As one of the fastest-growing fitness chains worldwide, Orangetheory has quickly become a household name.
The short, intense, and motivating workouts are great for people of all fitness levels and lifestyles.
Orangetheory is a lot of fun, and it’s extremely popular — but does it actually get results?
Let’s take a look at realistic results you might see from working out at Orangetheory for a month or 30 days.
After a month of Orangtheory, you could lose up to 8 pounds and gain serious strength, muscle, and endurance — provided you’re consistent in your workouts and diet. However, the mental, emotional, and energy benefits from your new exercise routine will be immediate and far more profound.
To help break down the possible results of Orangetheory, I interviewed Dr. Rachelle Reed, Senior Director for Health Science & Research at Orangetheory.
Let’s take a look at her advice and suggestions for Orangetheory newbies during their first month, plus some benefits and ideas for what your own OTF success story might look like!
Orangetheory Weight Loss
Will Orangetheory help me lose weight? If that’s your goal, yes!
Orangetheory’s HIIT-style workouts are really well-suited for weight loss (if that’s your goal), provided you stay consistent.
However, it would be best to adopt a healthy lifestyle outside of the studio, including a balanced and nutritious diet.
Orangetheory has a different approach to their attitude towards focusing on weight loss with their classes.
When asked if students will lose weight when they attend a class, Rachelle mentioned that:
“At Orangetheory Fitness, we don’t like to emphasize the concept of working out for weight loss but rather working out for a healthier lifestyle.
“While our workouts will definitely get people in shape, it’s not about how many calories one burns during a session or how many pounds they’ve lost after a couple of months as a member.”
Instead of focusing and promoting only losing weight with their classes, Orangetheory takes a more broad approach to their exercise philosophy.
Rachelle went on to explain:
“We believe exercise is associated with a surplus of physical and mental health benefits, independent from the number that reads on the scale.
“Increased physical activity lowers the risk of cause-all mortality, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and other medical concerns. Additionally, it improves sleep, bone health, and physical function.”
If you attend an Orangetheory class for the first time, you should walk in with the mindset of improving your overall lifestyle.
With each intense exercise you do during class, you enhance all aspects of your life, from sleep quality, to strength.
All that being said, yes you can expect to lose weight with Orangetheory if you want to.
Your workouts will burn a ton of calories, helping you create the daily calorie deficit needed for fat loss, while promoting strength and endurance — an awesome combo for a great physique.
In most cases, it’s considered safe and realistic to lose 1-2lbs of fat each week if you are eating correctly, working out regularly, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Your weight loss will differ depending on your fitness level and current body weight.
Orangetheory’s high-intensity interval training workouts are highly effective for helping you improve your cardiovascular health.
You will be pushed to your individual fitness level while you switch between the treadmill, rowing machine, and dumbbell circuits.
At Orangetheory, the classes are structured and planned by using scientific research to achieve the best results.
Each exercise and movement has a purpose, and you will soon notice the improvements in your cardiovascular health, even after just a month.
The equipment at an Orangetheory studio can be adjusted to match your fitness level — a key component of OTF workouts.
As you take the class, your instructor will call out how hard you should be pushing yourself during the exercise. To get the optimal results, Rachelle recommends:
“We recommend going 2-4 times a week and to aim for 12-20 splat points per hero class, which allows members to experience the intensity heart rate training zones associated with improvements in cardiorespiratory health, and further maximize their fitness results.”
As one of the critical factors of fitness, how consistent you are with taking Orangetheory classes is how much progress you will see.
Consistency is vital in all types of fitness styles that you can take.
Noticing your progress is easy at Orangetheory because all of your workouts will use similar equipment and structure.
(That’s one of the benefits of the predictable workout routine.)
A treadmill speed that was once challenging can start to become moderate difficulty as you continue with classes. Eventually, it may become quite easy for you!
You’ll notice yourself pushing your treadmill and rowing machine difficulties higher pretty frequently during your first month.
No matter what fitness level you are at, you will progress and still workout alongside the other students in the class.
Your only competition is against yourself at Orangetheory, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t keep up with some students.
Does Orangetheory build muscle?
With Orangetheory’s well-rounded approach to workouts, you will develop an overall better physique with their combination of strength and cardio training.
Most classes will start on rowing machines or treadmills.
However, when that phase of the class is over, you will move onto the floor with various equipment for strength training.
When I asked what you can expect at an Orangetheory studio, Rachelle mentioned:
“Orangetheory Fitness workouts include a combination of variable intensity interval training on treadmills, functional strength training on the floor, and rowing.
“On the floor, strength training includes the use of TRX straps, BOSU balls, dumbbells, mini bands, and medicine balls to improve muscle endurance and power.”
