Orange Theory Fitness Review – What it’s like to “Earn That Burn”

Katie McCaskill Last Updated: April 8, 2018 16

Orange Theory Fitness Review

How my “Yoga Only” booty ended up in an Orange Theory Class

The first time I went to an Orange Theory Fitness class, I was pretty much forced to go. I was working for Lululemon at The University Town Center in Sarasota, Fl.

A really awesome part of working for them is the group activities that the employees do within their local communities.

There would be groups of us that would get to go to group fitness classes for free, as long as we would be rocking our Lululemon gear! At the time, if it was up to me, I would only be going into Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga classes.

Luckily, I was introduced to Orange Theory Fitness.

Orange Theory Fitness – Going to your First ClassOrange Theory Fitness Before and After

Orange Theory Fitness is HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training and you’ve  probably heard of this style of fitness before. 

The idea of jumping into that style of fitness if maybe you haven’t ran in a while, or are just feeling sluggish and out of shape, can be intimidating. Who wants to run next to a marathon runner?

One thing that seperates Orange Theory Fitness from other styles of group fitness, is the personalized aspect. When you book your first class, the friendly front desk people will ask you to come in a half hour early.

You will go over paperwork of course, your fitness goals, and what you can achieve in one class.

You will also meet with the coach and go over your goals so that they can know any modifications that you may need. The coach will take you in the different workout areas and go over the water rowers, treadmills, and weight room.

Let’s say you aren’t a marathon runner, you can ABSOLUTELY get your heart rate up and burn just as many calories as that marathon runner next to you just by walking on some various inclines.

And as the trainer is telling the class what to do next for that particular day, they will offer the modifications as they go along so they reach everyone from the walker to the jogger to the marathon runner.

Orange Theory Fitness – How they Track Your Heart Rate and Calories Burned

OTF Splat PointsThey will also show you how to use your heart rate monitor. This thing rocks!

It’s programmed to your body personally so that you can see your own results. It comes in 2 different forms.

There is the monitor that is strapped to your chest on a lightweight elastic band, or the newest style which is a monitor in a watch form.

I personally use the one that is strapped to my chest because that has continuously been successful. The heart rate monitor does cost about $70, so take care of it!

One of the most motivating things about Orange Theory Fitness is the screen of live results that is showing during class.

It shows your heart rate, how many calories you are burning, and where you are at in terms of EPOC.

Orange Theory Fitness EPOC

“Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC

This is what really gets people going! The EPOC you’ll experience from Orange Theory Fitness is scientific based research on what your coach will call “the after-burn effect.”

As long as your results from the workout show that you stayed anywhere from 12-20 minutes in a combination of the orange and red zone, the next day you will still be burning extra calories.

These are also referred to as “splat points”

A woman will burn an extra 200-400 calories the next day, and a man will burn 400-600 extra calories, just by sitting at your desk! I absolutely love watching the live results!Splat Points

I recommend not going over 20 minutes in the EPOC and mostly staying in the green zone, which is the “fat burning zone”.  Everyone will get an email showing your results. Here is what my last class looked like.

As you can see, I earned just enough “splat points” to get that after burn effect. Every day the classes change so they are never boring!

Yesterday, we didn’t do anytime on the water rowers! Highly unusual!

This month alone, I have burned over 8,000 calories! Rockstar status!

Orange Theory Fitness – What it’s like walking into class

orange theory fitness resultsIt’s very common for instructors to split people up into certain types of sections. Most of the time, it will be two large groups.

There are some people, including me, who like to get to class a little early in order to get in front of the line and get onto the treadmills first.

The coach will update us on what is going on in our location and how we can contribute. There may be something we can do to help with a charity they are helping with, or our coach will update us on a new challenge coming up.

Then, we start high fiving the coach and he will assign to either the “tread” or the “rower”. Since I like to get onto the treadmill first, I’ll start from there.

Warm Up – Base Paceorange theory fitness pace

Once we hop on, we will start getting a little warmed up and go to what’s called the “base pace”. For me personally, being a “jogger”, my base pace is about 4.5 and I’ll set my incline at 1.0.

If you are a walker they will suggest going from 3.5-4.5 and setting the incline a little higher.

I honestly don’t even pay attention the running because I just can’t keep up right now. The goal is the get the heart rate up and go from the blue zone to the green zone, or the “fat burning zone”.

Push Pace

Once we have been in that zone for a couple minutes, the coach will suggest taking it up a notch and going into whats called the “push pace” which will usually take you into that “orange zone” which is needed to get the after burn effect.

These 2 paces will go back and forth depending on that days workout plan.

All Out Pace

Depending on the plan we will eventually start getting into what’s called the “all out” pace. People usually end up in a combination of orange and red.

