With the New Year upon us, we all probably are looking towards New Year’s goals and resolutions…many want to get organized in the New Year, maybe you want to get a hold of your finances, and many of us probably want to try to lose some weight (speaking for myself especially). I’ve talking about my diet journey in the past…I’ve had my ups and downs, I know what it takes to lose weight, but sometimes having the drive to keep it up past January 15th is hard…let’s be honest. New Year’s resolutions aren’t any good because ultimately you need to make a LIFESTYLE resolution if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Today I’ll walk you through my Orange Theory Fitness Review and tell you my likes, dislikes, and answer the question…is it worth it?!
My resolution this year is to just get back on track in all aspects of my life. I want to stop spending frivolously so that I can do more traveling and home projects. I want to eat better. And most of all, I want to get into shape. I’m not so much worried about the number on the scale as much as working to get my body in check and my health right. So in October I joined the new Orange Theory Fitness near my home. Not familiar with Orange Theory?? It’s the latest rage in gym memberships, except they have a completely different concept.
I started Orange Theory about 2 months ago and my overall workout routine prior to that was zero. I didn’t make time for myself or my health and as such, this summer when I did my annual health screening it was determined that my cholesterol, the bad kind, was too high and the good kind was too low. I am only 35 years old and that was alarming to me. I’ve never had any abnormalities in the past and my Doctor’s recommendation to me was to get moving…eating better and most of all… working out.
Sometimes when you get into a fitness rut, it’s even harder to pull yourself out on your own. You need a tribe or a group to help you along. I’ve hired trainers in the past, but they are expensive and I felt isolated, so I’d quit. This time around I knew quitting wasn’t an option, so I was excited to discover a new Orange Theory Fitness coming to my area. Here is my honest and unbiased Orange Theory Fitness review.
What is the Orange Theory Class Structure?
Group Class Structure
Orange Theory is a new type of “gym”…and I use gym lightly because it’s unlike any other. If you like group classes, but hate the aerobics aspect of the classes, then you’ll find Orange Theory to be a happy medium. Orange Theory specializes in group fitness classes, but in a gym environment. They have a designated treadmill area (along with a few bikes and ellipticals if you have exercise limitations). They have a designated rowing machine area. And finally a traditional weights area.
Limited Class Sizes
The class sizes are limited and they walk you through both a weight lifting workout, as well as cardio, so each session you get a full body workout. When you arrive, you determine if you want to start on the treadmill or rowers first and the class instructor will start the treads group on their workout, then switch over and get the weights group moving. The instructor demonstrates all of the exercises, then sets you on your way, going back to the treads group for a series of “base paces, pushes, and all outs” on the treadmill at varying speeds and inclines.
In the weight area, they have screens reminding you what exercises you’re doing, as well as the reps for each exercise. Most of the time there are 3-4 exercises followed by a 300-400m row, then coming back and doing the same exercises with reduced reps. You go through 2-3 rounds of different exercises and reps and then the group that was on the treadmill switches to the weight floor and the weight floor switches to the treadmill and the whole cycle starts over for the 1 hour long class. You spend roughly 25-30 minutes on the treadmill and 25-30 minutes on the weight floor/rowing machines. Everyone does all the same workout, but in reverse orders.
One thing I REALLY like about the structure too is that each person has a “Station” so if you start on Treadmill 7, you also go to weight floor station 7, and rower 7…this eliminates confusion and fighting over stations like at a traditional gym…waiting on machines.
What are Orange Theory Splat Points? What is the Orange Zone?
Another interesting thing about Orange Theory are their Splat Points and their “Orange Zone”. This is different than anywhere else too. You wear an Orange Theory Heart Rate Monitor during your workout and everyone’s names are listed on a screen. During your workout, your goal is to be in the “Orange Zone” on the monitor for at least 15 minutes if not more. The Orange Zone is your fat burning zone and the zone where you’re getting the most out of your workout and they claim that you can continue burning calories for 24 hours after if you hit your goal to be in that zone for at least 15 minutes. Splat points equate to your time in that zone per workout and after every workout you get an email delivered showing your Splat Points and calories burned.
Overall, the Orange Zone helps me push myself to work harder and increase my speed or pace if I’m not seeing orange on my name. It’s a good way to keep yourself in check and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your time spent there!
Is Orange Theory expensive?
