What Is Orangetheory? Is This Health Class for You?

In the event you’re like me, you need to get essentially the most out of your exercises.

Whereas I really like exercising, I don’t really feel like spending numerous hours within the gymnasium each single week. As a substitute, I need to work exhausting, burn some energy, after which get on with the remainder of my day.

Over the previous few years, a health firm known as Orangetheory has taken this mindset and turned it right into a extremely environment friendly 60-minute exercise that may have you ever gassed by the top.

In the event you’ve ever puzzled whether or not you must attempt Orangetheory, this text will inform you what it’s all about, together with its potential advantages and drawbacks.

Orangetheory is a health franchise with greater than 1,275 areas throughout the US, greater than 100 areas in Canada, and plenty of extra globally.

Their 60-minute lessons are identified for combining excessive depth interval coaching (HIIT) with intense cardio classes.

These lessons are based mostly on the idea of extra post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is a rise in metabolism after excessive depth train to help restoration for upwards of 8–24 hours afterward (1, 2, 3).

Due to this fact, their lessons are based mostly on 5 “zones,” which correlate along with your most coronary heart charge (MHR) (4):

  1. Grey Zone (50–60% MHR). That is mild exercise that’s snug and never strenuous.
  2. Blue Zone (61–70% MHR). That is warmup exercise that’s nonetheless snug and straightforward to do however is beginning to get your blood flowing.
  3. Inexperienced Zone (71–83% MHR). This is called your “base tempo.” It’s best to be capable to carry out this exercise for as much as 20 minutes with out being fully out of breath.
  4. Orange Zone (84–91% MHR). Often called the “orange impact” or “afterburn,” this zone entails excessive depth train that may elicit EPOC. Ideally, you must purpose to be on this zone for not less than 12 minutes throughout a 60-minute class.
  5. Purple Zone (92–100% MHR). That is thought of your “all out” effort. You’ll in all probability have to cease inside a minute or so.

Orangetheory has gained a popularity for prime depth, calorie-scorching exercises that prioritize workout routines that may have you ever within the inexperienced, orange, and crimson zones for many of the exercise.


Orangetheory is a health franchise that hosts 60-minute excessive depth train lessons. Their lessons are based mostly on reaching totally different “zones,” or coronary heart charges, which is assumed to assist burn extra energy.

You’ll have to arrive not less than half-hour earlier than your first Orangetheory class to fill out some normal paperwork, talk about your well being and health objectives, get arrange on their coronary heart charge screens, and go over some basic security protocols.

One distinctive facet of Orangetheory is their proprietary coronary heart charge screens, generally known as OTbeat. You employ these to measure your coronary heart charge (i.e., depth) to make sure you’re reaching orange and crimson zones all through every class.

In truth, your coronary heart charge is posted on a display screen on the entrance of the category that can assist you preserve observe of how lengthy you’ve been in every zone. Ideally, you’ll need to earn 12 “splat factors,” the equal of 12 minutes — one splat per minute — within the orange and crimson zones.

Whereas lessons range, they’re normally divided into three elements: rowing, cardio, and power coaching (5).

First, the rowing machine prioritizes muscular power, endurance, and energy. It helps get your coronary heart charge up whereas concentrating on 85% of your muscle mass for a full-body exercise (5).

Subsequent, you’ll do interval cardio — normally on a treadmill — consisting of various speeds, elevations, and restoration instances. In the event you can’t use a treadmill, you may go for one other cardio machine, similar to an train bike (5).

Lastly, there’s an open ground space for power coaching. This may contain a variety of actions, similar to body weight workout routines, weight coaching, or different ground workout routines (5).

Through the class, your coach will take you thru the 5 levels (zones 1–5), with the purpose of reaching not less than 12 minutes within the orange and crimson zones throughout a 60-minute class.

Take into account that no two lessons are alike at Orangetheory. Which means that the category you probably did on Monday received’t be the identical one you do on Thursday. However all of them observe the identical basic format.


Whereas no two lessons are alike, they observe the identical basic format, which features a mixture of rowing, treadmill (working or strolling), and power coaching.

Attending an Orangetheory class has many advantages.

Full-body exercise

Orangetheory lessons are nice for folks searching for a full-body exercise.

The lessons embody cardio and full-body power coaching. That is supreme for busy individuals who need to get essentially the most out of their 60-minute train class.

What’s extra, excessive depth train may be a wonderful method to construct up your cardiorespiratory health, which is essential for efficiency and for lowering your danger of persistent illness (6, 7).

