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My First Orangetheory Class: All Your Questions Answered

Let me start off with a disclaimer that I’m technically writing this after my second Orangetheory class… not my first. With that said, yes, I did actually survive and I liked enough to go back. Today I’m sore and I can barely sit, but I already can’t wait for my next class (tonight at 7 if you must know).

I’ve been trying to convince my coworkers, friends, and even boyfriend to do a class with me. There is something about a quick 55-minute workout that burns 500+ calories that gets me excited! So without further ado, here is everything you need to know about your first Orangetheory class.


How does Orangetheory Work? 

Orangetheory is a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) class. What that means is your heart rate will be going up and down throughout the workout. Each person wears a heart monitor to measure your heart rate throughout the workout. Your heart rate is then displayed on a giant TV monitor so you can check to see how hard you are working throughout the workout. My favorite part about Orangetheory is that you will never and I repeat never do the same workout. In the past, I’ve spent way too much time looking up moves on Pinterest and forgetting them when I go to the gym. This is the perfect class to teach me what to do right as I’m working out.

What Are Orangetheory Splat Points?

Throughout your workout, you will see your heart rate go up and down and be sectioned off into four different colors: gray, green, orange, and red. You gain a splat point every minute your heart rate is in the orange (84-91%) or red zones (92-100%). Once you achieve 12-20 splat points you burn even more calories over the next 36 hours. For most of the workout, you will be in the green zone and try to get into the orange and red zones. It is very achievable to get more than 12 splat points in your workout. For the two classes I’ve been to, I’ve been able to get 18 and 19 splat points.

What Should I Expect at My First Class?

For your first class, you should expect to arrive 30 minutes earlier than your class. You will have to fill out some papers, answer questions about your goals (some personal ones about your weight), and learn how everything works. Someone will show you how to put on your heart rate monitor, there are three different types: arm, wrist, and chest. After you’re hooked up with your heart rate monitor, you will go into the studio and meet your instructor for the class. He or she will teach you the lay of the land. After all that, you’ll start your workout! Make sure you bring water!

During the workout, you’ll pick a number and stay with that number. This means that if you pick treadmill #3 you’ll go to rower #3 and weightlifting station #3. This makes the whole process of switching stations a whole lot easier. Your instructor will also give you a wipe to wipe down your equipment after you use it. After the 55-minute workout, you will stretch for the last 5 minutes. You will be shocked by how quickly the hour goes because you’re not wasting any time trying to decide on what to do next.


What is Hell Week?

I was “lucky” enough to start Orangetheory during Hell Week. Hell Week is an 8-day workout before Halloween that challenges you to do grueling workouts and “awaken your inner athlete.” If you complete a certain number of workouts during Hell Week they give you a free t-shirt. From what it sounds, there are multiple challenges that Orangetheory does that can earn you free merchandise. So far, I have not done any “normal” Orangetheory classes so I’m very excited to see what today brings… if my sore legs can make it there!

Should I be Intimidated? 

You should not expect the instructor to yell at you and tell you that you are terrible and need to work harder. That is definitely not the atmosphere of Orangetheory. For the two times I’ve gone, the instructors have repeated: “this is your hour make it count for you.” They also constantly call out your name and tell you achieved your splat point goal or that you’re close. They motivate you instead of making you feel crummy about yourself during the workout.

What Types of Workouts are There?

There are three to four different types of equipment being used: treadmill, rower, weights, and PRX (ropes that you pull on). There are also benches and elastic bands that are sometimes used but let’s not be technical. Each class is completely different so that you’ll never get sick of doing the same thing.


What if I’m Not a Runner?

I joined Orangetheory because I want to get better at running. Right now, I can barely run a mile without stopping to catch my breath. I’m determined to change that with Orangetheory. With that said, I was incredibly nervous that I was going to my first class. Thankfully, I quickly realized that no one really cares what you’re doing because they’re way too focused on their own workout. Even though Orangetheory is technically a “group workout” it is an individual workout because you are going at your own pace.

For the treadmills, you have three options: power walker, jogger, and runner. There are cue cards on each treadmill that tells you how fast you should go during your workout. You will decide if you are a power walker, jogger, or runner and during the workout the instructor will tell you if your speed/incline should be at base, push, or sprint all out. I’ll definitely report in a month or so to tell you if my endurance has improved on the treadmill! I’m excited to get better at running!

Is Orangetheory Expensive? Is it Worth it?

Prices vary from location to location based on the popularity (and I’m pretty sure the income around the area). For example, NYC prices might be more expensive than rural Connecticut. They also aren’t very transparent about pricing on their website which is one negative I find. The pricing at my Orangetheory are as follows:

  • Drop in: $28
  • 4 classes a month: $69 a month or $17.25 a class
  • 8 classes a month: $119 a month or $14.88 a class
  • Unlimited classes each month: $179 a month or about $8.95 a class (if you go to 4 days a week/20 times a month)

After your trial period, you will have to buy a heart monitor or rent one. To rent a heart monitor they cost between $5-$10 and to buy one they cost $50-$99. The cool part about the heart monitors is that they can log your workouts outside of class.

The only downfall to Orange Theory is that it is wicked expensive. Your first class will be free if you sign up for more classes after your first class. I am currently signed up for the 8 classes a month which is $119 a month or $14.88 a class. Although I do this is very expensive, I 100% believe that it is worth it. When I go to my gym ($10 a month) I spend some time on the elliptical, stair master, a few weights, and the same ab routine I’ve been doing since high school. I’ve clearly plateaued a long time ago and needed something to spice things up. Orange Theory is perfect for that.


What is Your Favorite Part About Orangetheory?

After you finish your workout, a report summary will be sent to your email and your app. You can then see you’re your splat points, calories burned, average heart rate, and the duration of your workout. In the Orangetheory app, you can track your workouts, create goals, and see yourself beat your own records. You’re really competing against yourself and not anyone else.

Who Should Join Orangetheory?

To be blunt: everyone. It doesn’t matter that you run marathons in your free time or you can barely walk a mile without catching your breath, you can do this. Everyone works at their own space and minds their own business. If you’re not a runner, you can walk. If you can’t lift heavy weights yet, you can lift lower ones. If you need to sit down, by all means, sit down. No one is going to judge you. The only people that will not like this workout are people who like quiet, low-intensity workouts.

Have you every tried Orangetheory? Have you done a HIIT workout? Let me know what your current workout routine is down below. 

As always,

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