Alright, let’s talk about Orangetheory Fitness. I began my Orangetheory journey back in April of 2018 and have completely fallen in love with it since. I have bounced from gym to gym over the years and I never really felt at home anywhere. I enjoyed going to Gold’s Gym but I did not achieve the results I wanted and I didn’t get the accountability that I needed to succeed. I hate working with a personal trainer one-on-one because I feel like they are breathing down my neck. In the group classes at Gold’s, I didn’t feel like they pushed me hard enough and it was easy for me to slack off. I needed to find something right in the middle of a typical Gold’s group class and having a one-on-one trainer. Am I dogging Gold’s Gym? Heck no! I still have a membership there because they have so many amazing features at their gyms, but I am not here to talk about Golds.
So what’s Orangetheory?
Straight from their website, “ OTF is a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside out.” To break it down- it is a 60 minute group class, each lead by a coach. The class size typically depends on the gym popularity and work out time. I have been in classes with as little as 6 people all the way up to the max of 32 people. Each gym has a handful of coaches that lead the classes. Not to be biased, but the coaches at my gym are THE BOMB. They never make you feel uncomfortable or dumb, they motivate you to push yourself in a fun and encouraging way, and they correct your form in a non-demeaning way so you don’t feel incompetent. Every coach I have had, always seems to play great music too, which is a need for me if I am to continue running on a treadmill (lol).
What to expect when you come to class
I like to describe the classes as HIIT- high intensity interval training. Don’t let that scare you though. Every time you walk into class, you don’t know what to expect. They never use the same template twice which I love because when they constantly switch things up you don’t get bored, opposed to doing the same workout every week. They have 4 main categories of types of workouts their templates are focused around: endurance, strength, power, and ESP (a mixture of all 3). Personally my favorite days are ESP days, but I find on endurance days I leave completely drenched in sweat. Oh wait, every time I leave there I am drenched in sweat. Anyways, when you enter the room you will see a row of treadmills, a row of rowers, and then a weight floor, each labeled with a station number. To keep everything moving smoothly and avoid confusion, each person in class will workout at the same numbered station throughout the entire class. Most classes you will hit all 3 of these stations, but sometimes they won’t include rowing in a template. Also, if you are not a fan of treadmills or are coming off of an injury, they offer a bike and a strider to use. Speaking of injuries, the coaches are FANTASTIC at modifying any move for you if you are unable to do it. On the tread, you can choose to power walk, jog, or run. There are different recommendations for speeds and inclines for each level of intensity. Then on the floor, you’ll work with free weights, bosu balls, ab dolly, TRX straps, and of course your own body weight.
How do I know if I am doing well?
When you first join, you will get a heart rate monitor that tracks your beats per minute during class (also usable outside of the gym!). They have a few different ones to choose from. I currently have one that goes on my arm and I wear it over my bicep. Your heart rate is calculated into zones and is unique to each person based off of their weight, age, and gender. There are five different heart rate zones ranging from very light activity (gray zone) to an all-out effort (red zone). Their science, that I mentioned earlier, is measuring how much time you spend in the orange zone, which is an uncomfortable but controllable feeling. When you have your heart rate in the orange and/or red zone for at least 12 minutes in class, you will experience the afterburn effect. “If you challenge your body at the right intensity, your body will work harder to recover oxygen lost during exercise. This revs your metabolism and makes your burn calories long after your workout is over.” You can continue burning calories 24-36 hours AFTER your workout. How amazing is that!? After each workout, you are provided with a summary of how many calories you burned, how much time you spent in each zone, and your average and max heart rate. It’s a great way to track your progress and motivate you to do better next time.
How much does this all cost?
That is the BIGGEST question I get every time I talk to people about OTF. Before I dive into prices, let me just say this: exercise is a disease prevention. So by investing into your health NOW will prevent diseases from happening years down the road. Diseases that could cost you thousands and thousands of dollars from doctor visits, hospital visits, medications, treatments, etc. By investing in your health NOW by eating right and exercising will give you a better quality and quantity of life. I understand people are on budgets and cannot always afford things, but could you maybe not go to Starbucks as much or go out to eat with your friend once a week? Sometimes compromises have to be made for your health. Anyways, back to prices. There are 3 different packages (I believe) and those are 4 classes/month, 8 classes/month, or unlimited. I started with 8 classes per month and quickly upgraded to the unlimited because I became so obsessed with it. Prices range about $10-12/class and the unlimited pricing will depend on the gym and if they have any deals going on at that time.
What else is offered?
OTF is more than a gym, it is a community. You meet people who are working towards the same goals as you and they are there to help encourage and push you. No one judges you for where you are in your health journey. There are all sorts of shapes and sizes ranging from fitness beginners to active athletes. You will find a wide range of ages there, from teenagers to elderly. This gym is literally for everybody. They encourage healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle overall. My gym hosts workshops and will have friendly competitions throughout the year to keep things fun. The most grueling weeks, known as Hell Week and Mayhem, provide bigger challenges and aren’t always “fun,” but I do enjoy the fantastic workouts and free swag that I get from those weeks! Luckily, the coaches and their enthusiasm make it a little less unbearable.
If you are in a point in your health journey where you are just not seeing the results you want, I encourage you to check out Orangetheory. Your first class with them is FREE. If you find the classes are not your style, no money is lost trying it out. But I can almost guarantee you will love it! I am so glad that this gym was introduced to me back in April and so incredibly grateful for all the things this gym has brought me. I still have many fitness goals I would like to reach, but with Orangetheory I know I will be able to do it!
As always if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask! And I hope to see some of you at OTF. Let’s get healthy together!