Burns a whole lot of energy

A single 60-minute Orangetheory class can burn a powerful 500–1,000 energy.

Throughout excessive depth train, you exert a whole lot of vitality. To try this, your physique “burns” energy to help your exercise. The variety of energy you burn will rely upon many elements, similar to your physique measurement, intercourse assigned at delivery, health stage, and exercise depth.

For instance, a 170-pound (77-kg) particular person would burn roughly 269 energy in 20 minutes on a rowing machine, 257 energy in 20 minutes of working at a 6-mph tempo, and 154 energy in 20 minutes of intense weight coaching, for a complete of 680 energy (8).

On prime of that, it’s possible you’ll burn extra energy afterward when you spend not less than 12 minutes within the orange and crimson zones throughout the exercise.

Plenty of selection

In the event you’re one of many many individuals who can’t stand doing the identical workout routines time and again, then you definately’ll in all probability love Orangetheory lessons.

Every class is exclusive, and no two exercises are the identical. Which means that each time you step into the gymnasium, you’ll be challenged in a brand new manner, which may be very motivating.

Your effort is private

What is taken into account “excessive depth” for one particular person might not be for one more. Your most coronary heart charge is exclusive to you and is basically based mostly in your health stage, age, expertise, and different elements.

The OTbeat coronary heart charge monitor can inform you which zone you’re in and whether or not you’ll want to enhance or lower the depth.

Which means that one particular person could also be within the orange zone whereas speed-walking on an incline, whereas one other particular person might get there by sprinting. All in all, you may tailor the exercise to your wants, and the coaches may also help information you thru this.

You’ll be able to observe your progress

Along with your OTbeat rating showing on a display screen within the class, you may hook up your coronary heart charge monitor to the Orangetheory App.

This may also help you retain observe of your progress and different measurements, similar to energy burned, splat factors, common coronary heart charge, common most coronary heart charge, and time in every zone.

On prime of that, you may be a part of month-to-month challenges and join lessons proper out of your cellphone.

You’ll be able to tailor your exercise to your wants

In case you have any limitations or want to decide out of an train, your coach will provide modified workout routines or alternate options.

For instance, when you can’t use the treadmill, you may go for an train bike or striders.

Exercising in a gaggle may be motivating

As a result of Orangetheory is a gaggle health class, you’ll reap the advantages of group train: accountability, neighborhood, and motivation.

Orangetheory is a superb possibility for individuals who like the thought of group train however don’t like dance-style cardio lessons.


Many individuals get pleasure from Orangetheory lessons as a result of they’re simple to tailor to your wants, let you measure your effort based mostly in your coronary heart charge, and might let you burn greater than 500 energy in a single class.

Earlier than attempting an Orangetheory class, it’s possible you’ll need to think about a few of its main drawbacks.

It’s costly

Orangetheory lessons usually are not for these on a good price range.

Though costs and membership packages might range by franchise, most franchises provide three predominant packages:

  • Primary: 4 lessons per 30 days for $59 (common value)
  • Elite: 8 lessons per 30 days for $99 (common value)
  • Premier: limitless lessons for $159 (common value)

In case you have a fundamental or elite membership, you’ll need to pay round $28 if you wish to attend an extra class. However if you wish to attempt before you purchase, you may attend the primary class totally free.

On prime of this, you’ll want to purchase the center charge monitor, which prices $69–$129, relying on the mannequin. Alternatively, you may hire it for $5–10 per class. Renting could also be a greater possibility at first when you’re not but dedicated to Orangetheory long-term.

Lastly, you should join lessons, and so they replenish rapidly. If you wish to cancel, you’ll want to take action about 8 hours earlier than the category begins. In any other case, you’ll be charged $10–12, relying on the placement.

Contemplating that you simply might be able to get a gymnasium membership for as little as $10 per 30 days elsewhere, Orangetheory lessons may be pricey and never accessible for everybody.

You might not obtain particular objectives

In case you have particular efficiency or health objectives, then taking Orangetheory lessons might not be best for you.

Let’s say your focus is bodybuilding and also you need to construct substantial muscle mass. To construct muscle mass, you’ll need to prioritize power coaching workout routines that use sufficient resistance and rep ranges that make you’re employed till you’re near failure.

You’ll additionally need to observe progressive overload, which implies rising the load or rep vary over time. As a result of each Orangetheory class is totally different, you received’t be capable to observe your progress.

