Thinking About Doing Orangetheory to Lose Weight? Read What These 2 Trainers Say First

Courtesy of Orangetheory Fitness
Courtesy of Orangetheory Fitness

With treadmill sprints and incline intervals, varying speeds on the rower, and strength-training blocks that test your endurance, Orangetheory is a challenging hour-long workout. And with over 1,000 studios all over the world, it's no wonder the franchise is so popular. Orangetheory has helped people fall in love with weightlifting, get ready for their wedding, and find balance in their fitness routine. But is it a good workout if you want to lose weight? We tapped two certified personal trainers to get the scoop.

What Is Orangetheory Fitness?

Orangetheory Fitness is a popular hour-long, full-body workout that combines cardio and strength training. The 30-minute cardio portion of the class, typically done on a treadmill and rowing machine, is considered high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. The other 30 minutes consist of strength training and use equipment such as dumbbells, TRX straps, resistance bands, benches, and ab dollies. The goal of the workout is to achieve excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the EPOC effect (also known as the afterburn effect). With EPOC, your body continues burning calories even after the workout is completed.

Orangetheory also uses a heart rate monitor, where you track your heart rate based on the five zones: gray, blue, green, orange, and red. The goal is to spend at least 12 minutes in the orange and red zones, where you'll achieve your Splat points (each minute spent in the orange or red zone = one Splat point). If you achieve 12 Splat points or more, you are more likely to achieve EPOC. Although this all sounds a little overwhelming, it's easy to get the hang of. Orangetheory is an excellent workout for beginners, and each section of the class can be tailored and modified to fit your capabilities.

Can You Lose Weight With Exercise?

OK, so we've covered what kind of workout Orangetheory is. But is it even possible to lose weight with exercise? "Yes, it's all about the calorie burn," explained registered dietitian and ACSM-certified personal trainer Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. "With high-intensity training, you can burn a lot of calories and assist in weight loss. Plus the strength training will break down muscles and keep the metabolism active for a longer period." The more muscle mass you have, the more your body will burn calories at rest.

If you're looking to exercise to help you lose weight, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 300 minutes a week. Another way, Jim said, is to burn an extra 500 calories a day for weight loss. That means you will burn 3,500 calories a week, which will result in one pound lost.

But exercise isn't the only component: arguably, nutrition is the most important aspect of losing weight. "Nutrition is 80 percent part of the weight-loss equation," Jim said. He recommends reducing portion sizes to help with weight loss. Like with exercise, if you eat in a calorie deficit of 500 fewer calories a day, you will lose about a pound a week (use this formula to calculate how many calories you need to eat a day for weight loss). Ideally, this deficit will be created with a combination of exercise and nutrition, Jim explained in a previous interview. As for what to eat, he recommends a balance of nutrients including lean protein, complex carbs, and essential fats and reducing sugar, alcohol, fried foods, and late-night eating. To get more info on what to eat to lose weight, check out these tips from registered dietitians.

Does Orangetheory Help You Lose Weight?

Since Orangetheory is a combination of HIIT cardio and strength training, Jim said both components are effective for a weight-loss workout. ISSA-certified personal trainer Colton Stollenmaier, who is an Orangetheory coach in Miami, explained that OTF's combo of cardio, strength training, and heart-rate-based approach to training is ideal for weight loss.

Another reason Orangetheory is great for weight loss? You never do the same workout twice. "If you keep doing the same workout over and over, you will quickly stop achieving results as your body adapts," Colton explained. "That's why at Orangetheory, there is a new workout every single day."

Although Colton recommends people do Orangetheory three to four days a week to achieve results, that may be pricey depending on where you live. But as long as you do it as part of your workout routine and hit the recommended 300 minutes of exercise a week with a combination of cardio and strength training, you will definitely see results. Combine that with a clean, nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and drinking plenty of water, and you'll be on your way to achieving your weight-loss goals. Just check out these 17 inspiring women who all lost weight and got in shape with the help of Orangetheory.