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Orangetheory Vs. F45 | Full In-Depth Comparison


In recent years, the fitness industry has witnessed the rise of boutique fitness studios, offering specialised workout experiences tailored to diverse fitness goals. Orangetheory Fitness and F45 are two prominent players in this arena, each boasting unique approaches to exercise and fitness. 

This article aims to provide an in-depth comparison of Orangetheory Fitness and F45, examining various aspects such as workout formats, training methodologies, equipment, atmosphere, and overall effectiveness.

Overview: Orangetheory Fitness Vs F45

Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) burst onto the fitness scene in 2010, founded by Ellen Latham, a physiologist and fitness instructor. Inspired by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Latham sought to create a workout that would maximise calorie burn and fat loss long after the session ended.

The result was a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) concept that combined cardiovascular and strength training elements in a structured and dynamic format. OTF’s distinctive orange-coloured studios, heart rate monitoring technology, and energetic atmosphere quickly captured the attention of fitness enthusiasts worldwide, leading to rapid expansion and a loyal following.
F45 (Functional 45) emerged in 2012 in Sydney, Australia, founded by former equities trader Rob Deutsch and fitness entrepreneur Adam Gilchrist. Frustrated by the lack of variety and engagement in traditional gym workouts, Deutsch and Gilchrist set out to create a functional training experience that would challenge participants both physically and mentally.

The result was a 45-minute circuit-based workout featuring a diverse range of functional movements performed at high intensity. F45’s innovative approach, emphasis on teamwork, and ever-changing workout routines resonated with individuals seeking a dynamic and effective fitness solution, fuelling its global expansion and popularity.

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Workout Formats


Orangetheory Fitness

Dynamic Integration of Cardiovascular and Strength Training

  • Varied Workout Regimens: OTF workouts combine elements of cardio and strength training to provide a comprehensive fitness experience.
  • Treadmill Intervals: Participants engage in treadmill exercises, incorporating intervals of varying speeds and inclines to elevate heart rate and enhance cardiovascular endurance.
  • Rowing: Utilising rowing machines, participants perform high-intensity rowing intervals to target upper body muscles and improve overall cardiovascular fitness.
  • Floor Exercises: OTF incorporates a range of floor exercises utilising equipment such as dumbbells, TRX bands, and Bosu balls to target different muscle groups and enhance strength and stability.

Structured Approach to Heart Rate Zones

  • Guided Effort Levels: Participants are encouraged to maintain effort levels within specific heart rate zones throughout the workout.
  • The “Orange Zone”: Notably, participants aim to spend a significant portion of the workout in the “Orange Zone” (84-91% of maximum heart rate), which is believed to induce the “afterburn” effect.
  • Afterburn Effect: By focusing on monitoring heart rate and maintaining intensity within the “Orange Zone,” OTF aims to stimulate the body’s metabolism, resulting in continued calorie burn post-workout.

Optimising Performance and Calorie Expenditure

  • Enhanced Fat Loss: The deliberate emphasis on heart rate monitoring and structured workout formats aims to facilitate enhanced calorie expenditure and fat loss.
  • Personalised Approach: Participants can track their exertion levels in real-time, allowing for personalised adjustments to optimise performance and achieve fitness goals.
  • Effective Time Management: OTF workouts are designed to maximise calorie burn within a relatively short duration, making them suitable for individuals with busy schedules seeking efficient yet effective fitness solutions.

Functional 45


Emphasis on Functional Training

  • Functional Movement Focus: F45 prioritises functional movements that mimic real-life activities, promoting improved strength, flexibility, and mobility.
  • Circuit and HIIT Workouts: F45 sessions blend circuit training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to deliver a challenging and effective workout experience.
  • Diverse Exercise Selection: Each F45 session features a variety of functional movements, including squats, lunges, push-ups, burpees, and more, targeting different muscle groups and enhancing overall functional fitness.

Structured 45-Minute Sessions

  • Efficient Workout Duration: F45 classes are designed to last 45 minutes, making them convenient for individuals with busy schedules.
  • Station Rotation: Workouts are organised into stations, with exercises displayed on screens and performed for a set duration before rotating to the next station.
  • Dynamic and Engaging Format: The structured nature of F45 sessions ensures participants stay engaged and challenged throughout the workout, maximising calorie burn and fitness gains.

