What is OrangeTheory Fitness

Orange Theory is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) based group fitness that tracks your workout performance using heart rate monitors. The premise of the plan is based on the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) as OTF’s heart-rate monitored training is touted to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.  The result is something they call the Orange Effect – which promises to produce more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout.

You might be wondering “What the heck is EPOC?”.  A simplified way of understanding is thinking of how your car’s engine stays warm as it gradually cools to a resting temperature.  After High Intensity Training (HIIT) your body experiences a spike in your metabolism or a caloric afterburn as it uses excess oxygen to bring your body back to its resting state.

 

Orange Theory Quickstart Guide

 

Orange Theory Quickstart Guide

Membership Pricing:

  • Orange Premier is $189 a month (unlimited visits)* 
  • Orange Elite is $149 a month (8 sessions per month, additional sessions at discounted rate)*
  • Orange Basic is $79 a month (4 sessions per month, additional sessions at discounted rate)*
  • Pre-paid packages are available in increments of 10, 20 and 30 sessions (@ $21, $19 and $17 per class respectively)

*All the pricing above is as of the date of this article. Pricing may vary per location or promotion and is subject to change.  Pricing does not include premium studios in areas such as New York, Downtown Chicago, San Francisco and Honolulu.

*New OrangeTheory locations offer pre-sale pricing at a significant discount, so check to see if any new studios are coming to an area near you.

* Requires direct monthly billing to a credit card or checking account.

 

Heart Rate Monitor Pricing:

  • $75 (plus tax)
  • *Packages above do not include the heart rate monitor.  
  • The OTF heart rate monitor is required to workout and you are not permitted to use a non-OrangeTheory heart rate monitor. 

 

Pros:

  1. New programs are built for you everyday, so you get variety.
  2. Having a trainer guide your sessions makes for a more efficient workout.  You only need to show up and work hard.
  3. Although it’s pricey, it can be an affordable alternative to having a personal trainer.
  4. Heart rate monitored training is an individualized approach to fitness.  No more one size fits all plans, which levels the playing field for people of all shapes, sizes, abilities and disabilities.
  5. Heart rate monitored training allows you to monitor your performance and motivates you to push a little harder.
  6. A smaller studio makes it easy for you to get to know your classmates and the staff.
  7. Group training is great for making new relationships and building camaraderie.
  8. In app and online class scheduling.

Cons:

  1. It’s pricey for a group fitness ONLY gym.
  2. You don’t get to use the facilities outside of the classes.
  3. You may still need to maintain a regular gym membership If you are looking to do additional work outside the classes.
  4. Classes book up fast and you may end up on a wait list. (*wait list doesn’t mean you won’t get in the class, it just depends on cancellations. I usually always get in at my gym.)
  5. A lot of members (particularly women) have complained that the heart rate monitor strap loses connection too often (However, I heard rumors that OTF might be switching to a wearable watch style heart rate monitor)
  6. You can’t use your own heart rate monitor. You must buy the OTF brand. :(
  7. No towel service. (Not a deal breaker, but it’s a personal pet peeve of mine. Especially at this membership price point)

Bonus Tip: If you notice during class that you spend a lot of time in the red zone without much effort, then you may need to recalibrate your heart rate monitor by setting your max heart rate or weight.

 

Conclusion

Best For:

  1. People who have struggled a long time with their weight and need a tailored approach.
  2. People looking for a guided plan, but can’t necessarily afford a personal trainer.
  3. People who are overwhelmed or intimidated by large gyms.
  4. People looking to make fitness friends or build a fitness family.
  5. People looking for maximum results, but have limited time.

May Not Be Suitable if:

  1. You are a bodybuilder.
  2. You are a person with a high level of fitness confidence or independence.
  3. You like long form cardio or weight training.
  4. You need a gym to workout independently, but can’t afford 2 memberships.

Final Thoughts

While it’s not for everyone, I still think it is a great workout and jump-start to a new fitness regimen. Check out my Orange Theory Review article to find out what to expect in a typical workout.  If you are still not sure, I encourage you to take advantage of a free introductory workout to decide if it’s right for you.