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Is OrangeTheory Fitness Worth the Money?

Is OrangeTheory Fitness Worth the Money?


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For over 3 months now, I have been spamming your instagram stories with insanely early and not so attractive selfies of me leaving OrangeTheory in the morning. I’ve received a ton of questions about the fitness club and thought a blog post would be best to address everything y’all wanted to know and more!

The main BURNING (pun intended) question being… is OrangeTheory worth the money? My answer? YES. To find out why I think it is worth the money and other details, keep on reading!

  • What exactly is OrangeTheory? OrangeTheory Fitness is a workout class that is based on YOUR heart. You wear a heart rate monitor (you can buy or rent one) during the class and can see on a screen where you are at. Orange is the optimal zone to be in because you are working out as efficiently as possible. When you spend at least 13 minutes per class (usually 60 minutes, unless you sign up for the rare 90 minute class) in the orange (or red!) zone, you have optimal after-burn for the next 24-48 hours! This means that your metabolism / you are burning calories well after the workout is over. Can I get an Amen to that?!

  • How much does OrangeTheory cost? It honestly depends on where your studio is located and which package you purchase, but here is a range. It averages out to $15-$20 per class which is a pretty good deal in the HIIT class space!

    Basic – 4 classes a month $50 - $80

    Elite – 8 classes a month $100- $120

    Premier – unlimited classes, $160 - $180

    ***Also your first class is FREE! If you ever want to just drop in on a class after that (ie just buy 1 class, it’s around $25-$30)

    ***** Also to factor into price is your HRM (heart rate monitor) - you can rent or buy! Don’t worry about your first time -they'll let you borrow! I think you can rent for $5 or something pretty low, but it is much easier to just have your own, because it always is connected to you. The borrowed ones sometimes are finicky. The OTBurn is the most expensive, OTFlex in the middle (what I have) and the OTCore is the cheapest. They all work out of studio and are a good investment. I believe they are priced at $100, $80 and $60. You can learn more about them here or ask your home studio.

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What makes OrangeTheory different?

- workout style

- locations

- times

- handicap

- always different

- people


  • What makes OrangeTheory different from other workout brands and classes?

    • Workout Style - I mentioned this above, but I wanted to reiterate it here. I’ve taken lots of classes where the instructor yells at you to try and motivate you and/or tries to push you in an area you shouldn’t go in. OTF is NOT like that. Their focus is your heart and you listening to your body.

    • Locations - When you join you have a home studio, BUT you can use your membership at any location! Whenever I was in Arkansas over Christmas, I took class at the Little Rock location. They literally have them all over the world! This is great for the wanderluster and work traveler!

    • Times - It’s different at every studio and area, but one thing I appreciate about OTF is their time range. Most places don’t have a 4:30 am class, but they do! Don’t worry, they have times as a late as 7pm too! Different on the weekends, but I’ve still got to applaud them for their plethora of options!!

    • Handicap - This is arguably my favorite part of Orange Theory. Just like in golf (and yoga in my opinion), you define your handicap and can workout with any level. You can change it whenever you want, but it is yours, NOT the person’s next to you. You’ll be with people in a class that get their 13 splat points (what you receive whenever you have been in your orange zone for 1 minute. 13 splat points = 13 minutes) in the first 30 minutes, and you’ll be with people who struggle to get 1 splat point during the entire class. You do you. Literally! They also are really good about giving modifications to moves on the weight floor! On the treadmill you create your own modification by having a base pace, push pace, and all out. This classifies you as a power walker, jogger, or runner. But again, YOU decide. My base pace is 4.3, push pace 6 (sometimes I bump it up), and my all out is usually 7-8.

    • Always Different - OTF is different all the time. They have different “days” like endurance, power, etc, but the workouts are different on the daily. You might have a similar move and your work definitely builds on each other, but you can always hop in on a class and be able to pick it up. On the flip side, you could do it every day for a year and still have different combos/not do the same workout. Generally speaking you are on the treadmill for a portion of class and the rower/weight floor for a portion of class. They also have fun themed classes like for Halloween, Christmas, etc.

    • People - I LOVE their staff. They are so nice and knowledgable at each and every location I have been to.

    • Charity - OTF has a charity that they donate to each month. All you have to do is check in on Facebook each time you go and use their monthly hashtag, then it goes toward a donation of some kind. For example, in January the hashtag was #GiveADogAJob and every so many check ins (it is different each month), OTF bought a vest, training, etc for animals who help special needs humans out. I love that they give back to their community and it is definitely not something you see out there being done, especially on a consistent basis!

