I have tried almost every gym in Orlando including Planet Fitness, Orange Theory Fitness, YMCA and Train with Nicole, my personal trainer.   I joined Orange Theory Fitness in January and worked out there for a few months.  At first, I loved it and I still love the exercises.

The Good & the Bad of Orange Theory

Here is how it works.  There are 3 exercise stations around the room including treadmills, rowing machines and a weight room.  There are typically 10 – 15 (sometimes more) people in the class and each class is led be an instructor who calls out exercise throughout the class.  The class is typically divide into two groups — one group is on the treadmills and one group is using the weight room as well as the rowing machines.

Each group starts out on their station with specific exercises.  For the group in the weight room, they will typically lift weights for a certain number of reps, head to the rowing machine for a certain time or distance, back to the weight room for more lifts, back to the rowing machine, so on and so forth.

The treadmill group is on the treadmill the whole time, but doing intervals at different inclines and different time frames.

Half-way through the class the two groups switch.

Everyone is wearing a heart monitor and your heart rate is displayed on a big screen.  The theory behind Orange Theorgy is that the heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy which is supposed to burn extra calories for up to 36 hours after your workout.  I’m not sure I believe all that, but it is a good workout.

As I said, I LOVED the program, but what didn’t work out for me is that you have to schedule the class in advance.  They have a nice app that allows you to schedule you class, however you have to notify them 24 hours in advance if you’re not going to make the class or you are charged for the class.  Unfortunately, this just doesn’t work for my schedule.  I might have a client send an email at 8a for a meeting a 1p and if I have an Orange Theory class scheduled, it is too late to cancel.

The other thing that didn’t work for me was the price.  I had a package that was $59 for 4 classes per month so I’m paying almost $60 to go once a week.

Why I Chose the YMCA

The YMCA also costs around $60 a month, but I get so much more.

  • I can take a Yoga class, swim laps, they have Zumba (yea, I took that ONE time), weight lifting, water aerobics, spin class, etc.
  • I can also go whenever I want so if a client schedules a meeting at the last minute when I was planning to go to the YMCA, I just go to a different class.
  • I can go to different YMCAs which gives me endless possibilities of classes.
  • Variety of people at the YMCA so I don’t feel out of place.  At Orange Fitness almost everyone in my class was younger than me and way more in shape.  I felt self-conscious and uncomfortable.  At the YMCA, there are people of all ages, all shapes and all sizes so I never feel out of place.

Given all of the considerations, I decided to go back to the YMCA rather than stay with Orange Theory Fitness.  In addition to the YMCA, I am still training three days a week with Train with Nicole so between the two of these, I think I can accomplish my fitness goals.