It can be. I won’t lie, I feel it’s very pricey, but depending on your fitness goals, it can be worth it. I have an unlimited monthly package for $149/month. You can also get a package for 4 classes/month and 8 classes/month which is more affordable. I am trying to go 3 days a week so the unlimited works best for me. You can also pay for individual classes or extra classes, as well.
What is the Orange Theory Membership Cost?
There are three Orange Theory Fitness Membership levels:
- Orange Premier
- Orange Elite
- Orange Basic
Orange Premier: This membership level gets you unlimited classes per month and costs $159/month. If you plan on going more than 3x/week, then this membership level is worth it.
Orange Elite: The middle tier membership level gets you 8 workouts a month and costs $99/month. This is perfect if you’re planning to go 2x/week.
Orange Basic: At this level gets you 4 classes a month and costs $59. So if you’re truly able to commit to one class a week, this level is for you.
You can also buy class packages in sets of 10, 20, or 30. You can also add individual classes at a price of $12 to $14, depending on your membership level.
Another cost you need to be aware of is their required heart rate monitor. They range from $50-$100 and you have to have one. You can rent them for $5/class, but you really should just buy one.
What is the atmosphere at Orange Theory?
At MY Orange Theory, I was pleasantly surprised at the different fitness levels. All ages, fitness levels, and abilities are represented and the classes are structured to accommodate all levels of fitness and goals. There are more women then men at my classes, but the male population is growing and my husband is going this week to try it out, as well.
The lighting at my location is ORANGE and the music is pumping and loud. The instructors are high energy and will push you. I like that, but I have a friend who went and did not care for the loud music and instructors pushing at all. So if you like a nice, quiet, peaceful workout this is NOT for you.
On another note: They DO have lockers, a changing area, and shower, so you can do early morning classes and get ready there. It’s VERY clean and they do have wipes so after each switch you wipe down machines and equipment.
Does Orange Theory really work?
In short. YES. Yes, it does. I did their 8 week weight loss challenge this year and here’s my results…no dieting. Just going to work out every other day for 8 weeks straight. You can tell I lost a lot of inches…especially in my side photo, but I still have a long way to go. I’m starting the WeightWatchers app soon in conjunction with my workouts, which I think will give me quick and dramatic results (more to come). *I cut my head out of the photo because, well, how much would you like your early morning weight loss photos to be share on the internet with your face? LOL.
The Cons to Orange Theory…
What DON’T I like about Orange Theory, you wonder….(like I said, this is an honest Orange Theory Fitness review!)
The price. I wish it was a a LOT more affordable, but I’m justifying that with my need to get in shape. You can, however, spend less than the monthly fee I pay and just do less classes.
The limited class size. It’s important to be on top of your schedule especially for weekend classes or you might not get in. I think as the location grows, you need to schedule out as far as you can in your month so you get the class times you want. There are waitlists, but if you decide at 9 pm on a Friday that you want to workout at 7 am on Saturday, you likely won’t get into the class as that’s a popular time. This obviously varies by location, but that’s the case at my location. I just book my weekends at the start of each month so I can get the class times I want.
Does Orange Theory Have Childcare?
Orange Theory does not have childcare, which makes it hard if both parents want to participate together.
Class times. Orange Theory doesn’t always have the most convenient class times either. I wish they had more options around 3 p.m. before kids get out of school.
And finally…my BIGGEST pet peeves at Orange Theory Fitness…
Can you Skip a Class at Orange Theory Fitness?
You have to give 8 hours notice if you cannot make a class. Say you schedule a class and get stuck at work, get sick, have a sick child, etc. They can and likely will charge you for that class ( $12 per “late cancel” if you have an unlimited membership) OR will count that class as used if you have a 4 or 8 class membership. So…in one way, it holds you accountable to arrive, but in another way…gives ZERO flexibility if life gets in the way, which often does. You CAN call in and plead with them to waive your fee, but after the first time or even second, it’s unlikely that they’ll be as willing. So while I mentioned planning ahead above, you also need to be realistic and on top of your schedule because you cannot skip without repercussions.
How to Cancel Orange Theory Fitness
You have to give 30 days notice to cancel. We ended up cancelling our membership because class times and no childcare were not conducive to us having time to get there. They make it so that no matter what, they get one last month out of you before billing stops. I feel like this is very unfair and non-customer friendly. Interesting fact: they can “upgrade” your membership at anytime without 30 days notice, but to “downgrade” your membership they need 30 days to change the billing.
