Everything You Need to Know About Orangetheory Fitness Classes, From an OTF Coach (2024)

Trying a new fitness class is hard. No one likes to be the new kid—or not know entirely what they're getting into—but ripping off the bandaid and jumping in is often the best way to find your new favorite workout style.

If you know anyone who's a member of Orangetheory, you've probably heard about their workouts and their Splat Points. But what exactly is Orangetheory? What is a Splat Point? We're diving into everything you need to know before taking an OTF class.

Components of an Orangetheory Fitness Class

OTF is made up of three different components. Zaria Brinkley, Head Coach of Orangetheory Fitness Canal Winchester in Ohio shares, "OTF has three components. We have the tread, rower, and weight floor, which we train in three different ways; endurance, strength, and power."


The treadmill portion of the class is where you will spend about half of your class and experience most of your cardiovascular training. Brinkley notes, "the tread has three parameters so you can either be a runner, jogger, or power walker."

If you're not a runner, don't worry! She adds, "there are also other cardio options should a client need them. In addition to treads, we have the bike or strider as an option for those that have orthopedic restrictions." One of the great things about OTF is that it's accessible to people of all fitness levels.

The treadmills at OTF have quick touch buttons that, according to Brinkley, will help your quickly navigate between speeds and inclines. This is useful as your coach takes you through different blocks of intervals working you through your Base Pace, Push Pace, and All Out Pace.

Pace Intervals

  • Base Pace: a pace that should feel challenging, but doable. It should be something you can maintain for 25-35 minutes if you had to.
  • Push Pace: a pace that's uncomfortable, but doable for a shorter amount of time.
  • All Out Pace: a pace that reflects your maximum effort. This should have an "emptying the tank" effect.

Most OTF treadmills have the OT Connect system, which allows you to see your heart rate zones right in front of you, in addition to the large screens located throughout the studio sharing real-time results.


Rowing is the component of the workout that Brinkley says is an "ultimate calorie burner." She explains, "it utilizes over 80% of the muscles in the body. Rowing is also known as a hybrid exercise, using both the respiratory system and the muscular system when in use."

The rowers at OTF are water rowers, which is unique to the rowers you may find at many other fitness facilities. These machines replicate the feeling of rowing through water, to give you a more authentic experience. One of the less understood factors of rowing is that the power is mostly generated by your legs. About 65% of the power comes from your legs, another 25% from your back/core, and the final 10% from your arms.

Just like the treadmills, your coach will specify your intensity by coaching you to a Base, Push, or All Out. They may have you row for distance (by meter), time, or stroke rate (number of strokes per minute).

Strength Floor

The strength floor is where you will do your lifting. There are many parts that go into building this section of the workout. Brinkley states, "The strength floor focuses on fundamental movement such as the squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and gait. We work with Bosu Balls, dumbbells, TRX, mini resistance bands, and benches."

On the wall, there is a TV with a video visual aid (VVA). The VVA has videos of all of the moves you will be performing on the floor with all of the rep counts, and any other information you will need to know. "Members can use this to see what the moves look like while the coach is moving around the room," notes Brinkley.

Heart-Rate Based Training

One of the best things about OTF is the ability to use a wearable heart rate monitor. This, in addition to your coach and the VVA, will help guide you in your class. This heart rate monitor will take you through each of your five heart rate zones. Each zone represents a percentage range of your max heart rate.

OTF Heart Rate Zones

  • Zone 1: Grey, 50%-60%
  • Zone 2: Blue, 61%-70%
  • Zone 3: Green, 71%-83% also known as your Base Pace
  • Zone 4: Orange, 84%-91% also known as your Push Pace
  • Zone 5: Red, 92% and above also known as your All Out

The treadmill, rowers, and strength floor are all used to create a full-body workout designed to get you into your Orange Zone for 12 to 20 minutes. Brinkley explains, "the time spent in the Orange and/or Red Zones accumulate Splat Points."

Brinkley broke down what Splat Points do for your workout. Earning 12 or more Splat Points activates your Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). During EPOC, oxygen exits through the muscles in your body, and to return your body to homeostasis it has to work harder, which increases your metabolism for the next 24-36 hours.

Brinkley says, "The benefits of interval training is that it helps improve glucose sensitivity, aerobic capacity, skeletal muscle capacity, circulation function, basal metabolic rate, and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption." Studies show that "aerobic capacity is well-known to be an independent predictor of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular prognosis."

Your First Orangetheory Fitness Class

Brinkley advises showing up for your first Orangetheory class about 30 minutes before your class starts. This is so that you can be onboarded by a sales associate, meet your coach, and get any questions you may have answered.

When you arrive, the sales associate will have you fill out some paperwork to get basic information from you to enter into the system so they can figure out your max heart rate. They will also talk to you about your fitness goals and your current fitness routine. This will help your coach to know you better and create a more tailored experience.

Once a sales associate gets you entered into the system, they will give you a heart rate monitor. You will either be given a monitor that is worn around your chest or one that is worn on your dominant arm, near your bicep.

From there you will be given a breakdown of all five heart rate zones, an explainer of the Base, Push, and All Out, be shown your station, and be shown how to use the treadmills.

Now it's time to meet your coach. The sales associate will introduce you to your coach and they will go over the proper row form with you, and walk you around the room to explain the layout of the class.

Once class is over, your coach will go over your workout summary with you. They will explain your Splat Points, calories burned, the average beats per minute of your heart rate, and the average percent of max heart rate. They will explain how you can use these statistics to get the most out of your training and give you a suggestion of the number of classes they believe you should attend weekly, based on your fitness goals.

A Word From Verywell

Trying new fitness classes can be intimidating, but preparation can help ease pre-class worries. That being said, you can only be so prepared—sometimes you just have to try something new to see if you like it or not. Be gentle with yourself as you try new things, and proud of yourself for jumping in.

If you have any questions or concerns about adding a new workout style to your routine, consult a healthcare physician.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many Orangetheory classes should you take a week?

    This depends on your goals and what else you do for fitness. If you are using OTF as your only form of fitness and want to see visible results, you should attend 3-4 classes per week. If you are doing OTF in addition to another fitness program 2 classes per week is sufficient. If you are looking for more of a maintenance routine, you can stick to one class per week.

    Learn More:What a Complete Workout Schedule Looks Like

  • What is a good Splat Score?

    You want to aim for anywhere between 12 and 20 Splat Points per class. Once you achieve 12 or more Splat Points you will activate EPOC which results in hours of calorie burn after the class has been completed.

  • Does Orangetheory have a dress code?

    The dress code is anything you can work out in. You'll want to wear something that makes you comfortable. Tennis shoes, leggings, shorts, t-shirts, and sports bras are all acceptable. The only real rule is that there are no bare chests allowed.

Everything You Need to Know About Orangetheory Fitness Classes, From an OTF Coach (2024)


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