My first OTF

I know I’m late to the game on this one, but I wanted to share my experience since i’ve waited years for it.


I had heard all about OTF (Orangetheory Fitness) and knew I wanted to try it.  A couple years ago they opened a location “near” me.  By near me, it was about 20 minutes away, which realistically is too far for me for a workout.  I thought about trying it once but really what was the point since I knew it was too far?  So I did nothing.

Back in January (or so) they announced that a location would be opening in my town.  Woohoo!  So when they announced deals for those who joined before the opening, I was all over that.  I

I signed up for the 8x/month option without ever trying the workout.  I figured I could always cancel.

Last week they had a test week for the early members but my schedule didn’t cooperate.  So instead I signed up for a 9:30 class on Sunday.  I was ready!

I showed up 30 minutes early (as they told me) to get my HR monitor.  This was accomplished in approximately 3 minutes, so I definitely didn’t need the 30 minutes.  But, in that time I chatted with a bunch of different people, which was nice.

I’ve found that in any gym environment, I tend to automatically go into instructor mode and will talk to anyone.  If you look unsure, I’ll put you at ease.  If you just look like you want to talk, I’m there for you.  Good or bad, it’s how I am.

We started late due to some HR issues.  Lots of people weren’t showing up on the board.  Since the gym had at this point been opened for 3 days, they were still working out some of the kinks.

The class is circuit style with a mix of cardio (treadmills and rowers) and strength (weights, trx, etc.).

When they let us in the room most people went for the treadmills, so I figured I’d go for the rowers.  For this particular class, that meant we were on the rower for maybe 3 minutes and then went to the strength portion.  Side lunges, abs, rows, trx squats, trx tricep extensions, trx calf lifts, then some mat work (mountain climbers, abs, etc.).

Strenght is an area i’ve been neglecting so I could feel the burn almost immediately.  I knew then that not choosing the treadmill first was going to be a challenge.  Sure enough, by the time I got on the ‘mill, my legs were fatigued.

Once on the treadmill it was all about the incline.  A bunch of .2 runs with (of course) squats in between.  Then they threw in the rower for 3 sets (different type of squats in between) and then finishing up with a run.


The premise of Orangetheory is that based on HR, you want to stay in the orange zone.  Here’s a link to their philosophy on their website.

My HR monitor had some issues, so I’m not sure how accurate it was.  And after busting my butt, we got to look at how everyone did and my name was missing.  Nice!  Some how I fell off the grid.  But then I came back and saw that I spent something like 7 minutes in the orange zone.  Like I said, there were issues so I’m not sure how accurate that was.

But, I definitely felt like I worked hard, so isn’t that all that matters?

We did a very short stretch after class and then it was done.

My thoughts

  • I liked it, but didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.  Maybe my expectations were too high.  Maybe it was the actual class program.  Maybe it was the instructor.  That said, I’m going to try again and see how it goes.
  • It was a bit chaotic.  Because the instructor has to focus on the cardio and strength folks at the same time, I felt like he was running around and not necessarily giving either group the attention they deserved.  Again, this could definitely change in the future.
  • There wasn’t nearly enough stretching/cooling down at the end of the class.  Again, I don’t know if this is always the case or if it was just this class and possibly tied to us starting late.
  • Randomly there was also one guy there who didn’t do any of the strength moves we were told to do.  Why come to a gym like this to ignore what the plan is?  That bothered me as I felt it was distracting.

All that said, I’m still encouraged about it being a great workout and I’m looking forward to going back and trying some other instructors.

I’ve scheduled a super early 5:15 class on Wednesday and a 9:30 on Friday before I head up to Boston.

Have you taken an OTF?  What were your thoughts?  I feel like no one has had anything negative to say, so I’m curious as to whether I’m the only one who had complaints.

Please share your experience!


2 thoughts on “My first OTF

  1. Great review! I took my first OTF class a week and a half ago and I LOVED it, but am going to try one more class before I sign up for the unlimited monthly!!! Hopefully, I like it just as much as the first class! 🙂

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