.) In my first class, the weight room floor exercises included a combination of traditional dumbbell strength exercises, bodyweight exercises, plyometric exercises and exercises performed with the TRX straps.
Would I go back?
Absolutely! I’d love to return to Orangetheory and think it would be a great addition to my workout routine. The one major drawback? They do not offer childcare which is a bummer for me, but I’m hoping to attend some weekend classes here and there as my schedule allows.
I think it’s important to add that I personally would not feel comfortable taking Orangetheory Fitness classes 5-6 days a week as my only form of exercise. (I’m not sure what OTF instructors advise, but I have a feeling they’d recommend the same thing given the style of workout.) The workouts are intense and I think taking classes on non-consecutive days would make the most sense both from a recovery standpoint and a safety standpoint since the HIIT-style workout provided by Orangetheory Fitness is quite intense.
What should you wear? What should you bring to a class?
For my first Orangetheory Fitness class, I wore workout capris, a supportive sports bra, a tank top and my Nike Flyknits and felt great! I saw some participants wearing shorts which would be totally fine, but we did some exercises where our butts were in the air (plank jacks to knee tucks and bench pop-overs) and I personally would have felt a little self-conscious in shorts.
I brought a water bottle with me (highly recommended!) and wish I would’ve brought a towel with me as well, as towels are not provided by the studio.
During your first class, you’re able to borrow one of the Orangetheory Fitness-compatible heart rate monitors to use for free. I was instructed to arrive at my local studio 20 minutes before class began to learn more about the workout, meet with an instructor before class, fill out a liability waiver and borrow a heart rate monitor.
How much does it cost?
From what I can tell, cost varies by location, but for my local studio, here is the price breakdown:
- $28 for a drop in class
- $69 for 4 classes a month
- $109 for 8 classes a month
- $159 for unlimited classes each month
Clearly it is not a cheap workout!
I asked about gift cards and they said they do have people purchase 10-class packages as a gift for friends/family and the cost for a 10-class package is $199 and you have one year to use the package before it expires.
Another important thing to note is that if you do sign up for Orangetheory Fitness you must purchase the heart rate monitor for $69 or the new heart rate monitor wrist band for $99 to use during your workout.
Questions of the Day
- Have you ever tried Orangetheory Fitness? Thoughts?
- Would you ever want to try Orangetheory?