Having not lived in Florida (where Orange Theory’s several gyms reside), I have not be able to attend a class, so this report is based on my impression of what they are saying they will do.  If you have taken an Orange Theory class, please feel free to contact us or comment on the class.  I’d love to hear firsthand accounts.

The idea is straightforward enough.  They are looking to “increase your energy”, which really just means that you will be more fit, right? In reality, that’s what fitness is.  Combine good nutrition with some hard exercise and soon enough you’ll start to feel like you have more energy to run farther or faster, lift more weight, play games longer or whatever it is that you might do.  So yeah, you’ve increased your work threshold and can consistently put out more energy.  Which means that Orange Theory is a fitness program and their goal is to get you fit.

So while their claims are packaged into some exciting words and impressive sounding statistics, they are just claiming what any good fitness coaches would.  In three session, your body will start to get used to the work (about 1 week), in 5 sessions (1-2 weeks) you could start to see results and in 10 sessions (3-4 weeks) you’ll be “on your way to a new you”.  Sounds about right.  But any program worth its weight should do that (assuming you’ve combined it with, at least, a decent nutritional lifestyle).

In theory, their classes sound pretty good.  They look to be packing in as much fitness as possible into 60 minutes, and it looks like they keep the routines fresh with lots of different exercises.  I love this way of working out.  It gets to the core of one of my favorite workout measures, Rate of Perceived Exertion.  E.g., you feel like you worked out really hard.  And if you feel that way, then you probably did. 

So assuming that their instructors stick to the plan and provide enough variety in their workouts, it’s likely that this will work well.  A plus for many people is that it is classes only, which means that you never have to come up with your own routine.  Just keep going to the classes and you should be good to go.