Injuries. Another issue I had at Orange Theory was that going from completely out of shape to hard core workouts took a severe toll on my body. I had more injuries and pulls and joint issues while working out with them than I’ve ever had. It’s VERY intense and if you have an injury and want to cancel before 30 days, they require a doctor’s note in order to process it.
My OVERALL Orange Theory Fitness Review
I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t sustainable for long term for these reasons:
- Price (my husband and I were spending $320 a month to attend! OUCH!)
- Class times
- No childcare (HUGE downside)
- Regular injuries
I would definitely recommend it if I didn’t have the above issues. It’s not perfect, but I have seen myself make HUGE strides with my fitness in 2 months time. My body feels GREAT after working out and I find myself able to recover more quickly and I’m less sore after each workout than I was in the beginning. In fact, I haven’t weighed myself or measured myself to say about my overall results because I’m not worried about that at the moment, I’m more worried about overall health and just treating my body right, but after the new year I intend to try to track some measurable results.
If you’re interested in trying Orange Theory out, I suggest you do and see what you think! Try 4 classes and see what you think…I’ve been REALLY thrilled with it and look forward to continuing there this year.
Thank you for the in depth review of orange theory. It helped me in my decision to try it. I only wish you would have posted after pictures in the same or lighter colored top, there is no way to see any difference due to the black pants & top combo. 🙂
Go to Burn boot camp. Much better workout, less $, pick whatever camp you want- no need to sign up and free childcare
I tried to end my membership before the Grand Opening week in Annandale Va was completed.
I felt pressured into downsizing my membership.
I have recently had my femur, knee, and lower leg surgically corrected. I was living with a severe deformity of the right leg. When I signed up I brought a photo of my leg prior to the corrective surgery and explained to the coach that I might only be able to be on the rower for any length of time.
I felt that I was upfront with my surgical history and also very honest about the pain and limitations I was experiencing during the workouts. I stopped in the middle of the Orangetherapy workout last Thursday to explain one more time (to the lady at the front desk) that this was too challenging for me and that I wanted to discontinue my member ship before it was official. I felt pressure to opt for 1 day a week.
This past weekend I couldn’t bend my knee or put any pressure on my right leg. I will need to make an appointment with my ortho surgeon today to have him access my leg and then write a letter to this facility in Annandale. I feel like I wasn’t heard when I explained to several instructors that with my right leg still in a healing process , this wasn’t a good choice that I had made. I asked if I could opt out of my contract before it became official. I brought my pre-surgical photo again with me to help explain my situation and the instructor said, yea, I’ve already seen that. Really?
Good luck trying to end your membership contract. Even if you admit you’ve made a mistake and would like the chance to opt out before the Grand Opening week has ended. They should just say ok. And please return once you’re leg is healed completely.
Wow that’s horrible! I called to schedule a “free” class and kept getting badgered for my credit card info. I have four kids and often need to change up my schedule last minute. I cannot be charged every time I miss a class. OTF is for people without kids if you ask me. I’m sticking to my regular gym where you are welcomed into classes even if you are late and it’s all drop-in.
I have e kids and it works for me is to go at 5am. Worth every red cent, for me! I’ve been going 4 days a week for 3 years. Only thing I’ve ever stuck with. We have to find what works for us.
I just joined OTF with the one day a week membership, still $69 a month. I also retained my membership at my regular gym $67 a month for two people. I go to boot camp three days a week at my gym, which is a great class. I also walk/hike for 2 hours most every Saturday. I tried OTF on a free pass and felt so good after the class, I joined. It’s definitely a different workout than I get at my very challenging boot camp class. I used to be a runner, and I haven’t felt the runner high until I joined OTF, so I’m hoping it works out as an auxiliary to my regular workout. I am concerned about the 8 hour notice, in case I get sick; but I also love that it holds me accountable. I don’t have children at home but I have a crazy work schedule. They have a 5 am class, which is just tooooo early for me, so I go to the 6:15 class in the morning and then have to shower at work to start on time. I suggest giving it a try if you can handle the strong sales approach they take.
I do it twice a week and that’s perfect for me (do yoga, walk, lift some weights other days when I can). It also gives me enough flexibility to cancel and get my two classes in.
One thing that is misunderstood about OrangeTheory is that you aren’t supposed to blast yourself in the orange zone for the entire class. You are supposed to do interval training. Push yourself into those zones and then recover from them. As you get fitter you recover faster. And if you aren’t feeling great you can have a lighter workout just by not pushing yourself too hard. Or else you’ll hurt yourself.