For me personally, my all out only goes up to about 9. I’m just not huge on running! I am starting to like it but it has certainly taken time!

I always love it afterwards! That runners high!

By the way, do not jump on the rails after going all out on the treadmills! It’s dangerous and the coach will make you do burpees!

Switching Stations

orange theory fitness weightsAfter we are done with the treadmills, we will switch with the group that has been going back and forth from the weight room to the rower.

The stations are numbered just like the treadmill so you just follow that same number in all three areas of the workout room.

They have lots of free weights, TRX straps, ab dolly’s, mat’s, benches, and suspension unit systems. Once you are in the weight room the coach will come over and explain the new exercises.

There is a screen over head with a video of the movements that he/she is explaining so that when they walk away we can remember! A video will start playing of the exercises!

Love it! Then we start going back and forth between the three areas of the studio.

It really depends on the day! The music is always bumping and I honestly never hear complaints about that!

Supplements to help boost fat burning

keto max resultsA fantastic supplement to help kick off your weight loss is KETO OS! This drink will put your body into ketosis, which is “fat burning” mode.

Before I started OTF, I lost 11 lbs in 3 weeks and it really got me motivated and that’s when I started stepping up my fitness game and joined OTF.

This drink puts theureputic ketones into your body without having to get onto a ketogenic diet, which is absolutely life changing!

You can watch a short video here that explains ketones and ketosis.

It helps with mental clarity (no more brain fog), extra strength and focus, and more energy for your workout. I am so much more motivated for Orange Theory drinking my ketones!

I drank the Maui Punch at first, but they have a new Max Raspberry Lemonade flavor now which is so yummy!  Any of the Max products are great as a pre-workout energy drink and for optimal fat loss.

Here is a before and after picture of me on ketones and Orange Theory Fitness!

keto os before and after photos

11 lbs lost in 3 weeks drinking Keto OS

 Friendly Front Desk Staff

One of my favorite things about my local studio (Lakewood Ranch)  is the front desk staff! They are honestly so friendly!

image

Katie and Nicole always hold me accountable if I don’t show up for class on a particular day. The only real downfall is that you will get charged $12 if you don’t cancel your class 12 hours ahead of time.

This is obviously also a way of getting your butt into class. Lord knows things do come up, however, and they will forgive you sometimes if you have a good enough excuse.

Just know that they mean well! The classes get very full and it isn’t fair if someone didn’t get in because you didn’t show up for class.

It is not uncommon to get wait listed! Plan out your classes ahead of time!

Even if you do get wait listed, there’s a good chance someone will cancel and you will end up getting a phone call from the front desk that you got in!

Also, the front desk at my location is extremely knowledgable about fitness and health, so don’t be afraid to ask them for tips too.

OTF Transformation Challenge

Orange Theory Fitness Results and weight lossThis month, OTF has had what they call their “Transformation Challenge”, where whoever loses the most percentage of body fat, wins $500! One man, one woman!

Anyone who wants to sign up goes into our participating Complete Nutrition store and gets all kinds of measurements just from standing on a scale for 15 seconds and holding onto little handles.

You get assigned to a coach! No picking!

Your coach gives you guidance on what to eat, and you are required to go to class at least 3 times a week.

I really like challenges like this because they get your body into a regular routine. If you don’t get over the hill of going about 3 times a week, then you will always be wiped out when you show up back to class.

The Transformation Challenge is almost over and I will post my results shortly! The diet is the biggest struggle for me! If I don’t eat clean then I will start losing muscle mass! It’s all about balance!

Orange Theory Fitness Prices

*sigh*

I am doing the unlimited classes membership right now.

Honestly, the high price for one single session just isn’t worth it to me. A drop in is $25!

Your first class is free, so take advantage!

I go at least 3 times a week so I make the sacrifice of $150 a month for the unlimited. In the end, it’s completely worth it to stay in shape!

Depending on the location nearest you, they may not offer the unlimited Orange Premier membership, but that is certainly the one I recommend.

If you are big on yoga, or other forms of exercise, maybe the elite membership isn’t for you, and you can manage to only go 2 times a week. Because of the intensity of the workout, I need to be going several times a week.

I’ve seen nothing but positive results Give it a try!

Do you have questions about Orange Theory Fitness? Leave a question, comment or review below!

User Questions and Answers

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User Questions and Answers



Q: I take blood pressure medication so my stats NEVER look like I'm working very hard! That's a little discouraging! Have you heard of this with anyone else? I always want to explain to the class why that is but at least my instructors know! -Carolyn

A: Hi Carolyn, that's discouraging I'm really sorry!

