Orangetheory Vs. Planet Fitness: Comparing Gym Experience, Pricing, and Amenities

Choosing a gym comes down to factors like cost, workout style, atmosphere, and amenities. Orangetheory and Planet Fitness are two popular fitness chains, but which is better for you?

This in-depth comparison examines the key differences between Orangetheory and Planet Fitness. We’ll look at the gym experience, pricing, equipment, classes, and facilities to help you decide. Read on to see how these gyms stack up.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsOrangetheoryPlanet Fitness
Workout StyleStructured HIIT classesOpen gym, self-directed
EquipmentTreadmills, rowers, TRX, free weightsCardio, strength machines, some free weights
Membership Cost$59-$159 per month$10-$23 per month
AmenitiesLimited, studios built for HIIT classesTanning, massage, hydrobeds
AtmosphereHigh energy, intense, motivationalLow-key, judgement-free, relaxed
Best ForHigh-intensity trainingAffordable casual workouts

Overview of Orangetheory

Orangetheory Fitness is a studio-style gym focused on structured group workout classes founded in 2010. Their 1-hour classes utilize treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training, and free weights to hit different heart rate zones for maximum calorie burn.

Orange Theory Fitness
Orange Theory

Key features of Orangetheory include:

  1. Specialized high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  2. Classes designed to hit specific heart rate zones
  3. Wearable heart rate monitors to track intensity
  4. Small group setting led by coaches
  5. Modern studios with high-tech equipment
  6. Goal of 500-1000+ calories burned per workout

With over 1,300 locations globally, Orangetheory provides an intense gym experience centered around their set-format interval training classes.

Overview of Planet Fitness

Founded in 1992, Planet Fitness markets itself as an affordable, judgement-free gym for casual fitness. Their bright, spacious gyms offer cardio machines, strength equipment, and various amenities for members 18 and up. Planet Fitness now has over 2,200 locations across the United States.

Planet Fitness key features include:

  1. Open 24/7 gym facilities
  2. Tanning beds, massage chairs, and hydromassage
  3. Basic strength machines and cardio equipment
  4. Option for unlimited guest privileges
  5. “Pizza Monday” and “Bagel Tuesday”
  6. Membership from $10-$23/month
  7. Relaxed, low-key atmosphere

With quality equipment and budget pricing, Planet Fitness aims to create a comfortable, non-intimidating gym environment.

Also Read: Comparison Between Equinox And OrangeTheory

Key Differences Between Orange Theory And Planet Fitness

  • Facilities and Equipment

Orangetheory centers are boutique studio spaces purpose-built for their structured workouts. Each location features:

  1. Treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension trainers
  2. Free weights like kettlebells and dumbbells
  3. Floor space for bodyweight exercises
  4. Heart rate monitors to track intensity
  5. Modern decor and high-energy music
  6. Compact footprint around 2,000-4,000 sq ft

Planet Fitness gyms offer more standard gym equipment and amenities:

  1. Wide selection of cardio machines like treadmills and bikes
  2. Resistance machines, dumbbells, and simple strength equipment
  3. Open layout with scattered equipment stations
  4. Locker rooms, tanning, massage beds and chairs
  5. Water massage beds, hydromassage loungers
  6. Avg size 15,000-20,000+ square feet

For just equipment, Planet Fitness provides greater variety including free weights and resistance machines. But Orangetheory’s studios are tailored specifically for fast-paced interval training.

  • Workout Style and Approach

The gym experience and workout styles differ significantly between these chains.

Orangetheory is centered on their high-intensity interval training (HIIT) method through heart rate zone training. Key aspects include:

  1. Structured 1-hour workout split into stations
  2. Utilizes treadmills, rowing, TRX and floor exercises
  3. Coaches guide you to hit target heart rates for max calorie burn
  4. Goal of 500-1000+ calories burned per workout
  5. Track performance on screens and monitors
Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness encourages casual training at your own pace on their equipment:

  1. Open gym atmosphere
  2. Access strength and cardio equipment 24/7
  3. Bring your own workout plan or do your own thing
  4. Relaxed “Judgement Free Zone®” environment
  5. Some classes like Zumba® available
  6. No pressures, requirements, or goals

For motivational group training, Orangetheory leads. But Planet Fitness is better for relaxed, solo training on your schedule.

