Orangetheory Fitness provided me with a complimentary membership for the Transformation Challenge. The opinions are my own based on my experience. I was not financially compensated for this post.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably remember how much health and fitness were a part of my life for years. You have probably also noticed that over the last few years I’ve been slacking (one of the by-products of documenting my life publicly), which has resulted in a slow and steady decline in my overall fitness, and incline in my weight. I’ve recently realized that I need to take control of my health again, so the timing couldn’t have been better for me to partner with Orangetheory Fitness for their latest Transformation Challenge! I have several friends who love and swear by Orangetheory, but I had never been to one of their classes myself. I’ve now been going for four weeks, and am half-way through an Orangetheory Transformation Weight Loss Challenge. Since there’s probably a lot of folks out there like me who have been curious about Orangetheory but haven’t tried it yet, today I am sharing all that I have learned, my Orangetheory Fitness review and my experience so far.
If you’d like to join me on this journey to take control of my health and fitness, I have a special for Fab Everyday followers in Austin and San Antonio! Use promo code OTFab to score your FIRST WEEK FREE at any of the participating Austin and San Antonio Orangetheory locations! You can also follow along on my Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge journey in real time on my Instagram Stories (check out my Orangetheory Story highlight) to see my Orangetheory Fitness reviews in real-time.
What exactly is Orangetheory Fitness?
Orangetheory Fitness is an hour-long, full-body studio workout class for people of all fitness levels. The workouts are different every single day, and include cardio, rowing, and strength-training stations. You start with either a cardio or strength training portion (which includes floor exercises with the TRX strap systems, benches, and free weights). The whole time you are working out, your coach will explain how to do each exercise and guide you through the interval length and speed during cardio. With wearable heart rate monitors, Orangetheory workouts include interactive technology that delivers your heart rate and performance data to you in real-time. Your stats and metrics are all right in front of you so you can keep in touch with your body throughout your workout. Learn more about Orangetheory on their website here.
How much does Orangetheory cost?
Orangetheory offers month-to-month packages for either unlimited classes, or a certain amount of classes per month. They even have a quit-free guarantee if you’re not satisfied after your first month. Learn more about the Orangetheory Fitness membership plans here, and remember that Austin and San Antonio Fab Everyday followers get their FIRST WEEK FREE at any of the participating locations using promo code OTFab.
I am always greeted at the door when I arrive to class. You pre sign-up for the classes you want to attend each week so the coaches can make sure they have a good ratio with participants. I go to the Avery Ranch Orangetheory location in North Austin. Click here to find an Orangetheory Fitness location near you.
How does Orangetheory Fitness work?
One of the things that makes Orangetheory special is that they are a workout backed by science. Originally developed as a workout that would “metabolically charge the body,” Orangetheory workouts are designed to move you through different heart rate “zones” for maximum calorie burn and after-burn results. Orangetheory works with five heart rate zones based on your individual heart rate. The daily workouts are strategically designed so you spend at least 12 minutes in what is called the “Orange Zone” (with your heart rate between 84 to 91% of your unique heart rate maximum) or higher in order to achieve the after burn. This boosts your metabolism so that you burn calories after your workout is over (for up to 36 hours). Since the effects are individualized based on our own heart rate, whether you power walk or jog, bike or stride, the workout will produce results based on your own abilities. Since the workouts are also different each day, you will also continue to grow and challenge yourself no matter if you are an Orangetheory newbie like me or multi-year veteran.
Do you burn a lot of calories in Orangetheory Fitness?
Of course individual results will vary, but the Orangetheory system was designed so that you can burn 500 calories or more during your 60-minute workout plus the after burn. I personally have been burning 500 – 600+ calories during each session. After every class, I receive an email summary detailing calories burned, Splat Points (amount of minutes spent in the orange and red zones – which lead to the after burn), and other metrics so I can track my progress.
What equipment do you use in Orangetheory Fitness? Is there a lot of cardio?
Orangetheory studios include treadmills, bikes, striders, rowers, TRX strap suspension trainers, and different weight resistance options such as medicine balls, Bosu balance trainers, free weights, steps, resistance bands, and more. Each workout for me so far has included about 50% cardio (in intervals, usually) with the rest of the time split between rowing and different combination of exercises on the weight floor. The cardio portion is usually on the treadmill (where you can run or power walk with incline, like I do) or a bike or strider option.
