32: The Technology Behind OrangeTheory Fitness

Mar 28, 2016
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I’ve recently come across a company called OrangeTheory Fitness. They are combining the effects of heart rate and fitness to live a better, healthier lifestyle through exercise. Through franchises, Orange Theory has spread through twelve different countries and hundreds of gyms across the world. David Long from Orange Theory is on the show today to explain a little bit more about what they do and how they are using technology to improve fitness.

Can you tell the listeners a little about yourself and what you guys do?

Back in 2010, we set out to launch a different type of workout totally based on science and heart rate, in a group class environment with an instructor. We knew the workout was good; the question was would people want to come in and work out fairly hard 2-4 times a week?

We set out to use a good variety of equipment: the lowest impact treadmill on the market, a unique water roller that we use for another part of cardio and power training. Every day the class changes; if you’re a member or guest, you’re not coming in and doing the same routine. You’re doing a different routine every day, but there are some core principals underneath it that keeps you getting those results.

What makes Orange Theory different?

What makes our workout different is it is very science based. You’re getting the core principals of the workout because it’s led by a trainer in a group setting. We’re pushing your heart rate into certain zones for at least twelve minutes, so you’re getting in that epic state where you burn more calories. Because the workout is a lot more controlled and motivating people are getting a lot more out of the workout.

What benefits have you noticed through monitoring your heart rate?

Cardiovascular heart health is so important for people’s longevity and feeling good and using heart rate monitoring is a path to do that. It’s got a broad use outside of just going for a hard workout; it has that whole wellness aspect to it as well.

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Orangetheory Fitness CEO David Long

What countries are you in?

We have three in London, England and thirty in Canada. We’ve entered Australia, Mexico, Columbia and the Dominican Republic. Some big markets we’re getting ready to go into this year are Japan, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Did you make a decision to jump out of more crowded waters and into your own niche?

We’re believers in all the technologies, and I think the activity trackers are cool. But for our own product we just wanted to deliver what the customer needed and that was a very reliable heart rate monitor for the class. We set out to provide a very simple but effective wearable that they would just need to remember to pop on for the class or if they go for a run outside or what not.

The data goes on their app so they can look at it. 80 percent don’t look at it that often but for the 20 percent who do it’s very important to them. They want to see the calorie burn and track progress.

What would you say is your target audience?

Whether you’re a business professional or raising a number of kids or even a college student the commonality is that people are just always pressed for time. We see college age all the way to 60’s and 70’s so it’s a very broad audience. The classes are based in a way that it doesn’t matter if you are walking 5 kilometers an hour or running at 15 you can work out next to someone else and just go at your own pace doing what you can do.

Do you ever get feedback or inspiration stories from users who have dramatically improved their health as a result of your Orange Theory?

We do, and our customers are very vocal about it both on social media and even just directly ringing us here at the head office. Obviously, there’s a lot that goes back to the franchise owner or the management in that studio across the world.

What does the future hold for Orange Theory?

The ultimate goal is that we want to be able to bring this to all markets where people have a demand for it. We’re talking about another 300-400 new locations worldwide opening each year for the next five years. While we’re at 12 countries, now we see that going to 30-40 international markets. The growth is obviously a big goal for us, and we want to get the product out there, but we want to make sure with this rapid expansion that the quality product, excellent customer service and the quality of the studio doesn’t water down.

Contacting Orange Theory

Their website is www.orangetheoryfitness.com. There is a page on the website where you can look at domestic and international franchise opportunities. One thing Orange Theory prides themselves on is when someone submits a request they are going to get information relatively quickly.

Connect with David Long on LinkedIn

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