  • Membership Costs

Here is the breakdown on gym membership pricing:


  1. Basic: 4 classes/month for $59/month
  2. Elite: 8 classes/month for $99/month
  3. Premier: Unlimited classes for $159/month
  4. One class drop-in is $28
  5. Annual commitment required for best rates

Planet Fitness

  1. Classic: $10/month
  2. PF Black Card: $23/month
  3. $0 down with month-to-month or annual term
  4. Annual fee of $39 per year
  5. Option to freeze account for $5/month
  6. Guest fees $5-$20 per visit

For unlimited access, Orangetheory runs $100+ more per month than Planet’s top tier. But the PF Black Card has add-ons like guest fees. For budget pricing, Planet Fitness wins easily.

Also Read: Comparison Between Smart Gym And Fitbod

  • Gym Vibe and Culture

The overall atmosphere can greatly impact your workout experience.

Orangetheory locations have an intense, high-energy setting. Top 40 pop music blares as coaches actively motivate members. Tracking performance on screens adds data-driven competition. The group HIIT classes foster camaraderie.

Planet Fitness gyms cultivate a low-key, judgement-free, welcoming vibe. The bright colors and scattered equipment provide an unintimidating environment. People casually do their own routines alone or in smaller groups. The culture encourages casual fitness rather than hardcore training.

For an intense workout community, Orangetheory is the winner. If you want an casual, low-pressure gym, Planet Fitness has the atmosphere you want.

Watch This Review Video:

Pros and Cons Comparison

Orangetheory Pros

  1. Structured high-calorie burn interval training
  2. Engaging group workout environment
  3. Coaches motivate and guide your training
  4. High-tech performance tracking
  5. Modern, energetic facilities

Orangetheory Cons

  1. Requires membership for access
  2. Only 1 hour structured workout formula
  3. Very high intensity workouts for some
  4. Heart rate training not for everyone
  5. Equipment limited to studio elements

Planet Fitness Pros

  1. Extremely affordable $10 basic membership
  2. 24/7 gym access for members
  3. Quality strength and cardio machines
  4. Relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere
  5. Hydromassage, tanning beds, and massage chairs

Planet Fitness Cons

  1. Can get crowded during peak hours
  2. Very limited free weights and benches
  3. Few amenities beyond basic equipment
  4. Mostly self-directed workouts
  5. Add-on fees like guest access

Also Read: Comparison Between Orangetheory And Life Time Fitness

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How is Orangetheory different from other gyms?

Orangetheory differs from most traditional gyms in the following ways:
Structured group workout classes rather than open gym access. Specialized interval training focused on heart rate zone coaching. Compact studios built specifically for their workout formula. Goal of maximum calorie burn through HIIT training. Use of monitors to track individual performance in real-time.
Community motivation rather than solo training focus.

Can you build muscle at Orangetheory?

You can build some muscle strength at Orangetheory, but it’s not optimized for large muscle gains or serious weightlifting. The treadmill, rowing, TRX, and bodyweight exercises tone and define muscles. But for major strength gains, the limited equipment can’t replace serious weight training. The metabolic focus is more on cardiopulmonary fitness.

Why is Planet Fitness so famous?

Planet Fitness grew into one of the most popular gym chains by offering an extremely affordable basic membership at just $10/month. They cater to casual fitness lovers rather than serious bodybuilders. The judgement-free atmosphere also appeals to many looking for an unintimidating, low-pressure gym environment. These factors helped Planet Fitness thrive.

Does Planet Fitness have showers?

Yes, Planet Fitness locations are equipped with locker rooms that have private showers and changing areas. You can shower after your workout at no additional cost as a member. Some locations also offer massage beds, tanning, and hydromassage loungers for members 18+ to relax post-workout.

Final Thought

In determining the best gym for one’s needs, it’s essential to consider personal fitness goals and preferences. Orangetheory stands out for those seeking high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with its structured classes, heart rate monitoring, and energizing atmosphere. This setup is designed to optimize calorie burn, making it an excellent choice for fat loss enthusiasts. However, the nature of its rigorous and somewhat repetitive format may not suit everyone.

On the other hand, Planet Fitness is an excellent fit for individuals looking for affordability without compromising on equipment quality. It provides an array of basic gym equipment and amenities at a hard-to-beat price. This makes it ideal for those pursuing casual fitness routines, offering a relaxed environment conducive to self-paced workouts. However, it might not be the go-to place for those passionate about heavy lifting or HIIT.

In conclusion, the choice between Orangetheory and Planet Fitness hinges on individual training styles, aspirations, and budget constraints. While Orangetheory guarantees intense, result-driven workouts, Planet Fitness ensures a relaxed, budget-friendly fitness journey. It’s vital to prioritize what you value most in your fitness experience and select accordingly.

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