OrangeTheory is a popular group fitness chain with over 1300 different locations and 1 million members!
So whether you’ve seen it in the news.
Have one just down the road from you.
Or have persistent friends trying to convince you it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
Perhaps you’re slowly starting to wonder about whether you too should join the party.
So what exactly is OrangeTheory?
And is a membership at OrangeTheory really worth it?
OrangeTheory is a great option for beginner to intermediate fitness seekers who want a friendly group fitness environment, guidance and coaching and a calorie scorching, cardio-based session. However, if you want to prioritise strength training and building muscle or prefer working out independently, it may not be the right fit.
Today, we’ll be diving into everything there is to know about this massive fitness chain.
Outlining the pros, cons and potential alternatives.
In order to help you make a more informed choice as a consumer.
Here’s what we’ll be covering in our review:
- What is OrangeTheory?
- Is OrangeTheory for Beginners?
- Is OrangeTheory Like CrossFit?
- Does OrangeTheory Work?
- Can You Lose Weight From OrangeTheory?
- How Much Does OrangeTheory Cost?
- OrangeTheory Pros
- OrangeTheory Cons
- Is OrangeTheory Worth It?
- OrangeTheory FAQ
Alright, enough chit chat.
Let’s dive in to the review!
| So, You’re Thinking About Joining OrangeTheory?
Life is filled with unhealthy obstacles and distractions.
Obstacles that make it challenging for us to stay on track with our health and fitness.
First up, time is hard to come by with our busy schedules.
We are busy than we have ever been.
Sometimes, the last thing we feel like doing is making time in our daily schedule to exercise.
Furthermore, consuming calories and being lazy is easier than it’s ever been.
There’s fast food options everywhere.
And technology is making everything convenient and movement ‘not so normal’.
As a result, it’s easier than ever to put on weight and harder than ever to make exercise a daily habit.
So, what if there was a workout that could help you burn the most amount of calories possible in 60 minutes?
And did it in a friendly group environment with coaches to show you exactly what to do when you rock up?
| What is OrangeTheory?
In 2010, OrangeTheory founder Ellen Latham was teaching Pilates in her studio called “Ellen’s Ultimate Workout” which she founded in the 90s.
Although her clients were strengthening their core and feeling fantastic, they were failing to see any substantial fat-loss.
They began asking their coach Ellen whether she could devise the ultimate fat burning, calorie torching workout possible.
With a background in physiology for 40 years, Latham took up the challenge and after several iterations, trialling and testing, came up with the Orangetheory workout.
It’s based on the physiological theory of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is a heart rate-monitored training regime designed to stimulate your metabolism to the max.
OrangeTheory is high enough intensity to enable you to burn plenty of calories during and up to 36 hours post workout.
But it’s not so intense that you can’t sustain it for the 60 minute session..
It’s high enough intensity to burn plenty of calories.. but not so intense that you can’t sustain it for the 60 minute session.
This is where the orange comes from, because it’s half way in between the red zone and green zone.
Enabling you to continually push yourself throughout the session.
| What’s an OrangeTheory Class Like?
OrangeTheory classes have around 18 members working around a series of stations for several rounds.
Stations may include exercises like:
- Rowing Machines
- Step Ups
- High Knees
- Bench Hops
- Box Jumps
- And much more..
In order for members to stay in the orange zone, they’re equipped with a heart rate monitoring device prior to the workout.
Which shows you live, on screen how hard you’re actually working at any moment.
It’s a great way to keep you honest during the workout and ensure you’re giving it everything you’ve got.
What also makes OrangeTheory great, is that you’ve got qualified coaches to guide you through the exercises.
And an electric group fitness environment with other members to motivate you to keep showing up.
So rather than having to drag yourself out of bed every morning, relying purely on your own motivation.
You’ve got likeminded friends and coaches keeping you on track towards your goals.
| Is OrangeTheory Like CrossFit?
So after hearing what OrangeTheory is all about.
Many people start to consider that it seems extremely similar to the popular workout movement of CrossFit.
But is this actually the case? Or is there a difference?
OrangeTheory is similar to CrossFit in that they are both group fitness style training with coaches to guide you and include high intensity cardio workouts. However, they differ in that CrossFit is far more intense and also has you completing strength training and technical exercises like Olympic lifts.
So in our opinion, OrangeTheory presents a better option for beginners.
Whereas CrossFit might be better off trying once you’ve learnt how to move properly in a gym setting and are more advanced in your fitness journey.
| Is OrangeTheory for Beginners?
OrangeTheory can be a great option for beginners as you are guided by coaches throughout, the exercises are relatively easy to pick up, and there are other members around you from whom you can take their lead. However, if you are severely overweight or battling health conditions, you may need to ease in to OrangeTheory.
Most people find signing up to and getting started at their first gym pretty intimidating.
They end up feeling really lost, not knowing how to use any of the equipment or which exercises to do.