Is Orangetheory Fitness safe for people with joint issues?
Because I have bad knees (I’ve had arthroscopic surgeries to repair meniscuses in both of my knees) this is an important question for me before starting any workout. If you have an old injury or are recovering from something physically, just tell your coach, as there are modification options for every exercise. Because of this, I haven’t had any issues with my knees during Orangetheory workouts. I avoid jumps and high-impact activities with modified options, am mindful of my form with squats and lunges, and opt to power walk instead of jogging on the treadmill. But just like any workout, you should always consult a medical professional or physician before starting an exercise program. I personally consulted with my orthopedist to get his opinions on what I could handle and what I should avoid.
Is Orangetheory hard?
Since Orangetheory workout experiences are tailored to individual performance and growth, I have found them to be strenuous and challenging, but only to the level that I can handle. I take full advantage of what I am getting out of each hour-long workout, but monitor my stats in real-time and modify based on my personal limits. This way I am only pushed as far as I should go, which may not be the same as someone else who has been doing it a lot longer. I would say that yes, Orangetheory is challenging, but not impossible for any level. But hey, if it wasn’t challenging, I couldn’t possibly expect to see the results I want!
Since I’m still fresh in my new fitness routine, I’m starting my weights low and slowly, but surely, working myself up as the weeks go by. The same with my power walking pace.
For some reason these weight pics make me want to sing “Eye of the Tiger,” haha!
“Risin’ up, straight to the top, had the guts, got the glory. Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop. Just a (wo)man and his (her) will to survive…
…It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the dream of the fight, risin’ up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor stalks his (her) prey in the night, and (s)he’s watchin’ us all with the eye of the tiger.”
Is the Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge like a boot camp?
My husband has been thinking of joining with me, and this was his first question. Thankfully, Orangetheory does not feel like a boot camp workout at all. The coaches, who are certified personal trainers, are there to guide and encourage you to help you meet your goals. Orangetheory considers itself to offer “Personal Training in a Group Setting,” saving you the money from one-on-one training but in a limited-space, intimate group. I find that the coaches are very positive in their motivation, and offer high-fives at the beginning, end, and even during workouts. I have also experienced the community aspect of Orangetheory Fitness, which makes it a lot of fun. Not only are classes different every day (I have never been bored during a workout), but the music is loud, fun, and upbeat. You also celebrate with others in your class when you reach milestones and finish lines.
What is the Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge?
As I shared earlier, I joined Orangetheory to do a #TransformationChallenge. Orangetheory Fitness studios can offer Transformation Challenge contest promotions to win prizes at their discretions (contact an individual studio to learn more). The Weight Loss Challenge I am doing right now is an eight-week challenge where participants must attend a minimum of three classes at their studio during six of the challenge weeks (four classes a week is recommended for best results, so that is what I’m doing). In addition to the usual Orangetheory workouts, challenges include weigh-ins and photos at different points during the challenge, and access to a nutritionist to monitor my weekly food logs. Challenges generally include a separate one-time registration fee plus the additional components mentioned above (weigh-ins, photos, and food logging reviewed by a nutritionist), but are worth it for the additional motivation and accountability (along with the possibility of winning prizes!).
Do you have to follow a diet when you are in an Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge?
As many of the elements of Orangetheory Fitness are “meet you where you’re at” and encouraging of making this a sustainable part of your lifestyle, a specific diet and food logging is not required (though food logging is required for the Weight Loss Challenge I am doing). That being said, you get what you put in, and I have personally found that food is an important (significantly so) part of not just weight loss, but also in fueling myself properly to take my workouts to their fullest potential. As much as we sometimes hate to admit it – food and diet do matter for results and health!
Orangetheory’s mission of #MoreLife means something different to everyone, but in general, Orangetheory Fitness wants you to invest in yourself, to become a better version of yourself so that “you’re better for your family, your friends, your career — everything that is important to you” to live a longer, “more vibrant” life. After four weeks I am already feeling stronger, more cardiovascularly fit, and energetic. I have lost up to 4 pounds, but already look more toned and my clothes feel a bit better. I will keep you posted on my progress, so follow my Instagram Story to see more, and stay tuned for another blog post updating you at the end of the eight-week challenge. In the meantime if you want to join me and try Orangetheory Fitness for yourself, don’t forget to use promo code OTFab to get your FIRST WEEK FREE at any of the participating Austin and San Antonio locations!