How Effective is Orangetheory Fitness? Everything You Need to Know

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness | Orangetheory Fitness via Instagram

It seems like no matter where you go these days, you’re guaranteed to be near an Orangetheory Fitness studio. They’ve been growing in popularity like crazy after seemingly developing a cult-following overnight. So why is it that people love Orangetheory Fitness so much? Some have been skeptical over how effective it really is, so here’s the breakdown of the new workout craze.

Orangetheory Fitness workout regimen

Anyone who signs up for Orangetheory Fitness will first have to fill out a health survey. It takes into account each person’s fitness goals and their maximum heart rate, based off of their height, weight, and age. According to PopSugar, “The workout is based on achieving color-coded levels of MHR over a 60-minute class, associated with different levels of effort. Zones 1 and 2 are for warmup and recovery. OTF recommends spending 25-30 minutes of the workout in Zone 3, with 12-20 minutes in Zones 4 and 5 to maximize afterburn.”

Typically, each 60-minute class is divided up into two groups. One group starts on the treadmill, whether that means a full-blown run or a powerwalk. No matter what, it’s a challenging workout due to changes in pace and incline. The goal? To get into that Orange Zone.

The other group gets started by switching between intervals of the rowing machine and full-body weight training. The weight training includes balance trainers, steps, TRX straps, kettlebells, hand weights, and bodyweight exercises.

How it’s supposed to work

As its name suggests, Orangetheory Fitness literally has a theory for fitness. That includes a workout regimen that focuses on heart-rate monitoring and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. Orangetheory Fitness refers to EPOC as “afterburn.” PopSugar explained that afterburn is “the concept that when you work at a sufficiently high level of energy, your body creates an oxygen deficit that must be restored after the energy requirements level off (e.g. you finish your workout).”

After you’re done exercising, your body keeps on burning those calories as it’s trying to restore its own oxygen levels. Apparently, an entire workout can burn off 500 to 1,000 calories.

How effective is Orangetheory Fitness?

Scott Kahan, MD, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, weighed in on how effective Orangetheory Fitness really is in losing weight. “There’s no question that there’s an increase in post metabolic rate that occurs to some extent after exercising at a fairly intense level,” he told Newsweek. “However, the claims exceed what the actual science shows.”

“The claims make it seem like there’s so much post-exercise calorie burning, in essence, more than what you burn during the exercise itself, and that’s just not true. The incremental benefits of post-exercise increased metabolism is a relatively small amount,” Dr. Kahan added. “It’s real, and it’s great, but it’s relatively small, and I think the advertising makes it seem like it’s more than it really is.”

Those who are members of Orangetheory Fitness will stand by it through-and-through. The “afterburn” theory can play a major component in fat-burning, but many enthusiasts do claim it doesn’t come easy. For optimal results, you may want to attend four to six sessions per week, along with a healthy diet.