Orangetheory Fitness Review – What to expect for your First Class

This Orangetheory Fitness Review walks you through what to expect for your first class in addition to the class format, cost, intensity level, what to bring, and FAQ!

Orangetheory Fitness Review - What to expect for your First Class

First Class:

Show up 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork and get a studio walkthrough. They will NOT allow you to take class if you show up any later (from personal experience). You can also call ahead and let them know you will be taking your first class at a certain time. Your first class is FREE along with a free heart rate monitor to try out.

Class Format:

There are 3 different types of classes you can sign up for: Orange 3G, Orange 60, and Orange 45. The main difference between the Orange 3G and Orange 60 is that the 3G is utilizing all 3 stations (treadmill, row, floor) at once versus the 60 where you are only split into 2 group and moving around the room far more frequently.


  • Everyone goes at their own pace and they will cue walking, jogging, and runner baselines and inclines for every fitness level.
  • Option to do this segment on the bike if you have any sort of pains running/walking on the treads.


  • There is generally a white board in the room displaying the rowing workout of the day.
  • The Row workouts vary from endurance days to push days and will either be quick spurts or longer distance rows.
  • They are water rowers, and the instructor will modify your form if needed.


  • The floor routine varies every class and can utilize the following: Weights, TRX bands, Bosu Balls, Resistance Bands, Workout Step Platforms, Abdolly’s, and Full Body Workouts.
  • There are all levels of weights from 10 lbs up to heavy lifting 50lb+. Every fitness level can find a weight that works for them!

What to Bring:

What to Wear:

Linking some of my favorite purchases below!

Heart-rate Training:

Orangetheory gives you a free heartrate monitor trial for your first class, and encourages you to hit different heart rate “zones” throughout class. Your Orangetheory heart rate monitor connects to the big screens around the room and will change colors depending on where your heart rate is at. I personally have never been a fan of the heart rate monitors and prefer to track myself with Apple Watch, but really up to you! Definitely at least give the monitors a try first.

There are 3 color stages:

  • Green: Base pace (on the treadmill this is walking pace for walking group and jogging pace for the runners).
  • Yellow: Push Pace (fast walking/incline pace for walkers & where your heart rate should be when on the ‘push’ runs/rows).
  • Red: The goal is to get your heart-rate up to red on the all out runs/rows.

Intensity Level:

You get out of OTF what you put into it! There is definitely a competitive aspect that pushes you to go above and beyond what you think you are capable of. In a typical class I can burn upwards 400-600 calories.


*Note these prices will vary by region*

  • First Class: Free! (You can usually wiggle your way into an additional free class if you talk to studio after saying on the fence about committing to membership and want to try out one more class). 😉
  • Drop in Rate: $28 per Class
  • Basic (4 Classes per Month): $59/month. This is my current membership plan and great for marathon training, cross-training, or as a complement to another studio membership.
  • Elite (8 Classes per Month): $99/month. About 2 classes per week. You can purchase drop-ins for additional classes in a month. You can take up to 10 per Month to have a cheaper rate than the Unlimited.
  • Unlimited: $159/month: Worth the cost if you anticipate taking more than 10 classes per month. If not, Basic/Elite are your best membership options.

Orangetheory Fitness FAQ:

Do I NEED a heart rate monitor for class?

Definitely a personal preference and not required. If you enjoy the views on the screen throughout your trial class, then definitely worth considering a purchase. I personally ONLY wear my Apple watch in class as I find the screens distracting and still get a great workout!

If you DO decide that you like having a heart rate monitor in class, you can purchase a chest strap at OTF for $69 and a wrist strap for $99.

What if there is a Waitlist?

Your first class has to be a class without a wait list. After that, if you show up you have a HIGH chance of securing a spot in class. I have never shown up to the studio on the waitlist and been rejected from class. Loads of people alway sign up for a spot and then don’t show up which opens up spots if you show up in studio.

What if I don’t like to run?

You can opt out of the treadmill portion and choose to ride one of the bikes. They also give running AND walking cues on the treadmill. So they will say something like “runners/joggers base pace, 1 percent incline. Walkers 8 percent incline at base pace.”

What if I have a specific injury & can’t do certain exercises?

Just let the trainer know and they will give you alternative exercises to target the same muscle group or get a great workout still without hurting yourself!

Can I cancel my membership at any time?

YES. You will have to finish out your month and then you can cancel anytime. You can also renew at any time if you change your mind later.

Can I use my OTF membership across studios?

YES. My home studio is Ballston, VA but I always go to other OTF studios when traveling or visiting home. Just give them your contact information and they can look you up, or you can sign up online.

My Orangetheory Fitness Review

So my general Orangetheory Fitness Review Consensus is… I absolutely LOVE IT! OTF has been incredible for cross-training during my marathon training plan with the perfect mix of cardio and strength training. I recommend trying out a free class and even giving it 1-2 more tries if you didn’t like your first to get a better feel for it. It is a great cardio and strength training class that adds a competitive flair to push you harder than you think you can go. They also have a variety of challenges in different months such as mile challenge, row challenge, Hell Week Challenge, etc.

I hope you enjoyed this Orangetheory Fitness Review, be sure to check out additional studio reviews:

Drop a comment below if you have any other questions!


hi, I'm Katya -- former D1 tennis player, certified CorePower Yoga Sculpt teacher, & soon to be IIN Certified Health Coach. Welcome to my page where I share all things wellness, real food recipes, and fitness. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to explore all things recipes, travel, yoga sculpt, wellness hacks, & shop all of my faves!


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