10 Insanely Helpful Orange Theory Tips

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This post is all about the best Orange Theory tips that are so helpful to know while you are hard at work at Orangetheory. Orangetheory is a fitness class known for its challenging workout classes, but it is just as much mental as it is physical.

After attending 90+ Orangetheory workout classes, I continue to get such a great workout every time I go to class. The following tips will help you do the same!

If you are someone who is interested in trying Orangetheory for the first time, or even someone who is a regular Orangetheory go-er, these tips will help you make the most of your Orangetheory workout.


This post is all about the 10 Best Orange Theory Tips.

orange theory blogs



1. Comparing Yourself to Others Is A Waste of Energy

There was one class at Orangetheory where we had to do a lot of running (typical, lol) and I happened to be next to this one guy in particular.

I thought I was in pretty good running shape at the time, but as we got going, he was absolutely crushing it and running wayyy faster, and for longer, than I was.

Immediately, I compared myself to him. I started thinking thoughts like, “Wow, I guess I’m not in that good of shape after all” and “He is so much better than me…I can’t believe I thought I was a good runner”.

Basically, as I compared myself to this guy who was obviously a very good runner and in very good shape, I felt negatively about myself.

I really didn’t want to be thinking these defeating thoughts throughout the rest of the Orangetheory class, so I started thinking of ways that I could pull myself out of this funk.

And as I thought about it, I realized that I have no idea what kind of running experience this guy has. In fact, I don’t know anything about him!

And I was comparing myself to him based on one single metric – his running skill – without thinking about all of the other things that might make us different.

He could’ve been a Division 1 long distance runner in college for all I knew! Or that class could’ve been his 300th Orangetheory class making him far more experienced.

There are so many other things I could list out that would make us very different.

The point is – when you compare yourself to someone else based on a single metric, you have no idea what kind of experience they have, the work they put in, or what they might’ve sacrificed to get to where they are.

And you probably won’t ever have all of that information. Even if you know the person well, it’s almost impossible to know everything they’ve been through to get to where they are now, making it completely illogical for you to compare yourself to them in the first place.


orange theory weight loss before and after


As difficult as it may be in the moment during your Orangetheory workouts, you have to bring your focus back to the progress that YOU have made instead of comparing yourself to others’ fitness levels.

For example, instead of thinking, “they can run 1 mile in 6 minutes, and I can only run 1 mile in 12 minutes — they are in much better shape than me”, try thinking, “I can run 1 mile in 12 minutes which is 2 minutes faster than when I first started!”.

Focus on YOU and going at your own pace. You know where you’ve been. You know the hard work you’ve put in and the progress that you have made or will make when it comes to your fitness goals, so remind yourself of that instead of trying to compare yourself to someone else.


2. Worrying What Others Think Will Distract You From Your Journey

Have you ever been so focused on your goal or journey, but the second you start thinking about what other people think or even paying attention to what they have to say, you lose a little bit of confidence in yourself?

Something that I notice at Orangetheory is that whenever I’m worried if someone is watching me or judging me, like when I’m trying a new exercise I’ve never done before or lifting a weight that is different than what I’m used to, I start to get a little shaky, or I might even make a mistake.

And it’s not because I don’t believe that I can do or try hard things – it’s because I’m losing focus on the task at hand by worrying about something outside of it.

As soon as you start to worry about what other people think, you lose sight of what’s most important: your own goals and journey.

Instead, focus on you. Don’t worry about what other people will think or what they might have to say. They aren’t in your position trying to reach your goal. They aren’t you.

Bottom line: maintain focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and don’t get distracted by the potential opinions or judgments of other class participants.


3. Consistency Yields The Best Results

You’ve heard this a million times, but when it finally clicks for you (if it hasn’t already!), it’ll change your life.

James Clear, renowned author and blogger, wrote a book called Atomic Habits where he captured the essence of consistency very well.

He encourages people who are wanting to achieve something to start SMALL. Oftentimes, we set these big goals because thinking about accomplishing those goals feels so exciting.

But when we start to think about HOW we are going to achieve those big goals, we end up having to make commitments to tough habits or processes that require a ton of self control, experience and/or it’s something that we’ve never actually done before.

Why is this a problem? I think the best way to explain this is to give an example.

When I first started blogging, I was doing research on all the top bloggers and again and again I was seeing advice like “you need to blog every single day if you want to be successful”.

Well, of course I wanted to be successful! So I figured I’d start blogging every single day.

This did not last long. I had virtually no experience blogging at the time, and by trying to commit to posting a new blog post every single day, I burned myself out very quickly. I might’ve lasted one or two weeks, tops.

A few years later, I decided to try blogging again. But this time, I had learned from my last, failed attempt. Instead, I would only blog once a week and post a new blog post every single Monday.


orange theory fitness


I would start small. I would make a goal that felt doable and one that I felt I could be consistent with.

Flash forward many months and I have stuck to that goal. Soon, I will add 1 or 2 more blog posts a week.

