My First Orangetheory Experience

Apparently, this is my week to do reviews.  This is another one that I am excited to share.  I reached out to Orangetheory to see if they might be able to offer our running team a class.  I know that for a lot of new runners (and even those who are experienced) winter weather can be both intimidating and frustrating.  As a coach, I want to give everyone options and keep it fun.  This is what leads to adherence and that is my number one priority.


Having heard a little bit about these classes I wanted to give them a shot.  The manager of our local Orangetheory was generous enough to set up a special class for our team.  I was a little nervous about taking this class because I had just finished an 18 mile run only two hours earlier.  But with some food in my belly and a quick shower, I was good to go.

We were greeted when we walked in by smiling and professional faces.  They handed over basic paper work, asked us a few questions to help get to know us a bit better, and then got us set up with our heart rate monitors.

Strapped in and ready to go, the instructor took us into the room and got us acquainted with the equipment.  We started on the treadmills.  Perhaps you have done a lot of running on the mill, or maybe you are new to it; either way he showed us how to get going and how to establish a base pace, faster pace, and an all out running speed.


Next up, we hopped on the rowing machines.  Talk about intimidation!  These things scare the crap out of me.  But the instructor’s knowledgeable explanation of how the machines work and how we should approach them, made all of the difference.

Once we were ready to get started we again hopped on the treadmills where a majority of the class takes place.  What I love about this class is that it uses your heart rate and zone training.  Every individual is different, but you can each follow this plan at your own pace and get similar benefits.  Using your heart rate and watching your intensity level on the screens above the machines, you can see where you are at every point during your workout.  The goal is to get your workloads up into the orange (thus the name) and red levels for a good bit of the class.  This is the area where you build endurance, rev that metabolism and burn those calories.  Whether you goal is to become a more fit athlete or lose some weight, you will be happy with this approach.


After lots of speed play, we switched over to inclines and hills.  I usually hate these, but the varied patterns, pumping music and fun teacher made this go by and I found myself working hard to keep that rate up and motivated by the sweaty athletes around me.

We said goodbye to the treadmills and headed over for some circuit training.  Set to 10 minute intervals we started the first one with an 800m row.  From there we did circuits of upper body and core with weights, TRX and out own body weight.  The next set involved both upper and lower body for 10 minutes.  Finally we ended with a speedy power session on the rowing machine mixed with jumping jacks and medicine balls.


By the time we finished and our results were posted on the board, I had received an e-mail from Orangetheory with my results of the class.  I LOVED being able to see this.  What a nice added perk for someone who likes to see results and numbers!


The Bottom Line:  As a runner I loved it.  As an athlete I loved it.  While I wouldn’t use this for every workout, I see a ton of value in this.  Every session is different.  It gets at your competitive core.  I love that it involves a full body strength training session and hits those intervals.  This is the perfect combo of potential speed work mixed with a full body workout.  Many of us runners forget to work the entire body and this will help you fit it all in.  Personally, I would recommend this as a once a week session for any athlete.

Go find your local Orangetheory and look into a free trial class.  I think you will be hooked.  A huge thanks to Orangetheory in Edgewater.  Everyone was so great and I have to say that our instructor was really quite awesome!

25 thoughts on “My First Orangetheory Experience

  1. Thanks so much for your review of Orangetheory! I’ve heard about these studios but had no idea what they were about. Sounds like such a great workout, and a nice change from strict running (which is so important!).

  2. We don’t have an OrangeTheory by us (yet) but I hear such great things about it. This is the kind of place I would be interested in because it seems like it’s truly geared towards runners. Great review!

  3. I love that you can see the numbers! I’m a big fan of Barry’s Bootcamp and Results Fitness (local studio) that do similar workouts where you alternate between the treadmill and the floor (and rower for Results), but they don’t give you the data. Will have to give Orangetheory a try as I’m a numbers junkie.

    • The numbers are what really rounds this out. Just like you said, I too am a numbers fanatic and being able to see what you did and potentially compare to other workouts is really awesome.

  4. I’m astounded you did all that after running 18 miles! The class sounds great. I can see how the numbers would be motivating and the structure removes the am-I-doing-enough/too-much? guesswork.

    • I’m a little astounded myself. But it was totally worth it and made me really enjoy me day off on Sunday. It really does take any questions about the workout out of the equation. I think this class is pretty solid on all levels.

  5. Yes! I tried Orangetheory a few months ago just before I got married, thinking it would be a good last minute push before the nuptials. My recap is on my blog. I ended up getting totally hooked and love that it is an easy way to get speed work and intervals into my training. (Those things were WAY lacking before!) And the real-time heart rate feedback is so addictive too — no need to think about anything, plus automatic motivation. Now I want it every time I go to a gym class!

    • I will have to check out your review. I totally agree about the speed work. For anyone who lacks the motivation to do it themselves, this is a great way to add it in. You almost forget that is what you are doing. Almost!

  6. This was a timely post since we have an orangetheory gym opening near me very soon! I was planning on taking a tour soon. So glad to get your perspective as a runner, I was thinking I could try it once a week and I love all the numbers you get from your workout!

  7. I’ve never taken an OTF class but have read enough reviews that when I found out a location was opening near me, I signed up without having even tried it. Of course there’s an out if I hate it, but I’m sure it won’t.
    I don’t think I’ve heard one bad thing. Thanks for the review!

  8. I’m amazed that you were able to do a class right after your long run, superwoman! I wish we had something like this around us, because I would definitely give it a try–sounds fun and of course, competitive!

  9. I did two classes as part of a free trial and thought it was great – except my heart rate monitor just would not work during one class which was super annoying. If I could work it into my schedule and budget I would love to make it more regular.

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