Orangetheory Fitness – Fitness Center Review

Read FitnessFoodieSTL’s review for Orangetheory Fitness.

The exterior of an Orangetheory Fitness in Chesterfield.  This location is located in a strip mall in between a  Chiptole and a Papa Johns.
Orangetheory has 14 locations across the St. Louis Metro Area, including this one at 1674 Clarkson Rd in Chesterfield.

What’s The Theory Behind Orangetheory Fitness?

If you want a full body workout that torches calories, you will love Orangetheory Fitness! Their signature 60-minute interval workout will have you rotating between treadmill, strength and rowing stations with the goal of improving strength, endurance, & power. Orangetheory’s science backed program uses a color-coded heart rate monitor system that guides you when to intensify or scale back your workouts.  To achieve the “orange effect” they are known for (aka “afterburn” or “EPOC”) that speeds up your metabolism for 24 hours AFTER your workout, you need to spend 12+ minutes in the orange heart rate zone. Each minute spent in the orange (or red) zone will earn you 1 splat point.  The average women achieving 12 splat points during class can burn up to 900 calories over the next 24 hours!  

graphic image showing the 5 color coded heart rate zones tracked during your orangetheory fitness workout and the maximum heart rate expected for each zone.

Curious about FitnessFoodieSTL’s personal experience at Orangetheory Fitness?  Jump ahead

Classes Offered At Orangetheory Fitness

There are 3 main class types at Orangetheory Fitness.  All classes are coach-led & universally taught across all locations, so whether you take one in Ellisville, Ladue or New York City – the format will be the same on any given day.

  1. 60 Min Signature – This class will have you rotating between treadmill, strength and rowing.  See below for more details. 
  2. 50 min Tread – You will spend the entirety of this class on the treadmill, focusing on cardio & endurance.  It’s great for marathon training when the weather prevents outdoor running!
  3. 50 min Strength – You will spend the entirety of this class on the floor, focusing on muscle building & strength.  Depending on the day, you may focus on specific areas muscle groups (ie lower body; chest/shoulders, etc).  I really LOVED this format and will most definitely return for more!  
on the right, 7 runners on a treadmill are shown working out during orangetheory fitness class.  on the left, 3 people in the middle of paddling on the water rower machines.
Each 60 minute workout at Orangetheory Fitness will include a combination of treadmill work, rowing and strength training.

What is the 60 minute signature Orangetheory class like?

The signature 60-minute interval workout will have you rotating between these 3 stations, but how much time you spend & what you are accomplishing will vary by the day.

  1. Treadmill Work.  Will you be climbing a hill, going for distance, or focused on endurance?  Runners will choose their own incline & speed levels that feel appropriate, whereas walkers will receive more guidance on incline.  Your coach will call out 1 of 3 effort levels to focus on during the interval:
    • Your “base pace” is an activity you can perform for up to 20 mins and your heart rate is ideally in green zone
    • Your “push pace” represents a higher intensity exercise that gets your heart rate in the orange zone.
    • An “all-out effort” is when you exert maximum effort for a short burst and your heart rate is in the red zone. 
  2. Strength Work on the Floor.  Will you be working core, upper body, lower body, or a combination?  Each participant has their own station equipped with various muscle-building essentials (think TRX bands, BOSU balls, free weights, etc). Your Orangetheory Coach will demonstrate the strength circuit & then you will execute, following along with the on-screen instructions. 
  3. Rowing Work.  Will you be sprinting, aiming for meters rowed or lowering your split time? Orangetheory Fitness’ water rowers offer a smooth ride that makes it easier to lower your stroke rate in comparison to other places I’ve rowed.
left image shows orangetheory fitness coach modeling a core strenghtening move using the TRX bands.  the right image shows a man and women bench pressing free weights.
During a 50 Min Strength Class, you will focus solely on muscle building using barbells, TRX bands, BOSU balls and more.

Who Would Like Orangetheory Fitness?

  • Travelers or Those Who Want Access to Multiple Locations – One of the biggest perks of membership to Orangetheory is that you can workout at ANY location in the US!  There are 14 locations in the St. Louis area you can access with your membership (and over 1500 locations in the US!).  Select markets will have an upcharge for entrance like NYC, LA, etc.
  • Variety Seekers – Each 60 min class will have you rotating thru a treadmill, strength training and rowing session so you won’t ever feel bored or stagnant! Every class will be total body but all are different – which keeps your body guessing and prevents you from plateauing in your results.
  • Running Enthusiasts –If you enjoy that “runners high”, you will definitely get your fix during the treadmill portion of their signature 60-minute workout.
  • Athletes or Those Who Enjoy Competition – With large screens that monitor your heart rate & splat points, you will be able to see the stats of everyone in the class.  Orangetheory also hosts several challenges throughout the year like DriTri, Transformation Challenge, 12 Days of Fitness and more that create friendly competition between members. 

Locations of Orangetheory Fitness in St. Louis

There are 14 locations of Orangetheory Fitness across the St. Louis Metro area, which makes them a convenient choice.  A membership will get you access to ANY Orangetheory in the United States (additional fees will apply in select premium markets). 

Find an Orangetheory Fitness close to you – see all 14 St. Louis Metro locations on a map!

