OrangeTheory Heart Rate Monitor: Do You Really Need It?

Thinking of purchasing an Orangetheory membership? The investment will definitely be worth it. But the monthly costs can average between $60 and $170 depending on the plan you choose as well as the gym’s location. So, the franchise could be a little expensive for some people.

On top of that, you would see that most Orangetheory fitness members carry a heart rate monitor with them. Beginners, therefore, have a valid question – is it compulsory to purchase an Orangetheory heart rate monitor if you want to work out there?

It’s true that Orange Theory gyms use their exclusive HRM as a central component of their workout programs. The main goal is to track the heart rate data in real-time to give participants continuous feedback on whether they are working out at an appropriate intensity level to maximize the results of the training session.

Primarily, the OTF heart rate monitor is designed to help members keep their heart rates within a specific target zone, called the Orange Zone.

Doing so will help members achieve the state of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which will allow their bodies to burn calories even after they have stopped working out. This is also known as the “afterburn effect.”

Because of how important these heart rate monitors are to the specialized training programs devised by Orange Fitness, most members feel the need to purchase their own devices.

But the question stands – is it compulsory for OT members to get a heart rate monitor for themselves? And, is it useful in the long run?

Let’s find out.

Do You Need a Heart Rate Monitor for OrangeTheory?

Do You Need a Heart Rate Monitor for OrangeTheory

Fortunately, it is not mandatory for Orange Theory members to carry a heart rate monitor with them. Many members don’t feel the need to track their heart rates at all.

On the other hand, some members use other alternatives, like purchasing HRM devices from other brands. Additionally, they can simply carry their smartwatches that come with heart-tracking features to get similar results.

However, those who want the complete Orange Theory experience and get efficient results should definitely invest in a heart rate monitor.

More specifically, they should purchase the Orange Theory heart rate monitor because it uses state-of-the-art technologies and features to give precise data while also prioritizing comfort and convenience.

Measuring heart rates is an essential part of Orange Theory’s scientifically-backed workout programs. So, if you signed up specifically for their weight-loss plans, investing in HRM might become necessary to elevate your heart rates to be in the “Orange Zone” and start the afterburn effect.

Do I Have to Buy OrangeTheory Heart Rate Monitor?

No, it is not mandatory to buy the Orange Theory heart rate monitor specifically. Many members use heart rate monitors from other brands.

Similarly, you can also use smartwatches to track your heart rates. Apple Watch, for example, has many applications that mimic the settings used at Orange Theory, like HIIT, Orange Zone, Cardio, and so on.

While the data that you get might not be as precise, it’s still a good alternative for people who cannot afford to purchase the OTF heart rate monitor, which can be pretty expensive.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to buy anything at all, you also have the option to come empty-handed. It’s not necessary to base your workout programs on your heart rates. You can exercise regularly, just like you would at any other gym.

Can I Use Any Heart Rate Monitor for OrangeTheory?

Can I Use Any Heart Rate Monitor for OrangeTheory

Many other heart rate monitoring devices, specifically wearables like watches, are compatible with the OTF system. As such, you don’t need to buy the Orange Theory heart rate monitor if you don’t wish to spend any extra money.

Wearing a smartwatch can be a great cheap alternative to using the OTF heart rate monitor. Many OTF members, for example, invest in an Apple Watch and connect Apple Watch with OTBeat Link to use at Orange Theory as well as in other places for other features.

Apple Watches, and other modern smartwatches, make good use of technology to give precise heart rate readings. While they may not be as good or accurate as the OTF heart rate wearables, they can come pretty close.

You need to find the right settings. Usually, it’s recommended that you keep your settings to the “HIIT,” “Cardio,” or “Orange Zone” modes. This will help you mimic the specific settings that Orange Theory trainers configure for maximum results.

What Type of Heart Rate Monitor Does OrangeTheory Use?

What Type of Heart Rate Monitor Does OrangeTheory Use

As a member of Orange Theory Fitness, you are not limited to purchasing and using just one type of heart rate monitor. Instead, there are many options that you can explore as per your requirements.

There are three types of heart rate monitoring devices that Orange Theory gyms use. Let’s talk about each of them in detail.

Chest Band

The oldest heart rate monitor used by Orange Theory was a chest strap known as the OTBeat Core Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor.

In terms of accuracy, it was quite good because it was located closer to the heart during workouts.

Unlike the newer models that operate via Bluetooth, the Core HR monitor could be connected directly to the OTF application.

Now, newer and more convenient heart rate monitors have been introduced at OTF that are gradually phasing out the OTBeat Core. The official web store is no longer selling this product. However, you can still find a used chest strap at eBay or other virtual marketplaces.