  • What if I have an injury? I have a knee injury from high school and strained my left aductor/groin in 2015 while running my half marathon. There are days where my knees hurt more than others. There are times when hips are super tight and I want to cry. Do what is right for YOUR body. If it is really bothering you, tell your instructor and ask for tips! They are happy to give modifications. I usually modify lunges and/or take breaks to stretch during the workout. No one is judging you for doing what is right for your body. ALSO OTF warms you up and stretches you during the final cool down. Stretching is super important and I’m glad they include it. I did take a week off at one point because of my hip pain. Listen to your body and be smart. Better to rest now, than hurt yourself and be out longer!

  • More of a men’s workout or women’s workout? OTF is actually founded by a woman! You do lift weights, but that doesn’t mean it’s only for men ;) It’s good for everyone!! Nick has done OrangeTheory and loved it, but I love it too. We have different workout styles, so it’s saying something that we both enjoy it. If you have any hesitation, I encourage you just to try it. The first time is free, so what do you have to lose?!

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What to expect at your first Orange Theory


  • What to expect at your first OrangeTheory class? Don’t worry, I got you. I get anxious around new workout classes - even new equipment! When I would just go to a gym, I would only stay on the machines, etc that I know how to do/felt comfortable on. One time I decided to try the stair-stepper and almost had a panic attack. I digress…

    • Anyway, when you arrive you arrive, you walk into the waiting room area and check in. Some studios have you sign up for machine/number, but at some it is just a mad dash to the equipment. Treadmills are usually the most popular to begin on, but I prefer starting on the rower. Since it is your first time, you’ll receive a heart rate monitor to borrow. it will either go around your chest (called the OTBeat Core, worn underneath your sports bra, under your boobs, around your bicep or your forearm. I prefer the chest or forearm HRM. (I have the OTBeat Flex which is only for your forearm, though they offer the OTBeat Burn, which can be worn anywhere on the arm.)

    • You begin on the treadmills or on the rower and start the warm up. The number on your machine will be your number throughout class. You will go to that same number station at the treadmill, rower, and weight floor, unless instructed otherwise, like a group row activity.

    • For the most part you do warm up on the machine you begin on, then begin the “blocks” for that machine. A block is what OTF calls different workout sequences. Generally speaking you’ll do 30 minutes on the tread and 30 minutes on the rower/weight floor, followed by stretching. or vice versa if you start on the rower instead of the tread) Sometimes you do tread/row blocks and sometimes you don’t use the rower at all. They keep you guessing!

    • Whatever the class structure is that day, the instructor will demonstrate/walk you through EVERYTHING, even the weight floor! They might come over and adjust your form, which is a good thing. Better for you! I didn’t row properly until I took OTF. Also when you’re on the weight floor, the exercise pattern is usually on the tv screen if you forget :)

      If you’re still anxious, I recommend arriving early and asking if the instructor could walk you through bit of class, so you’re more at ease.

    • I would bring a water bottle (they have some you can buy if you need to), sweat towel (my home studio has them, but not all do), and a can-do attitude! They have water fountains so you can re-fill, which I definitely do. My favorite bottle is the liter BKR, but that doesn’t fit in the cupholder on the treadmill, so i usually bring my 17 oz Swell bottle.

  • How often should I go? OTF recommends going 3x a week to see the full benefit. That’s what I try to do - usually 2 during the week and 1 on the weekend. I like doing 3 a week, because it allows me to sprinkle in yoga which I like to do to supplement my harder workouts. Plus again…stretching is important! I only did less than 3 a couple of weeks. I can attest to the at least 3 method!

  • Have you lost weight? Ahhh this question. Actually I didn’t weigh myself before I began. I didn’t want this to be about weight loss - I wanted this to be about how I felt… and I’ve honestly never felt more amazing! I feel fit and strong, which is something I was lacking in my cardio bunny days. It’s not just something I’ve felt, but something I’ve noticed in other aspects of my life too! My yoga practice has never been so good. I was able to hit my side crow for the first time ever this year and I attribute it to my strength training at OrangeTheory. Currently trying to nail my running man and i’m almost there, too! I asked Nick if he noticed anything different and he actually said he could tell in my butt. LOL OrangeTheory has given me strength, but also confidence. Confidence on the weight floor, which is something I’ve never had, in addition to a new confidence in life. I did take before photos and I think I can see a little bit of difference? A tighter tummy and a little bit of inches off my waist? Oh and not pictured, a tighter booty?! (haha Nick!) I didn’t weigh myself before but I did weigh myself the other day and I came in at 145lbs. That’s the heaviest I’ve ever been, but it’s also the best I’ve ever felt. Do with that info as you will ;)

Before pictures are on the left and after pictures are on the right!

I know working out can be scary, daunting and even monotonous; however, OrangeTheory is none of those things! I’ve never been so happy to wake up at 4:00am, because it makes me feel great and energizes my day. If you’re looking for a new workout or even to get back in the swing of things, I encourage you to give OTF a try. Now get to burning!!

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