Orange Theory Fitness Review – What it’s Like to “Earn that Burn”

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 Class

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 I use to help boost fat burning

A 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!

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!

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!


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


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!

Find an Orange Theory Fitness near you, click on Locations!

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

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: What are other membership prices?Sheila

A: Hi Sheila, I pay $159/month for unlimited. There’s also a $99/month where you can go 8x. They also sell package bundles I think 10 classes was around $120 and you can use them whenever you want. It’s a bit pricey, but I love going and go several times a week so it’s worth it. Good luck! You can also try a class for free usually. 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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Katie McCaskill

Hi! My name is Katie McCaskill and I’m a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician. I graduated from Palm Beach Academy of Health and Beauty for both programs, and I love beauty! I have been practicing the art of skincare and makeup for over 10 years. I have worked for several makeup lines including MAC, Estee Lauder, Chanel, and Dior. I am very excited to be able to share my expertise with the world!

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