Parenting is hard. We don’t always have time to worry about our health and our physical fitness. My family just moved, and one thing I wanted to start incorporating into my routine was a decent workout. I want to have more energy to get things done, focus, and play with my son. Luckily, we now live in walking distance to a shopping center that has an Orangetheory Fitness. I heard some good things about Orangetheory from some friends, and they offer the first class for free. Intrigued, I decided to try it out.
I filled out a form online, and someone called me to schedule my first class. The classes are an hour long, and you can start as early as 5:15 AM or as late as 8:00 PM (most days) on the weekdays.
Other classes start at 6:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM, 12:15 PM, 4:30 PM, 5:45 PM, and 7:00 PM. Every gym probably varies, so check your local gym’s schedule if you decide to try it out.
On Saturdays and Sundays, classes start as early as 7:00 AM, and the last weekend class for my gym is 11:30 AM.
I opted for the 9:45 AM class on a Thursday. They told me to come a little early to set me up with a heart rate monitor. You can choose from one that goes around your chest or one that goes on your wrist (more expensive). I tried them both out (2 different sessions), and both work fine. They also took some time to explain how everything works.
Basically, there are five zones or levels of intensity. Below are the reports they emailed me after my first two workouts. On the website, they say that you can expect to burn about 500 to 1,000 calories in the 1 hour session. I was right in that range. My instructor told me that you want a pyramid shape for the zones. Splat points are the number of minutes you spend in the Orange zone. In this zone, you supposedly keep burning calories for up to 36 hours. Here’s how they explain it on their website:
Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. We call it the afterburn. Our members burn an estimated 500 to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes. And keep burning calories for up to 36 hours.
How was the workout? The workout was intense, but you can push as hard as you want or go as easy as you want. You spend some time on the treadmill, some time on a rowing machine, and some time on the floor with free weights and cables. The instructor plays music in the background to pump you up and calls out instructions through a microphone so everyone can hear. My instructor motivated us and pushed us hard, telling us which zones we should be in and when to push harder. There are multiple screens that show what zone you are in, your BPM (beats per minute), and total calories burned.
What kind of equipment do you use and how many people are in a class? There are 12 treadmills, 12 rowing machines, and 12 suspension unit systems and plenty of free weights and benches for sessions of 10 to 25 people. There were usually 18-20 people in my classes, so you rotate on the equipment.
How was the facility? The gym isn’t huge, but there’s plenty of space for everybody to work out without feeling cramped. They pass out wipes to wipe down the machines throughout the workout. The bathrooms were very clean, and they even have showers there for people who aren’t going straight home afterward.
How much does it cost? As I mentioned above, the first class is free. If you still haven’t made up your mind, they let you come back as a “preferred guest” for a second class for $12. So far, I’ve gone twice and am considering whether I should become a member.
You have to buy a heart rate monitor, which isn’t cheap. It’s $69 for the one that goes around your chest or $99 for the one that goes on your wrist. It’s $49 for the chest one if you get the highest level of membership.
Membership for my gym is $69 for 4x/month, $109 for 8x/month, and $169 for unlimited. For the first two levels, you can do additional classes for $18/session.
You can also get a 10-pack of classes for $199, a 20-pack for $359, and a 30-pack for $499.
Would I join? I’m not sure yet. I am highly considering it, but I don’t want it to be something I try out and quit after a few months. I am considering getting a basic membership for $69/month.
What was my overall impression? Overall, I think it’s a great place to get a good workout. It is much more affordable than getting a personal trainer but more expensive than just getting outside or working out at home. It ranges from about $13-20/session depending on how often you go. Also, it’s nice to workout with other people. For me, I like that there is some quantification of your level of effort and total calories burned. I feel that committed members will definitely become much more fit or lose weight.
Any thoughts or comments from people who have tried it or are current or past members? Please let me know what you think. I still haven’t made my decision.