I don't know enough about blood pressure meds to advise you as to why. Are you pushing yourself really hard? As you get more and more in shape from doing Orange Theory, it gets easier so you do really have to step it up every few weeks to a harder level or you'll just plateau. Not sure if that's the case, but maybe you could give it a try. I know some people don't even wear the heart monitor because it distracts them....if you feel like you're getting a great workout and you're seeing results by way of toning and weight loss, then don't even worry about it. :) Or ask your Dr. to explain why that is... Good luck and keep up the good work! I absolutely love OTF, I'm in the best shape of my life at 45!  ~Rachel

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Q: I tried a class but the music was unbearably loud. Is that standard for all the OT studios? -Jane

A: Hi Jane, I noticed that when I first started and I think some people must have complained so they turned it down a notch and it's fine. I wouldn't be afraid to wear some soft ear plugs though! Keep going! :) Or let them know at the front desk, I'm sure they'll turn it down, everyone's ears have a different sensitivity and mine are also sensitive. Rachel

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Q: Should my average heart rate divided by my %average max heat rate equal my max heart rate? -Sherry

A: Hi Sherry, gosh I'm not really sure how to figure all that out. I would ask your OTF trainer, they'll be able to tell you. :) Sorry, I just try not dying in OTF class, LOL! ~Rachel

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16 Comments »Leave A Comment

  1. Sanjana January 24, 2018 at 7:14 am - Leave A Comment

    Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for your quick reply,I appreciate it:)I will work on what you suggested,I need to loose 15 pounds before July as I have a reunion with my College Friends!
    So where does one get the Keto OS from?
    Hopefully there are no side effects(racing of the heart,Is it good for folks over 40 year old?

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel January 24, 2018 at 9:28 pm - Leave A Comment

      Hi Sanjana, I’ll give you my sister’s Pruvit website, you can order from her. 🙂 If you find Pruvit to be too pricey, please let me know if you’d like a more affordable option. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or get dehydrated, those can cause a racing heart. Charged has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, it’s nothing crazy and doesn’t cause me jitters. It’s very important to stay hydrated on ketones. Please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions. Thanks! Rachel

  2. Sanjana January 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Leave A Comment

    Thanks so much for putting the time in this,really helps others who are new at Orangetheory or who want to try it.
    I just joined,been 2 weeks.So when you say,one should be in the green zone more and not the Orange and Red….why is it so?Looks like I was under the wrong impression,I am mostly in the red & orange zone and with splat points between 35 and 43.Do I need to be in green zone mostly?

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel January 20, 2018 at 10:44 pm - Leave A Comment

      Santana, hi! Congrats on joining OTF, I just passed my one year of going and still loving it. The target is to have “at least” 12 splat points so you get that post epoch burn. But yours are high probably because you’re just starting out. You’re working a little harder because you need to build your cardiovascular strength up. I’ve always heard trainers say not to worry about it when you’re first getting started. You’re there, you’re working HARD, and it’s no wonder your splat points are high. It also depends what kind of shape you’re in. I usually get anywhere from 18-30 splat points…. it was higher when I first started…Don’t worry about the numbers so much, just keep going and get stronger. If you feel you’re working too hard, you can always dial your speed back a bit to get your heart rate down. Green zone is supposedly “fat burning” zone whereas orange/red you’re using a lot more oxygen and it’s getting into a muscle burn, so obviously you don’t want to eat away at your muscles… but like I said, don’t even worry about it, you’re going to get stronger and cardio will become easier for your body so it won’t have to work so hard, and then your heart rate won’t be so high all the time. Also, I don’t think they are using the term “fat burning zone” anymore…. Good luck!! Rachel

  3. rANDI January 8, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Leave A Comment

    Crystal — I’ve been going to OTF since last December and love it. I, too, had noticed that my splat points had went to crap but I KNOW I’m pushing myself. I upped my base pace to 6mph, Push Pace to 8 and kept my All Outs at 12 and have seen an increase while on the treds. As far as the weight room goes, I’ve upped my weights to 35-40# for most exercises (squats, step ups, deadlifts, etc.) and try to keep my arms at 15# minimum and have been getting 27-29 splats since doing so. Sometimes it’s just stepping out of that comfort zone (adding 3-5#’s more during weights) and at least a .1 on your speed that is just the kick you need.

    Best of luck to you!!!

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel January 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Leave A Comment

      Randi, woah! My all out pase is 8 – 9 on a good day. All outs of 12 – you must be a serious runner, most people don’t get to those speeds unless you’re in really good shape and athletic – that’s awesome though! Definitely adding speed and weights gradually is the way to go. Keep crushing it. You should try Keto an hour before your OTF workout, there’s nothing better if you need a push and need to drop fat. I’ve gone from 25% to 18% in a year….actually it didn’t take me a year but I’ve been doing it a year. Rachel

  4. Maria Monteilh December 27, 2017 at 4:36 pm - Leave A Comment

    Hi, thanks for your post. I have been going to OTF since august. usually my splat points are between 41-51 and I have score up to 30 points in the red. Am I doing it wrong?

