Taking on the Trends: OrangeTheory Fitness

Before I begin with the topic at hand, I would just like to introduce this new series, “Taking on the Trends.” I have never really been someone who follows trends, so I figured it would be fun to try out or discuss some of the things that have gotten a lot of attention lately. I will discuss what the trend is, the pros and cons of the trend, and my take on whether to follow it or not.

Today’s trend: OrangeTheory Fitness

This week, I decided to give OrangeTheory a try. Is this form of fitness just overhyped or is it actually worth it?

What is it?

OrangeTheory Fitness is a group workout led by a personal trainer involving both cardio and strength in a high intensity interval training (HIIT) format. What makes OrangeTheory unique is the use of heart rate monitors on each person’s wrist that monitors which workout zone you are in and the amount of calories you are burning. This information is displayed on a TV where everyone can see their own numbers along with everyone else’s in the class, perhaps sparking some friendly competition.

The pros and cons.

Pros: The heart rate monitors are amazingly motivating. Being able to see not only how many calories I was burning but also what level of work I was doing (relative to my heart rate) was great. You get to see the results of the work you are putting in for the hour. I have always loved guided workouts in a group setting, so this style of workout was perfect for me.

Cons: The price. OrangeTheory is quite expensive, especially if you splurge and get the package with unlimited classes. Also, the exercises are all things that I have done before, like running on a treadmill, rowing and strength-based exercises. Granted OrangeTheory does provide the actual workout itself and tie it all up in a neat little bow, but is that worth the cost?

The Verdict: Is it worth it?

As a student with “free” access to a gym (included in my tuition), OrangeTheory wasn’t quite innovative enough for me to justify the cost. Along with the fact that the location is relatively far from where I live, I don’t think it is fully worth it for me right now. Having said that, once I graduate, I would definitely consider buying a membership because it would be a great workout to do before or after work that I know will last one hour, and I wouldn’t have to come up with a workout myself. The convenience and the obvious calorie burn would make it worth it if I did not have free access to a gym. Overall, I don’t think OrangeTheory is overhyped, and if you can afford it, it is most definitely effective.

Photo credit: clarendonmoms.com