Due to this fact, when you’re trying to obtain objectives past weight reduction or getting your coronary heart charge up, it’s possible you’ll profit from different train applications.

It’s not one-on-one teaching

Whereas Orangetheory lessons may be a good way to satisfy different gym-goers and keep motivated, you’re not paying for one-on-one teaching. This may be particularly problematic for people who find themselves new to understanding.

Throughout a category, the coach will coach you thru sure workout routines, however they’ll additionally produce other attendees to watch.

In the event you’re not accustomed to a sure train, it’s possible you’ll be extra more likely to carry out it incorrectly and have to attend till the coach can test in on you to let . In the end, this may enhance your danger of harm, cut back the effectiveness of the exercise, or just be irritating.

Due to this fact, when you’re searching for extra customized coaching, you’re higher off investing in a private coach for one-on-one classes.


Some main drawbacks to Orangetheory embody its excessive value, lack of individualized teaching, and incapacity that can assist you attain sure efficiency objectives.

Orangetheory coaches are normally employed by the person franchise. Every franchise might have totally different guidelines and hiring practices.

Nonetheless, Orangetheory’s web site states that people are required to have an NCCA-approved certification in private coaching (e.g., ACE, NASM, ACSM) or a associated faculty diploma (e.g., bachelor of science in kinesiology) to qualify to be an Orangetheory coach (9).

As well as, Orangetheory coaches are required to take a weeklong Orangetheory coaching course and cross the “last mic” examination, wherein they train a trial class. They need to even have legitimate CPR and AED certifications (9).

Lastly, Orangetheory coaches are required to attend month-to-month webinars and conferences for continued schooling (9).


Most Orangetheory coaches can have a certification in private coaching or a associated faculty diploma, be licensed in CPR and AED, and bear persevering with schooling. Nevertheless, the hiring practices of every franchise might differ.

Contemplating {that a} single class can burn greater than 500 energy, Orangetheory lessons might show you how to obtain a calorie deficit that’s wanted to shed extra pounds.

Nevertheless, most analysis has discovered that top depth train results in comparable weight reduction outcomes as steady-state reasonable depth train, similar to strolling or working at a reasonable and constant tempo (10, 11).

The foremost distinction is that top depth train is commonly seen as extra handy as a result of you may burn a better variety of energy in a a lot shorter time.

For instance, a 170-pound (77-kg) particular person will burn round 84 energy in 20 minutes of strolling at a reasonable tempo and round 269 energy in 20 minutes of excessive depth rowing (8).

However steady-state train may be simpler for many individuals to do persistently and frequently as a result of it doesn’t require going “all out” and being fully exhausted by the top. Due to this fact, somebody might choose to go for an hourlong stroll to burn the same variety of energy.

The one main distinction is that Orangetheory lessons are 60 minutes lengthy, which implies you’re burning considerably extra energy than you’ll in 15–20 minutes of HIIT.

In the event you attend a number of lessons per week, you’ll in all probability lose some weight. However when you attend just one class per week, it in all probability received’t be sufficient that can assist you attain the calorie deficit wanted for weight reduction.

So long as you’re constant, are difficult your self, and train lengthy sufficient to burn sufficient energy to realize a deficit, you’ll seemingly lose some weight. You’re much more seemingly to take action when you additionally eat a nutritious food regimen, get high quality sleep, and handle your stress ranges.

Due to this fact, it’s finest to decide on train that you simply get pleasure from and might do on a constant foundation.


Like most different train applications, Orangetheory lessons might contribute to weight reduction so long as you’re constant, train a number of instances per week, and obtain a calorie deficit.

Orangetheory has soared in recognition — and for good motive. Their lessons contain a combination of excessive depth cardio and power coaching that can assist you burn greater than 500 energy in simply 60 minutes.

In the event you earn 12 splat factors — 12 minutes within the orange and crimson coronary heart charge zones — in a category, your metabolism can keep elevated for hours afterward. Excessive depth train can even assist enhance your cardiorespiratory health, which is essential for illness prevention.

Nevertheless, Orangetheory does have some drawbacks, together with its excessive value and lack of one-on-one teaching. Additional, if in case you have particular efficiency objectives in thoughts (similar to bodybuilding or working a marathon), these lessons might not be your best choice.

All in all, I’d say Orangetheory is a superb possibility for individuals who get pleasure from exercising in a gaggle surroundings and like excessive depth train. If that’s not you, then you definately’re in all probability higher off selecting different types of train that higher fit your wants and life-style.

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