Local fitness coach tells you everything you need to know before your first class


Orangetheory in Vestavia Hills 101 edited scaled Local fitness coach tells you everything you need to know before your first class
AT OTF, you can be a power walker, jogger or runner. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Orangetheory (OTF) is a workout like no other, with smart technology and crazy calories burned. We’ve seen people try it, fall in love with it, and build community with other members. As good as it sounds, we know trying out any workout class for the first time can be a little intimidating… okay, a lot intimidating. Local Coach Alex Gray walked us through what your first class will look like so you know exactly what to expect.

Here’s how it goes

otf fitness
Orangetheory in Vestavia Hills (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

If you’re anything like me, you want to know the ins and outs and what exactly you’re getting into before you jump in to a new workout or join a new studio.

After signing up online or calling to register for your first class, the OTF team recommends showing up 30 minutes early to give you time to tour the space, check out the equipment and meet your coach. You’ll fill out a client intake form, get set up with our OTBeat performance tracker to track your results throughout the work out, and talk through your fitness goals with an OTF team member.

This is when you’ll learn about the different heart rate zones and all of the Orangetheory lingo.

Arrive to class early

Orangetheory in Hoover 102 Local fitness coach tells you everything you need to know before your first class
The OTBeat allows you to keep track of your heart rate zones throughout class. (Bham Now)

You’ll be given an OTBeat performance tracker that you’ll wear on your arm to monitor your heart rate all the way through class to see your results in real time. This is super helpful for your coach to make sure you don’t overtrain or under train.

“For your first workout we have a VIP spot reserved for your first class. This is going to keep it simple all throughout the class. Whenever you move around the room, from the treads to the rowers to the weight floor, you’re always going to stay at the same station number.”

Coach Alex Gray, Orangetheory

Classes typically spend 25-30 minutes on the treadmill and the rest of the time split between the rower and the weight floor.

All about the workout

Orangetheory in Vestavia Hills 105 Local fitness coach tells you everything you need to know before your first class
Making it happen. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

The workouts vary day-to-day, usually focusing on strength, endurance or power. Your coach will lead the class as you rotate through the treadmill, rower and weight floor.


As you step up on your treadmill, you’re going to see your name appear on the OTConnect tablet. You’ll login, it’ll pull your heart rate info on to the screen and you’ll be able to see that as you run. You can control your speed and incline to determine your challenge.

“OTF has 3 different types of athletes, so it’s accessible for people of any fitness experience. You’ll either be a power walker, jogger or runner and your pace will come from there.”

Coach Alex Gray, Orangetheory


This is where you will feel power throughout your entire body. These actually use real water, so you’re in control of the resistance the whole time.

You’ll grab your seat at your station number, slide all the way to the front and log in just like you do on the treadmill. Strap in, grab the handle, and get moving.

Weight floor:

At the floor station, everyone has their own rack of weights and extra dumbbell racks with weights ranging from 5 to 100 pounds. The coach will always demonstrate and talk through the exercises before you do them.

Plus, they will always be available to you throughout the workout to reference and keep proper form. If you ever are experiencing any injuries or restrictions, your coach will give you the correct modifications.

Ready for your first class?

Orangetheory in Vestavia Hills 107 Local fitness coach tells you everything you need to know before your first class
Let’s do it! (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Feeling a little nervous about signing up for your first class at Orangetheory? So were we. Here’s what Coach Alex says:

“Know that every person coming in for a first class is nervous. Partly because it’s a new environment for people and also because they care. There is a reason you come into an OTF studio and you care about that reason. When you care about something you naturally want to do well, and this can mean that you are nervous about taking that first step.

Once the first step is taken, class has started and you are enjoying the incredible atmosphere of an OTF class having realized that the coach is there to support you in achieving your goals, the nerves are gone.”

Coach Alex Gray, Orangetheory

Ready to get your sweat on? Find your closest Orangetheory and get started today!

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