Payton Reed

OTF Review

Payton Reed
OTF Review

What is It?

Orangetheory is a widely-known fitness franchise that provides heart-pounding, super sweaty workouts based on a high intensity interval training (HIIT) model. The workout style combines cardio and strength training for an upbeat, fast-paced fitness experience. It has been around since 2010 and has locations literally everywhere. I would be shocked if you didn’t have one within an hour of your house.

The workouts are split into 3 main parts: running, weight room and rowing. In any given class I will run about 2 miles over the course of several intervals. I might row about 2,000 meters, also in intervals. The weight room portion varies depending on the class but you can normally count on lots of arms and core moves with weights in addition to some quick cardio-style movements like burpees and mountain climbers. The classes could be split evenly between the three sections or you could be bouncing back and forth between the machines in a kind of “tornado” style class. The classes are never boring, that’s for sure! Most of the time the music is LIT which just adds to the hype.

Who Can Do It?

I think ANYONE can do these classes. You might be thinking you can’t run a mile, but that is a-okay! There are workouts for walkers, joggers and runners. If you can’t run on a treadmill due to an injury, there are bikes and ellipticals that you can replace the tread portion with. You can use however much weight you want, or use none at all. The coaches always offer alternate options and modifications so, chances are, if you are active, in good health and want to work hard, you can handle the class.

What Is the Theory?

This is an important part! The “Orangetheory” is that if your heart rate stays in the Orange Zone for 12 minutes or more, then you are burning fat up to 36 hours after you stop working out. Each person wears a heart rate monitor that tracks your heart rate on a screen in front of the class, which helps hold you accountable and keep you safe. You can also see your calories burned, which is awesome motivation! For every minute you spend in the Orange Zone, you earn a splat point. The more splat points, the more fat you burned! Cool theory, huh? Here’s the nitty gritty details on the science behind Orangetheory.

The Downside

This comes with ANY boutique fitness experience, but it bears mentioning if you’ve never participated in this kind of class. You must cancel 8 hours or more before your scheduled class, no exceptions. So if you get off work late or if something comes up, you lose a class or are charged $12. So be prepared for that! Obviously you pay a monthly fee and if you want to cancel your membership you must do so pretty far in advance of your bill date, otherwise you will be charged for the next month. Be sure to check with your studio before making any decisions! Those are really my only 2 negatives, and those are to be expected with any service or gym. I have had a great experience with everything else!

Is it Worth It?

Let’s face the facts. Orangetheory is “expensive”. Well, it is expensive when compared to a basic gym membership, but it is on par with other boutique fitness experiences like SoulCycle, CycleBar, Barry’s Bootcamp and other popular upscale gyms. I only do the basic membership where you can go 8x a month. So that usually means twice a week for me. Once during the work week and once on Saturday. My membership is $79 a month, so about $10 a class and to me, it is worth it. I love being challenged and coached so I like the group class settings. I grew up playing soccer and running track so this fills some weird type of group competition void I have and helps me channel my athleticism.

To me, Orangetheory is worth it. Could you probably do a similar workout on your own? Yes. Would you? Probably not. The coaching, creativity and competitive nature of the class make it SO different from going to the gym on your own. It is super fun to me and is kinda of a treat to go! I feel amazing when I finish the workout and I maximize my time to calorie ratio when I go to a class. I learn new exercises and make new friends every time I am in the studio!

The Results

I love getting the OT Beat Report at the end of each class. They email you a break down of your class and even show you how it compares to other classes you have taken. I am leaving a few of mine below so that you can see what I mean. It is so satisfying to see yourself improve! As far as physical results, I feel like my cardio abilities have gotten SO much better. Before I started I could do like 5 modified burpees and now I can do almost as many full burpees as I want to. My max sprint speed on the treadmill has increased from 8.0 to 10.5 and that is HUGE for me! The coaches really help push you to your fullest potential and I love the challenge. I think the area I have improved in the most is rowing. It is an insane full-body workout and my wattage has gotten much higher. Now I actually know how to row properly, whereas before I was doing it ALLL wrong and had no idea. It has helped improve my workouts outside Orangetheory too. The classes give me new ideas for the gym and help me understand what it feels like for my body to be in the fat burning zone. If I can do this, so can you!


Orangetheory may not be the workout for you, but I encourage you to find one that fits! Being active and taking care of our bodies is so important. If nothing else, I hope this blog post helps you get one step closer to finding the perfect workout for YOU!

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