  1. *Chesterfield – 1674 Clarkson Road
  2. Ellisville – 15949 Manchester Rd
  3. Cottleville – 6201-6203 Mid Rivers Mall Dr
  4. Creve Coeur – 11457 Olive Blvd
  5. St. Charles – 1650 Beale Street, Suite 170
  6. Des Peres – 11943 Manchester Road
  7. *Ladue – 10277 Clayton Rd
  8. Lake St. Louis – 6307 Ronald Reagan Drive
  9. Fenton – 528 Old Smizer Mill Rd
  10. Rock Hill – 9434 Manchester Rd
  11. Concord – 12434 Tesson Ferry Rd
  12. Central West End – 4653 Lindell Blvd
  13. Edwardsville, IL – 6654 Edwardsville Crossing Drive, Suite D
  14. Shiloh-O’Fallon – 3720 Green Mount Crossing Drive

The Chesterfield, Ladue & Creve Coeur locations are owned by brothers, Nick & Andy Ahlering.  I had the pleasure of working out at 2 of the 3 of their studios.  Both are frequently on site, welcoming to all members and pride themselves on creating a great customer experience.   Nick has quite an inspiring story, leaving his career as an attorney to pursue his passion for the Orangetheory workout, becoming one of the first franchisees in the country in 2012. 

*locations visited and referenced in this review

Amenities At Orangetheory Fitness

All locations have showers with shampoo, conditioner, body wash & blow dryer.  Make sure to bring your own towel & water bottle. They have ultra purified bottles fillers in studio.

Membership Info & Pricing at Orangetheory Fitness

Depending on how often you want to visit, Orangetheory offers a few membership options.  Contracts are month to month and pricing is universal across the St. Louis market.

  • Premier membership gives you Unlimited Classes/month = $169
  • Elite Membership gives you 8 classes/month = $109
  • Basic Membership gives you 4 classes/month = $69
  • Not interested in a recurring membership? You can also purchase 10, 20 or 30 pack of classes that won’t expire.  10 pack = $199, 20 pack = $359, and 30 pack = $499. The membership is the best value per class.

Discounts are available for those who commit to 6 months are longer or for those with family members who are already members.    

A large screen in the middle of Orangetheory's fitness floor shows the OTBeats statistics for each member of the class and the color coded heart rate zone they are in.  Runners on the treadmill are also reflected in the mirror.
Your statistics like heart rate, splat points, calories & more are on-screen during your workout, sync with the mobile app & will be recapped after class in an email.

Fun Facts About Orangetheory Fitness:

  • The heart rate monitoring technology (aka OTBeat) provides real-time data during your workout.  After class, all data is saved in the app & emailed so you can keep track of your progress.  To maximize your membership, make sure to purchase a heart monitor, although the locations I visited did have loaners available.  The heart rate monitor can track your workout metrics in & out of Orangetheory.  Pricing as of 4/1/24: Arm monitor = $119 or Chest monitor = $79, check with individual locations for specials included with new membership.
  • Orangetheory is a national franchise with over 1500 locations in the US.
  • It was founded  by exercise physiologist Ellen Latham, Jerome Kern, and David Long in March 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • The Orangetheory App features FREE On Demand workouts!

Pro Tips for Taking a Class at Orangetheory Fitness:

  • Is running or rowing not your thing?  Each location will have at least one strider and stationary bike so you can choose a different way to get your cardio in.
  • In the locations I visited, there are 12 spots at the Treadmill, 12 at the Rower and 12 at Strength stations.  Arrive early to pick your favorite treadmill/rower and starting rotation!
two women smiling at the orangetheory fitness center in ladue, MO.  women on the left is wearing a heart rate monitor which helps track your performance statistics during class.
A heart rate monitor, shown on the arm of Orangetheory enthusiast, MaryAnne Smyly Sabin (left), is worn to track your statistics.

Personal Experience & Final Thoughts

When I first got back into the gym, post-covid, out-of-shape, and freshly “recovered” from a foot injury, I loved the concept of Orangetheory and was excited to try it.  However, my body and especially my foot, were not prepared for the intensity of the workouts.  The treadmill running, in particular, was a trigger for pain. Don’t get me wrong, the instructors absolutely offered modifications to ease my foot woes, but my competitive nature didn’t want to participate if I couldn’t go all out. 

Fast forward 2 years later, I’m in much better shape physically (although my foot issue still ebbs & flows), I decided to give it another go and purchased a 4 pack of classes.  The biggest challenge this time wasn’t the workout itself, but rather to acknowledge my own limitations, resist my competitive nature, & heed alternatives to running – like walking on an incline OR using the strider.  I enjoyed Orangetheory so much more this go-around, it’s truly a great full body workout.  I spoke with a number of members who are Orangetheory fanatics, love the built-in variety & have seen big results.  If your goal is to maximize your one-hour at the gym, enjoy a mix of cardio & strength training, and burn a ton of calories, Orangetheory will deliver results.    

Visit the Orangetheory Fitness website to Learn More

Read more FitnessFoodieSTL fitness center & St. Louis gym reviews here.

Have you worked out at Orangetheory Fitness?  Comment on your experience below!

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