Orangetheory instructors will keep things fresh by including different strength training exercises for each class.
After 30 days, you will notice your strength and physique improving with consistent effort.
(Improvements happen EXTREMELY fast at first, a phenomenon known as “newbie gains.” You’ll be able to use heavier weights and higher resistance bands almost every workout at first.)
At Orangetheory, the workouts are geared towards people of all fitness levels.
So just remember, to get the most out of your workout, you need to push yourself to meet your unique fitness levels to see great results.
Orangetheory offers a great blend of cardio and strength training, but if you’re really looking to focus your efforts, Rachelle has some good news:
“We also offer a new Lift 45 class, which focuses solely on resistance training to help members meet the recommended dose of 2-3 muscle-strengthening workouts per week.”
While the strength benefits are fantastic, you may experience soreness during your first few months at Orangetheory.
For people who are new to fitness, your muscles aren’t used to the style of workouts that Orangetheory offers. Even if you’re a seasoned gym-goer, you may need to adjust to the OTF workouts.
The workouts are slightly different in each class, keeping your muscles guessing. As your body becomes stronger, the muscle soreness you feel after class will reduce.
In general, you can expect to gain about 1-2 pounds of muscle per month through regular strength training and eating a surplus of food.
Regular Orangetheory classes probably won’t get you jacked like a bodybuilder (if you’re wondering if Orangetheory will make you bulky, don’t worry!), but if you’re really looking to gain muscle, you should consider the Lift 45 classes.
(For more on this, see results from 30 days of lifting weights.)
Agility and Mobility
Orangetheory emphasizes helping you develop a well-rounded athletic physique.
Many of the exercises you do during class will help you become more agile.
As one of the senior directors of health science, Rachelle mentioned Orangetheory’s goal:
“Workouts are programmed with a well-rounded routine in mind, so a different group of muscles and movement patterns is targeted each day of the week to ensure members are developing muscular endurance, strength, and power in the whole body.”
During the strength training portions of the class, the exercises you do will be compound movements that use multiple muscle groups.
These movements will also translate to your agility and mobility improvements.
Mobility work is often avoided for people who workout by themselves.
In a group setting like Orangetheory, your instructor will often do warm-up and cooldown portions of class to improve your flexibility and prevent injuries.
Orangetheory creates a safe environment for you to workout and grow, with the instructors helping to keep you safe.
After your first 30-days and beyond, you will notice that your body is less stiff and rigid in daily life.
(For more on this, check out the results you might see from stretching regularly.)
Mood and Energy Levels
When attending Orangetheory, you will experience more than just physical improvements.
The mental effects of being a part of this community will help keep you motivated and feel better overall.
If you have tried working out exclusively at home, you may have noticed it’s harder to stay motivated.
As part of her research, Dr. Rachelle Reed mentioned that she studied this experience of home workouts during the pandemic, stating:
“We recently partnered with Kelton Global to conduct a survey on our behalf where we discussed the idea of “Basement Burnout” – what most people are feeling after being confined to their home gym for a year.
“(We) found that 43% of Americans reported suffering from lack of motivation to exercise during the pandemic. Working out and joining this group setting is a great way to get back into it and see vast improvements.”
In a group class setting like Orangetheory, you and other students can help keep each other accountable.
This encouraging atmosphere is why so many people keep coming back each week for more classes.
If you feel that you are slipping on your fitness routine, a fitness studio like Orangetheory can be a good change of pace.
You will meet new people of all backgrounds and fitness levels during class to make you feel part of a community.
Along with improving your motivation, Orangetheory workouts help to improve your overall mood and energy levels in daily life.
Any type of consistent workout will elevate your mood through some basic brain chemistry. Plus, getting in better shape translates to more energy throughout the day.
After an OTF class, you will feel energized and ready to take on the rest of your day.
(If you hate Orangetheory after joining, click the link to get some alternative suggestions!)
So does Orangetheory work? Yes! But really, it’s up to you.
After your first month at Orangetheory, you should start to see both physical and mental improvements — the benefits are absolutely vast.
The fun community environment is a great way to stay motivated, and your workouts will leave you energized and feeling great. That’s an improvement you’ll notice immediately!
While you can lose weight and gain muscle in your first month of Orangetheory, Dr. Rachelle Reed explains that you should workout to improve all aspects of your health.
Your fitness and performance in classes will skyrocket quickly in just 30 days of Orangetheory classes, regardless of any visible changes to your body.
Before you go, don’t miss:
- Orangetheory vs CrossFit
- Orangetheory vs Barry’s Bootcamp
- Orangetheory vs Peloton
- Orangetheory vs F45
- Orangetheory vs gym membership
Hope this helps!