Conversely, OrangeTheory has sessions already created for you before you get there and coaches to guide you through the workouts, which can make it great for those new to fitness.
| Does OrangeTheory Work? Can You Lose Weight From OrangeTheory?
Whether OrangeTheory “works” or not really comes down to how you’re measuring its efficacy.
For instance, your goal might be to stop being lazy and actually start exercising regularly.
Or your priority might be using OrangeTheory to improve your cardiovascular fitness for your heart health.
So you can see how everyone has a different measuring stick when it comes to weighing up OrangeTheory’s effectiveness.
In saying this – for most people – they are mainly concerned with whether or not OrangeTheory is going to help them lose weight and get in better shape.
So can OrangeTheory help you to transform your body? Or is it just another gimmick?
OrangeTheory is a moderately effective way to lose fat and gain a small amount of muscle tone due to the large number of calories burnt throughout the workout. If paired with a caloric deficit nutrition plan, OrangeTheory can become even more effective for weight loss.
Pair that with the multitude of cardiovascular, physiological and social benefits that OrangeTheory gives you, OrangeTheory is a great place to start.
However, we do recommend adding in some strength based training too.
If you’re serious about getting stronger, building lean muscle and getting more toned or ‘ripped’, OrangeTheory is limited.
This is because they have a focus on cardiovascular training, rather than strength training.
| How Much Does OrangeTheory Cost?
At the end of the day, if you’re set on giving OrangeTheory a crack but can’t afford the premium price tag, you might have to look elsewhere before you even start.
So how much is a monthly membership at OrangeTheory?
A membership at OrangeTheory will cost you between $59 and $159 a month (USD) on a pay as you go arrangement, with the price dependant on how many classes you want to do on a weekly basis.
For instance, an unlimited class membership allows you to attend as many classes as you like for $159 a month.
Whereas a $59 a month membership will only allow you to attend four classes a month.
There are also options to buy class packages, rather than opting for a membership, which work out to be around $28 per class.
In our opinion, by far the best value for money is choosing OrangeTheory’s premium, unlimited class membership, which works out to be less than $8.00 per class if you attend 5 times a week.
It really just comes down to what you can afford and how regularly you can attend.
| OrangeTheory Pros
If you haven’t yet found your confidence or competence in the gym yet, having OrangeTheory coaches guide you through the session and give you feedback on your form can be a massive win.
Rather than feeling a little lost and unsure where to start in a commercial gym like Planet Fitness, you’ll actually have a session already ready for you to go, with coaches showing you through it.
Exercising by yourself can be tough. You might be feeling demotivated and even a little bored when it comes time to do your daily session.
Whereas a group fitness environment like OrangeTheory can be extremely motivating and exciting for many people as you get to meet new people who are in a similar situation.
Many people also find that fellow members keep them accountable. You can’t wuss out half way through a workout and the on-screen heart rate tracking ensures that you keep on giving it your all.
Effective Cardio Workouts
If you’re someone who absolutely loves cardio based training like rowing machines, bikes, jumping jacks and high knees, OrangeTheory is a great option.
As a result, you’ll burn plenty of calories throughout a session, which can absolutely help with weight loss.
| OrangeTheory Cons
So if you commit to an OrangeTheory membership, you need to make sure you are using it regularly (at least 3 times a week) in order for it to be worth it.
Lack of Flexibility
Let’s say you wake up feeling extremely sore, tired, or even sick and you simply want to take a day off, or sleep for a few extra hours before your session.
Well unfortunately, OrangeTheory makes this difficult. In fact, many OrangeTheory studios will charge you a cancellation fee if you don’t rock up.
So if you want a membership where you can simply rock up when you feel like or ditch last minute, OrangeTheory may not suit you.
Lack of Strength Training
If your main goals involve getting stronger, building lean muscle and getting more toned or ‘ripped’, OrangeTheory is limited due to their large focus on cardio-based training.
| Is OrangeTheory Worth It?
So, at the end of the day, is OrangeTheory worth the pretty hefty price-tag of $159 per month?
If you’re someone who is seeking a motivating group fitness environment with coach guidance and effective cardio-based training, OrangeTheory is absolutely worth it. However, if you want to prioritise strength training and building muscle or prefer working out independently, OrangeTheory may not be the right fit.
At the end of the day, it all comes back to your fitness goals and budget.
| How Often Should You Attend OrangeTheory?
Most members attend OrangeTheory between 2-5 times per week, starting off with less sessions and working their way up as their body adjusts to the workload.
| What Is OrangeTheory Lift 45?
OrangeTheory Lift 45 is the brand’s newest, more strength-based edition to their suite of original classes. It includes 45 minutes of functional strength training using equipment such as dumbbells, medicine balls, BOSU balls, TRX straps, workout benches and more.
However, if you’re looking to actually lift weights in a group fitness environment, Lift 45 doesn’t really replace more effective strength training done with barbells and plates like at Body Fit Training or Barry’s Bootcamp.
| How Long Are OrangeTheory Classes?
OrangeTheory classes are 60 minutes in duration.