Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) regulars can seem a bit cult-ish with their love for the class. A fitness program with this type of following has to have something special, so I gave it a try!
I was actually nervous to attend my first OTF class because I had not been to the gym (or attempted to workout) in two full years! I'd love to blame quarantine but I stopped dragging my butt to the gym even before then. My first class, the coach encouraged me to start on the treadmill as a walker (as opposed to jogger or runner), and while my ego was shocked, I was so glad for the reminder to listen to my body. I was v. out of shape as you can imagine.
I just completed my second month of 8 classes and the past few weeks I have been building endurance as a 'jogger' on the treads! I am proof that A. ANYONE can do this and B. they put the work in workouts!
With two months of OTF under my belt, I have seen the light as to why this type of workout has such loyal fans (count me in!). Here's a breakdown of what to expect at an Orangetheory Fitness class:
As their website says, "Orangetheory is a 1 hour, full body workout, focused on training endurance, strength and/or power. We use Heart Rate Based Interval Training, which burns more calories post workout than a traditional exercise."
A huge difference between OTF and a typical gym are the coaches! All of the Orangetheory coaches I have met have been passionate about what they do and take a genuine interest in the OTF family. They give personal feedback, develop new workouts each class, and offer support and motivation. Everyone is at a different fitness level so the coaches offer variations of the strength training 'floor workouts' as well as giving specific instructions for those doing cardio at different levels. Each coach has their own boss playlist for the day and the songs coordinate with the pace of your workout! (Also perfect for covering up heavy breathing...) This personalization and welcoming environment take away the intimidation of starting a new gym.
If you're looking for real results: this is your class!
Orangetheory includes cardio each class, but it is a HIIT total-body group workout. OTF takes the science behind their workouts seriously, using Heart Rate Based Interval Training which burns more calories post workout than other types of exercise.
When you start at Orangetheory you are given a heart rate monitor that is worn around your chest, and this tracks your results in real time and logs the information of each workout in their free app. Your heart rate results are displayed on the monitors in studio and this allows you to see which heart rate zone you're in to track the intensity of your personal workout. There are five different heart rate zones: resting, easy, challenging, uncomfortable and all out. The coach leads the class on which of the five heart rate zones they should work towards at different parts of the workout. The goal is to spend 12 + minutes with your heart rate in “The Orange Zone” which will boost your metabolism, burn fat and burn more calories.
One of the best things about Orangetheory is the membership packages are month-to-month and can even be paused if you're going on vacation or know you won't be able to get in studio for a while. If you're looking for a new way to workout at a gym that is community-focused join OTF! Your first class is always free, and they have a quit-free guarantee: "If you don’t feel like you’re living a more vibrant, happier, healthier life after one month of classes, take back all your money and walk away for free."
Bottom line: OTF is worth it!