But the key has been: start SMALL. Once you master the small commitment or habit, work your way up.

Big goals are fun to imagine. But it’s important to work your way up to them. You don’t want to set a big goal like “I’m going to run 5-7x a week” if you’ve never run before.

You’re not as likely to do something consistently if it’s going to require a ton of change.

Instead, try “I’m going to run for 5 minutes, 2x a week”. Once you are able to do that for a few weeks on a consistent basis, bump it up to 10 minutes, 2x a week.

Incrementally increase instead of burning yourself out early on.

Same thing goes for Orangetheory. If you try to go 4-5x a week when you first start, you may quickly realize that’s more than your body can handle. Try going 1 or 2 times a week and move up once that commitment gets easier.

Starting small is the key to consistency. Start small, have success with the small tasks, then work your way up over time.


4. Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Is A Great Way to Grow

Have you ever had a really great gym routine, only to find yourself still doing the same few things months later? Maybe those few things were helpful in the beginning, and you noticed a lot of progress at first, but now you’re beginning to plateau?

It can be really easy to get comfortable with what we’re doing, and then to continue to do those same things over and over again.

But if you want to see progress, you’ll have to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

This is something I love about Orangetheory. No class is ever the same, so you are constantly having to try new exercises that require you to learn something new.

Doing the same things over and over again, in the same way, may work for a while, but eventually you are going to have to change things up if you want to reach that next level.

This can feel uncomfortable or even inconvenient! But when it feels uncomfortable, you have to ask yourself: do I want to get better or do I want to stay the same?


5. If You Rush to Achieve Your Goal, You’ll Burnout – Pace Yourself Instead

At Orangetheory, if you put 110% of your effort in at the very beginning of class, and push yourself to your utmost capability, it’s likely that you won’t have enough energy to finish the last half of the class effectively.

By pushing yourself so hard so early on, you’re most likely going to have to go through the last half of class very slowly. You’ll have to use lighter weights on the weight floor or you’ll have to walk on the treadmill because you’ve totally burned yourself out.

Instead, why not try going at a more sustainable pace so that you can be consistent throughout the class?

Going 110% all the time is not sustainable. Instead, try pacing yourself and moving forward at a comfortable rate.

When you’re not totally exhausting yourself, your journey (or Orangetheory class!) will be much more enjoyable and much more productive.


splat points


6. Celebrate Small Accomplishments Along The Way to Stay Motivated

One of the things I love about Orangetheory is that they’re all about celebrating progress as you go. For example, when you hit a “PR” or “Personal Record” for an exercise, they’ll have you take a picture with a big sign displaying your new record to help you celebrate.

And the same goes for your personal goals – it’s important to celebrate as you go.

Celebrate the smaller milestones that make up the big goal to remind yourself how far you’ve already come. Celebrating the smaller pieces of the puzzle will also help you think, “Wow, if I can do this, I can definitely get to the very next step!”.

Celebrating as you go, no matter what your current goal is in life, is a great way to help you stay motivated and reminded of how far you’ve come.


7. Take Time to Learn Proper Form

When strength training, or even as you are using the rowing machine, it is so important that you use proper form. If you don’t, you could end up injuring yourself.

To avoid this, feel free to ask the Orangetheory coaches if they can demonstrate or walk you through how to lift weights or use the water rower.

The great thing about an Orangetheory fitness workout is that before resistance training or strength training, the coaches will demonstrate exactly how to do the strength exercises. So you can see a real-life example of exactly what you are supposed to do before you have to do it.


8. New Members Should Feel Totally Welcome!

If you are new to Orangetheory, have no fear. From your first class, you should feel totally welcomed by all people in the fitness studio.

There is a really great sense of community at Orangetheory studios and you will pick up on this quickly! The more you show up for Orangetheory, especially if you go on the same days at the same times, the more you will start to feel a part of the culture and see how great the Orangetheory community really is!


9. Prepare Yourself For A 60-Minute Class Most Days

Most Orangetheory HIIT workouts are 60-minutes long. However, some classes on occasion are 45 minutes or even 90 minutes.

The 45-minute and 90-minute classes are far less frequent than the 60-minute workout classes but nevertheless, it’s nice to have options for your workout routine!

When you go to sign up for your workout through the Orangetheory app, you can see how long the class is (i.e. whether it is 45, 60, or 90 minutes long).


10. Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things

It is almost inevitable that you will have to try some type of exercise that you have never done before.

Whether it’s your first time using heart rate monitors, doing weight training, using resistance bands, or even your first time attending group fitness classes – you will definitely have to try some new things.

The good news? So will everyone else! Almost no one at Orangetheory is an expert, so you’re in good company if you’re new to some of the exercises or movements.

If you want to grow and improve or maintain your healthy lifestyle, high intensity workouts like the ones at Orangetheory will challenge you to try new things.


This post was all about the best Orange Theory Tips.


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A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women. Read more about Taylor here.

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