Team-Based Training and Community Engagement

  • Fostering Community: F45 places a strong emphasis on fostering a sense of community and accountability among participants.
  • Team Environment: Participants often work in teams or pairs, encouraging camaraderie and motivation as they strive to complete workouts together.
  • Supportive Atmosphere: Trainers and fellow participants provide encouragement and support, creating a positive and inclusive environment where individuals feel empowered to push their limits and achieve their fitness goals.

Incorporating Technology for Enhanced Experience

  • Screen Displays: Workouts are displayed on screens, guiding participants through each exercise and ensuring proper form and technique.
  • Data Tracking: F45 may utilise technology to track performance metrics, allowing participants to monitor their progress and strive for continuous improvement.
  • Interactive Experience: The incorporation of technology enhances the overall workout experience, providing feedback and motivation to participants as they work towards their fitness objectives.

Training Methodologies

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness adopts a science-backed approach to fitness, leveraging the concept of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) to maximise calorie burn and fat loss. By alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery, OTF workouts are designed to elevate the heart rate and keep it elevated even after the workout ends. Additionally, OTF provides heart rate monitors to participants, allowing them to track their exertion levels in real-time and adjust their intensity accordingly.


F45 focuses on functional movements that mimic everyday activities, aiming to improve overall strength, endurance, and mobility. Workouts are designed to be scalable, catering to individuals of all fitness levels. F45 classes are led by certified trainers who provide personalised guidance and support, ensuring proper form and technique throughout the session. Moreover, the team-based environment at F45 encourages camaraderie and motivation, with participants pushing each other to achieve their fitness goals.


EquipmentOrangetheory FitnessF45
Cardio MachinesTreadmills, rowers, stationary bikesLimited emphasis
Strength Training EquipmentDumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bandsKettlebells, TRX suspension trainers, plyometric boxes, battle ropes, agility ladders
Additional EquipmentBosu balls, TRX bandsN/A
Specialised FeaturesComprehensive full-body workout with cardio and strength trainingFocus on functional movements and bodyweight exercises

Orangetheory Fitness: Orangetheory Fitness studios are equipped with a range of cardio machines, including treadmills, rowers, and stationary bikes. In addition, OTF classes feature a variety of strength training equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands. The combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercises offers a comprehensive full-body workout, targeting different muscle groups and energy systems.

F45: F45 studios typically feature minimalistic equipment, focusing on bodyweight exercises and functional training tools. Common equipment used in F45 workouts include kettlebells, TRX suspension trainers, plyometric boxes, battle ropes, and agility ladders. While the equipment may seem basic compared to traditional gym setups, the emphasis on functional movements allows for a dynamic and versatile workout experience.


Orangetheory FitnessF45
Orangetheory Fitness prides itself on creating a dynamic and energetic atmosphere within its studios. With upbeat music, enthusiastic coaches, and interactive technology, OTF classes are designed to motivate and inspire participants. The use of heart rate monitors adds a competitive element to workouts, as individuals strive to earn “splat points” by reaching and maintaining target heart rate zones.F45 cultivates a supportive and inclusive environment where members feel empowered to challenge themselves and push their limits. The team-based approach fosters a sense of belonging and accountability, with participants encouraging each other to stay committed to their fitness journey. F45 studios often host themed workouts and community events, further strengthening the bond among members and trainers.


Orangetheory Fitness and F45 have garnered praise for their effectiveness in helping individuals achieve their fitness goals. The combination of cardio and strength training in OTF workouts facilitates calorie burn, muscle toning, and cardiovascular conditioning. The structured approach to interval training ensures that participants maximise their time in the gym and continue to burn calories even after the workout is over.

Similarly, F45’s functional training methodology delivers results by improving overall strength, endurance, and agility. The varied workout formats keep participants engaged and challenged, preventing plateaus and boredom. Moreover, the supportive atmosphere at F45 Studios motivates individuals to push past their limits and strive for continuous improvement.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Orangetheory Fitness and F45 offer unique workout experiences tailored to different fitness preferences and goals. While OTF specialises in high-intensity interval training with a focus on heart rate monitoring and calorie burn, F45 emphasises functional movements and team-based training for a comprehensive full-body workout. Ultimately, the choice between Orangetheory Fitness and F45 depends on individual preferences, including workout preferences, training style, atmosphere, and community engagement. Regardless of the choice, both fitness studios provide effective and enjoyable ways to stay active and achieve fitness goals.


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