Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness is a scientifically designed, one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart-rate-monitored workouts are designed to get participants within the target-training zone of 84 percent to 91 percent of their maximum heart rate, which stimulates metabolism and increases energy. Led by highly skilled coaches, each Orangetheory Fitness workout incorporates endurance, strength and power elements through a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines and free weights.  Since the brand’s inception back in 2010, Orangetheory Fitness has transformed into one of the world’s top fitness franchises, and is on track to open 900 studios worldwide by the end of 2017.

The National Center for the Middle Market had the opportunity to speak with the founder of Orangetheory Fitness, Ellen Latham, and here's what she had to say: 

Tell us a little bit about the background of Orangetheory and how the company got started. Ellen Latham, founder of Orangetheory Fitness

I designed the Orangetheory Fitness workout through a combination of life experiences. The skills I learned while earning my masters degree in exercise physiology and working at a high-end spa and fitness facility and Pilates influenced and inspired me to design “The Ultimate Workout,” which eventually became the foundation for the Orangetheory Fitness workout. Fast forward to 2010, I partnered with, Dave Long and Jermone Kern to develop Orangetheory and since its inception, the brand has grown exponentially to more than 731 studios worldwide, something I could have never imagined possible when I originally created The Ultimate Workout.  

Where are most of your stores located?

The first Orangetheory Fitness studio was established in 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While Florida was originally our core market, since then we have grown immensely in the last seven years, having 655 locations domestically spread out amongst 45 states with a total of 731 studios located across 16 countries.  

How do you come up with your geographical strategy?

Our geographical strategy revolves around our Area Developers. We have 70 distinct regions domestically and each is controlled by an Area Representative. Within these regions our Real Estate team in concert with the AR has determined the number of Orangetheory Studios that can be developed. There are a number of demographic factors that are considered when arriving at this number, however, core population counts, household income and the availability of viable sites are the main contributing factors.  

Talk to us a little bit about the culture at Orangetheory and what it’s like to work there.

We work hard and play hard at the Orangetheory global headquarters! We always put our members and franchisees first, but we also value work-life balance for corporate employees. Our global headquarters is packed with amenities for team members to enjoy, including a full workout studio on the first floor that also serves as our innovation lab, where we test new workout templates and technologies. Employees are encouraged to take a break and go workout! Other features of the global headquarters include our EPOC room, which offers a lounge area, ping-pong and pool tables, shuffleboard, TVs and video games, and much more. We also have a full-time wellness manager on staff who oversees our wellness center and plans employee programs that promote healthy and balanced lifestyles.  

How do you use social media to market your product?

We love engaging with our current and prospective members on social media! It is a great tool for us to hear about success stories and to motivate others. We also use social media to remind our audience that Orangetheory truly is a workout for everyone. We’re lucky to have a fan-base that is very vocal and engaging on social media, so we are active on a variety of social platforms.  

What kind of community outreach do you do and how does that affect the brand?

Orangetheory Fitness is dedicated to giving back to the local community and supporting research initiatives focused on health. We have contributed to the following local and national organizations:

  • Augie’s Quest – Cure for ALS (Raised more than $2 million in two weeks for Augie’s Quest during first brand-wide fundraising campaign in Feb/March 2017
  • Toys for Tots Foundation
  • The Pantry of Broward Food Bank
  • American Lung Association – Fight for Air Climb
  • Covenant House Charity
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Movember activities to raise money for testicular and prostate cancer
  • Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
  • Jackson Chance Foundation    
  • Sponsorship of underprivileged families during the holidays

 Our immense network of franchisees creates a large platform. Through our system, we have the ability to benefit a particular cause using the strength of our network giving us a huge advantage to help shed light on real issues that many of our members may not have otherwise been aware of before joining Orangetheory Fitness. For example, the first brand-wide fundraising campaign for Augie’s Quest launched in early 2017. Each individual studio was tasked with promoting research for ALS and encouraging local members to get involved and sweat for a cause. In just two weeks, Orangetheory’s network of studios raised more than $2 million, more than doubling the campaign goal, and educating hundreds of thousands of members about the lack of funding surrounding ALS.

What’s next for Orangetheory?

What are you most excited for? We have some really exciting initiatives for the brand on the horizon, in addition to officially moving into our new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida we will be completely updating our tech platform. The new platform will provide more meaningful data analysis to our members globally, assisting to support our coaches and staff in providing world-class service and feedback. We are also optimistic that we will have 900 studios up and running by the end of 2017. In addition to other awards the brand was honored with so far this year, such as ranking again in the Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies list and Club Industry’s top 100 health clubs of 2017, we were beyond thrilled to have topped this year’s list of the Fifty Fastest Growing Women-owned/Led Companies by American Express and Women Presidents’ Organization. These accomplishments truly highlights the business growth we’ve seen and helps set us up for future growth.