Orangetheory Fitness: How It Works + First Impressions

If you’ve ever considered attending an Orangetheory Fitness class, this post may help you to learn more about the workout and pricing structure.

Hi, friends!  I hope you’re enjoying a nice, long weekend.  I went to a tennis meetup in Fort Myers on Saturday where I almost passed out and excused myself early to “pick up a friend at the airport,” so that’s my highlight.  The sun beats down so much more intensely here.  Probably didn’t help that I neglected to bring water, but tomato tomahto.

Fortunately, Sunday’s sweat session went much better.  I tried Orangetheory Fitness for the first time yesterday morning and got in a quality full-body workout.  Today’s post will give you the rundown in case you’ve wondered what OTF is all about or considered attending a class.

Before Your First Class

At many Orangetheory studios, your first class is free.  I simply entered my contact information at, and the owner of the Naples location called me within an hour to chat about my fitness goals, tell me about the workout, and register me for a class.

The staff reached out multiple times between the initial call and the morning of my session.  I received an email with an introductory video and a questionnaire asking me to detail any injuries, and a trainer texted me twice – once to ask if I had any questions and later to confirm my attendance.  This mostly just made me feel guilty for not making a purchase after the freebie, but I did appreciate the effort OTF put into making sure I got the most out of my workout.

You may need to bring in an ID or piece of mail to prove residency near the studio – in some cities, I guess vacationers started to make up a significant portion of attendees and ultimately cost the studios money because they obviously never returned as paying customers.

orangetheory fitness naples

The Workout

Your goal for an Orangetheory Fitness workout is to spend a certain amount of time in several heart rate ‘zones,’ which you’ll track by wearing a simple monitor on your wrist.  The front desk will provide a loaner for your first class, but you must buy one (for about $60) to use in the future.  During each one-hour class, Orangetheory recommends spending 25-35 minutes in the Green Zone, in which you’re working at a moderate pace, and 12-20 minutes in the Orange and Red Zones, during which you should be more uncomfortable.  For every minute in Orange or Red, you get a Splat Point.  Everyone’s Splat Points are displayed on a monitor in real time, which makes the atmosphere competitive and fun.

Each studio has treadmills, rowing machines, and a weight area.  You’ll spend about twenty minutes at each station before moving to the next.

orangetheory fitness

Image belongs to Orangetheory Fitness.

The trainer will use three terms to guide the treadmill users – ‘base,’ ‘push,’ and ‘all out.’  During my session, we spent several minutes at base, then increased our speed for a minute or two.  I worked much harder than I normally would on a treadmill, but the group atmosphere made it less torturous.

At the rowing station, we rowed for a certain number of meters, jumped off to do a quick bodyweight exercise, and then repeated the sequence, only the reps and distance decreased every time.

The weight station involved two ‘blocks’ of four exercises, of which we did three sets each.  It sounded complicated at first, but a monitor showed little moving graphics of each exercise and the trainer also quickly demonstrated them before we got started.

If I thought communication before the class went a little overboard, I found it perfect during the workout.  Orangetheory seems to keep the classes small (under 30 people), so the trainer could keep an eye on everyone.  She gave plenty of encouragement and also turned her mic off when correcting someone’s form so as not to distract the class or make anyone uncomfortable.

The playlist mixed oldies and newer songs but kept the BPM high throughout.  I loved it!  All in all, I left the room sweaty and happy.  And I checked my email after class to find this neat performance summary.



If by now you were thinking of hopping onto Orangetheory’s website to review memberships and rates…good luck.  They don’t make it easy, but the receptionist reviewed my options in detail once I showed up in person.  The cheapest options were definitely not listed online, so I’d recommend sticking around for this part!

At the most expensive end of the range, you can purchase single sessions for $28 (my mother just gasped audibly).  At the cheapest, you can purchase a ‘monthly unlimited’ membership for $159 (at least in the Naples market), which works out to $13 per class if you attend three times a week.  There are several packages and membership options in between, but hopefully that gives you an idea.

My studio offered 20% off my first purchase, including the required heart rate monitor, on that day.  They’d filled out all the paperwork in advance and only needed me to hand over a credit card, so prepare yourself to decline if necessary. 🙂

General Thoughts

I thought Orangetheory provided an excellent full-body workout and would have seriously considered one of the membership options had I, you know, had an income.  I’d recommend these classes to anyone looking for a high-intensity, high-energy group fitness class.

Have you ever tried Orangetheory?  Were you also surprised to see this post go on for 1,000 words?  Let me know in the comments!

I’m linking up with Katie and Amanda today.

6 thoughts on “Orangetheory Fitness: How It Works + First Impressions

  1. Kat

    Wow – this class sounds incredible! I’ve heard a lot of great things about Orangetheory but I’ve never seen one in my area. I prefer to make my own workouts, however I could see how beneficial and awesome this class could be. I actually would love to train one! How cool would it be to be the trainer in there?!

    1. Nicole Miller Post author

      It would be very cool! I actually follow a blogger who manages a studio in the New York City area, and it seems like OTF would be a great place to work. Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. Nicole Miller Post author

      Same! I grew up running all the time because I played soccer, but not many full-body or ‘boot camp’ classes seem to work it in.


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