On Friday night my best friend and I tried our first ever Orange Theory Fitness class together and I was very excited to put together a full review of my experience for you all! I had heard so much about Orange Theory through friends and followers, and so when I realized that you could try your first class for free I knew I had to give it a go.
About Orange Theory
Orange Theory is a class focused on heart rate based interval training, which is my favorite kind of training and one I find to be the most effective for my body! The set up for the classes here are a little different than others I’ve tried and change daily to ensure you never get the same class twice. For that reason it is hard for me to give you an entirely accrue review of the class (because yours will be different than mine) but for the sake of this post I will share my particular workout and the general Orange Theory format.
Upon arrival you are given a heart rate monitor to wear around your wrist throughout the workout. This displays your heart rate on one of the TV’s set up throughout the room. The goal is to keep your heart rate in the “orange” zone for as long as you can, which they refer to as the “afterburn.” The longer you stay in this zone, the more calories you burn after the workout is complete.
The room is broken into two sections; one half with the treadmills and bikes for the cardio based portion of the workout, and the other with the free weights. Our instructor brought us into the gym before the class began to explain the lay of the land and how to use some of the machines. She also explained the basis of the treadmill workouts and the succession we would be following for the sprinting exercises. Our particular workout was a power and endurance based workout, though some others may focus on other areas like strength.
We spent the first half of the class moving between in a circuit between the rowing machines, free weights, and TRX. This portion of the class was my favorite because of the pace and variety of exercises. There was a mix of upper and lower body exercises with plenty of built in cardio. Some moves included Med Ball Jacks and TRX Jump Squats.
The second half of the class was spent on the treadmills. I’m not much of a treadmill runner, but I had no problem getting into these 7 minute “blocks”. They focused on getting our heart rate up and quickly moving back into a recovery state. Most rounds included a 1 minute walk, 90 second base pace jog, and a “push” for all out sprint that could last anywhere between 30-90 seconds. These blocks were really effective and can be done running, biking, or power walking depending on your ability!
After 60 minutes I was sweating bullets and definitely felt as though my muscles were fatigued, which is one of my favorite feelings and the sign of a great workout. Our instructor was wonderful and full of energy which helped push through some of those harder blocks on the treadmill. She offered plenty of help to those who needed corrections on form and answered any questions people had.
After the class we talked with the instructor and gave her our feedback on the workout before we were shown the membership options. This is where I’ll be the most honest, but please keep in mind that you should always form your own opinion before making a decision on a membership of your own!
Orange Theory offers several memberships levels with varied pricing depending on location. The Premier membership includes unlimited classes per month and comes at the highest cost (over $150 per month). There is a charge for late cancels and no shows on this membership, which can cost you an extra $12 per missed class. The second level is Elite and includes 8 sessions per month for over $100 per month. Each additional class can be purchased for an extra fee (which is determined by your particular gym). The last membership level is Basic and comes in at around $80 per month for 4 sessions. This option also allows you to purchase additional classes as you wish.
You can also purchase “packages” of classes, with options for 30 classes, 20 classes or 10 classes to be used within the year. These come out to about $16-18 per class on average.
As someone who feels confident in my ability to train myself on a daily basis, these rates seemed a little high for me. I’m also someone who keeps a very tight budget each month and prefers my $25 a month gym membership than to pay just under that per class.
However, if you are someone who feels that they would benefit from working with a trainer and prefers group classes, than Orange Theory may be worth it to you! It was an excellent workout and I had a lot of fun, so my choice to decline a membership really comes down to my personal finances and my confidence in my ability to create my own workouts. If there was an option to purchase individual classes without a monthly membership I would likely take a class every few weeks to switch up my routine and do something a bit different.
Like I said before your first class with Orange Theory is free to try it out and get a feel for the program, so I highly recommend taking them up on that offer if you’re curious! I am still sore two days later so you’ll get a great workout whether you commit or not.
Have you ever tried Orange Theory? If so leave me a comment telling me about your experience and opinion on the membership pricing!