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.
Orange Theory 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.
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?
In short. YES. 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.
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….
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. You MUST 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.
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…
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.
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. I feel 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. I actually 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.