  • The chest band offers the most precise heart rate data in real-time.
  • Least Bluetooth lag-time connectivity issues.


  • The device might not fit chests of all sizes, even if the strap is adjustable.
  • Inconvenient during some exercises.

Arm Band

The second type of band is the armband. Earlier, Orange Theory used to sell arm-based heart rate monitors called the OT Beat Flex. However, there were some firmware and ergonomic issues that needed updating.

So, Orange Theory introduced a new type of armband called the OTBeat Burn, which can be worn on your biceps or forearms.

While some Flex devices are still circulating in the market, the OTBeat Burn has almost completely replaced the old model because of the updated software and features.

As the name suggests, you can easily slide up the OTBeat Burn HRM up your biceps and continue to work out like you would normally.


  • Good and convenient for wearing during workouts.
  • Offers many features and good software.


  • Readings are not as precise as chest bands.

OTBeat Link

The OTBeat Link is the newest addition to OTF’s impressive lineup of advanced heart rate monitors. It is a small device that can be integrated into your Apple Watch for monitoring your heart rate and providing real-time data of the same.

Currently, the OTBeat Link is not available for purchase online due to various reasons. But members can simply purchase the product from their nearest OTF Studio if they have it in stock.

After purchase, you can follow the instructions to link the device to your watch manually or get it done at the front desk of your preferred OTF Studio. After establishing the connection, you will get a prompt on your Apple Watch’s screen to track your heart rate during your OTF workouts.

The battery life of the device might be an issue because you will have to charge it a few times in a single week. The updated firmware makes sure that there are no Bluetooth connectivity issues, lagging problems, or so on.


  • Extremely comfortable and convenient.
  • It will not interfere with any exercises.
  • It can be linked to the apple watch.


  • Does not have a screen of its own.
  • Costlier 

Which OrangeTheory Heart Monitor is the Best?

Which OrangeTheory Heart Monitor is the Best

There are a lot of interesting options if you want to purchase a heart rate monitor from Orange Theory Fitness. But if you are looking for the best one, you are left with two direct competitors – the OTBeat Link and the OTBeat Burn.

These are the two newest models. All the others have been discontinued so they can only be purchased on a second-hand basis.

Between the Link and the Burn, the choice will ultimately boil down to your preferences. They both have their own sets of merits and drawbacks.

Many OTF members prefer the Burn, for example, because it has a faster response and tracks real-time data efficiently. However, the precision of the data also depends on the movement of your arm as well as how much it flexes.

A lot of users have complained that the Burn does not provide accurate readings on the floor or rower. So, the device is not entirely accurate in the case of some select exercises. The Burn is also cost-effective if you don’t already have an Apple Watch.

Purchasing the Link would compel you to purchase an Apple Watch as well, and the combined costs of the two might be too expensive for many members. However, in terms of accuracy, the Link is definitely better than OTBeat Burn for all stations.

But it will take around 5 seconds to update the data on your screen, which is a major downside for many members.

Ultimately, choosing between the Burn and Link will depend on your requirements. If you are on a budget, go for the Burn. It’s also the safer option because the device is still available online and easily accessible at OTF Studios.

The Link, on the other hand, is hard to find. But it is much more convenient and offers more precise data in comparison. There are also other features in Link like the Haptic Feedback which alerts the users when they are in certain heart rate zones like the Orange Zone during their workouts.

If you want precise data for all kinds of workouts, go for OTBeat Link. If you want a cheaper alternative that tracks your data consistently and provides fast responses, the OTBeat Burn should be your preferred option.

Where to Buy Orangetheory Heart Rate Monitor?

You can easily buy the Orangetheory heart rate monitor from the franchise’s official website or studio. New members also get the option to purchase these HRM devices at discounted prices when they sign up.

However, many people feel that purchasing an OTF heart rate monitor can prove to be too expensive. As such, they look for alternatives. One good option is to buy used Orange Theory heart rate monitors.

You can do so by looking for sellers on virtual marketplaces like Facebook, eBay, or Craigslist. But if you want more reliable options, you can always look to your friends, family, acquaintances, and even former members of Orangetheory Fitness if they would like to sell their HRM devices.

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Final Words

Orangetheory Fitness is popular for its scientifically-backed workout programs. Using a heart rate monitor is central to many of their ideas and concepts. As such, you would see that most OTF members carry an HRM device with them.

However, it is not compulsory to do so. You can opt not to track your heart rate at all. Otherwise, you can use heart rate monitors from other brands or smartwatches to do the same thing at a lower price.