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel December 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm - Leave A Comment

      Hi Maria, I would talk to a trainer there. Your amount of time spent in the red should decrease as you get stronger and build up your endurance. Getting 40-50 splat points in one session is a LOT, but it depends on a lot of things, mostly what kind of shape you’re in currently. I think if I was in the red that much, I would dial it back a little and try to stay in the green zone a little more – how do you feel with all that time in the red? I don’t think you’re doing it wrong, they told my sister not to worry too much about too much time in the red when she was first starting, but you’ve been doing it a while so definitely see what the trainer recommends. Keep it up, I’m sure you’re doing great and well on your way to reaching your goals! If you really want to improve your OTF workout, try Keto-OS – it’s amazing! It puts you into ketosis and gives you energy and helps you burn fat. But the way it makes you feel is something really special. I’ve been doing OTF plus ketones since last January, a full year. It makes my workouts SO much better (and easier to push yourself). My sister Katie (the one who wrote this blog post), drinks it too. If you drink about an hour before OTF you’ll get the most benefit. Good luck!

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel December 28, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Leave A Comment

      Also, be sure and update your weight with the front desk – they say to update it with every 5 lb difference.

  5. sara October 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm - Leave A Comment

    Hi congrats on your body change you look great!
    I just Started OTF and so far I love it. But my question is how do you drink KETO OS how often? can you explain please. Thanks!

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel October 26, 2017 at 6:54 pm - Leave A Comment

      Hey Sara! Thank you so much! I love OTF, both my sister and I do it (my sister is Katie, the one who wrote this post). I’ve been going since Jan. I drink Keto OS once a day, lately around 1:00 but sometimes later like 4 about an hour before OTF so I have lots of energy and burn more fat. There’s no right or wrong time, but if you want to use it as a preworkout, just drink about 30 min to an hour before OTF, whether that’s in the morning or afternoon. Some people drink two a day, depending on how much you have to lose. Love my keto! Thanks for your comment. ~Rachel

  6. Rachel October 21, 2017 at 6:02 am - Leave A Comment

    I’ve been drinking keto and doing OTF since last January. Lost 17 lbs and my whole body has firmed up. Love this workout and it goes by so fast! Never gets boring either since they do something different each time. Very motivating and the weight stays off!

  7. Kate Gohar August 28, 2017 at 11:52 pm - Leave A Comment

    I just started two weeks ago and I thought I was in good shape but I’m having a hard time earning those splat points… I burn about 500 calories per class and average 2 splat points:(… any suggestions on what I can do? I teach a dance class to seniors once a week and they were saying that that could be the cause and that the more “in shape” you are the harder it is to get your heart rate up there… It is only an hour a week that I teach so I don’t know if that’s the case… I’m feeling a little discouraged…

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel August 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Leave A Comment

      Kate, thanks for your message. The only thing that keeps me from not getting my heart rate up is not pushing myself to the point of being uncomfortable. I would either increase your incline or increase your speed on the treadmill and see how it goes. Gotta really push yourself! One dance class a week is not going to have you in such good shape that you’re not able to get your heart rate up. Good luck, push yourself! 🙂 Rachel

  8. Crystal June 20, 2017 at 10:56 pm - Leave A Comment

    Thanks so much for the review! I’m going for a walk through on Thursday and I’m actually really excited about it. I’m not huge on regular gyms, as I can not motivate myself to go because I don’t really even know what to do while I am there. My question is… will I be able to use this as a weight loss method? I’d really like to lose this sad extra 40 lbs that I have slowly put on over the years. Much thanks, Crystal 🙂

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel June 20, 2017 at 11:11 pm - Leave A Comment

      Hi Crystal, thanks for your message. Orange Theory Fitness is the BEST! I’ve done boot camps, weight lifting, you name it…OTF is hands down the best workout I’ve done. You get great results from HIIT training in a shorter amount of time. Both my sister and I do OTF 2-3x a week, I’ve been at it since Jan. 1, she’s been at it longer. Did you see that my sister had mentioned Keto OS for fat burning and energy? This is a fantastic supplement to pair with OTF, and you will lose those 40 lbs no problem using both of these tools. Not going to lie, OTF is hard your first couple of weeks, but you will feel stronger each week and you will be blown away at your progress. Drink the Keto about an hour before your workout, you will LOVE it. It’ll give you that boost you need to work harder, feel motivated and put you into a fat burning state. Together with OTF you’ll be TORCHING. If you haven’t read my full review on this product, read my Keto OS review here. Best of luck and let me know how it goes! Go for it! ~Rachel

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