My wife and I joined the OrangeTheory in my hometown a couple year ago. They had a grand opening so we got one month free. After the first month, it was $149 each, or $298/mo for the both of us, unlimited classes. That was the most expensive gym we joined. It was great, we felt like a family, we loved the trainers there. We’ve been going for 6 months. Our only peeve was the 8 hour notice. Our class was NEVER full, and we were told during the opening that we need to give an 8 hour notice if we can’t make it, so others would have the opportunity to sign for the class. Still, even when the class was half full, and something came up, we had to cancel in less than 8 hours, they charged us! There was plenty of room for others, even if we were to show up. That pissed me off so I cancelled right there. The first reason we cancelled was the charge for not canceling within 8 hours, and the second reason was, we felt $149/month was way, way too much. We found boot camps nearby for more than half the price off OrangeTheory was charging.
Thank you for this review. I did my first free session today. I guess I made my decision based on your review. Interestingly, the OT that I went was very stingy with information . No body answered anything directly. Your review is more open and honest that what I got from them. 🙂
I just moved from texas to Nj and joined OTF .So I went to this Orange Theory in Hackensack NJ had 12 great classes prior to the one I am about to share my experience. So it is a Saturday morning and its with this instructor ” God knows Whats his name” something like ‘Dimitri’ or whatever (never going to see him in my life again and I don’t care). So the class is going on and I finish block one and since it was intense I sat down on the floor to catch my breath since its hot and I was a bit dizzy and I over worked my self and he starts to explain block two and I’m sitting trying to catch my breath and he yells over the mike ‘stand up when I’m talking ‘ in my head I’m like you do’t even know how to talk to people anyways i stand up and and he explains the workout. So now its a workout with squat and jump ,I tried doing it but due to a foot injury my foot is hurting at this point so I go to him to ask him an alternative.This so called coach again ‘yells on the mike not now ‘ waves his hand in the air and walks off. I was so furious I stormed out the of the class and went to the front desk narrated to them the incident and told them ‘I’m never attending his class again’ .But anyways I have decided to cancel my membership instead because you don’t pay $169 to get insulted in front of the whole class.I’ll find something better.I have been to group classes before but never seen an instructor so disrespectful.
Thank you for everyones review. I have been hesitant to join I just feel that the monthly price and how I am with gym memberships Id be wasting my money. My problem is motivation, I have a gym where I live its just getting my butt to go and work out.
Thanks so much for the detailed review! This is exactly the information I was looking for as an Orange Theory is opening soon in my town. I’ve been going to Burn Boot Camp for 2 years and while I love it, I’ve been getting bored and wanted to try something new. I like the tracking part of OT, that’s something Burn doesn’t do. BUT, at Burn I don’t have to schedule any classes ever and there is free childcare. I don’t think my schedule would ever allow me to cancel 8 hours in advance, yikes! I have a friend that raves about OT, but she doesn’t have kids lol. Anyway, thanks again!
I started with a 10 class pack for $200. It costs more than a membership, but you can try it out extensively before signing up for a membership. I have completed 7 of my 10 classes and I am absolutely sold – I love the classes. What I enjoy most about OT is it pushes me to stay in the orange zone. I am 50 years old, and this past year I fell into a rut with my workouts and was not going to the gym consistently. With OT, I know I paid good money for the class, and that is one of the reasons I don’t miss (I hate wasting money). OT is totally worth it to me. I plan to sign up for the 8 class/ month membership. 2 classes a week, mixed in with some weights at home is perfect for me. I am definitely losing weight and feel some much better physically, as well as more confident. If you struggle with motivation, this program will be great for you.
Glad you’re enjoying it Bob. Thanks for your thoughts! Everyone is different in their fitness journey and it’s great to hear it’s going well for you! Cheers!
I called to ask for pricing, he wanted my name and phone number. I said no thanks, I’d just like the pricing. He said I can’t give you that over the phone, but come in and i’ll show you around. I said you can’t even tell me how much it is before I come there. he said no. Just seemed very odd to me and off putting. I won’t be going just on the secrecy factor alone.
Wow! Abbey, your article answered all the questions I had about joining OT. There is a lot to think about there as I am in need of a body overhaul and turning 50 in a couple of weeks. I think I might give it a try. However, knowing the pros and cons is really helpful so I won’t have too many surprises. Thanks for this review!
Thanks Brian, so glad it helped!