OrangeTheory Waitlist: Beginner’s Guide

OrangeTheory Fitness is one of the most popular gym chains in the United States, with thousands of members filtering in and out of its 1,400 studios across the country.

Interestingly, OrangeTheory does not operate like a traditional gym. It focuses on science-backed group fitness classes that are pre-scheduled as per the members’ requirements.

Typically, you will see a maximum of around 24-26 members in each class. They keep the batch size small so that the coaches can give more individualised attention to all the members of the class.

Because of the result-oriented approach that OrangeTheory takes, it’s only natural that all the classes are almost always fully booked.

So, what do you do when you want to try out an OTF  class but the session is completely booked? You sign up for the OrangeTheory waitlist, of course!           

In this article, we’ll explore everything that you might need to know about the waitlist at OrangeTheory Fitness.

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into it!

OrangeTheory Waitlist

What is OrangeTheory Waitlist?

When an OrangeTheory class is fully booked, members can choose to be placed on a waitlist. If a member who had booked the class beforehand opts out of it, then the first person on the waitlist will be automatically enrolled in the class to take their spot.

The main purpose of using the waitlist system is to manage class attendance and ensure that classes are neither left overbooked nor are any places left vacant in case a member cancels at the last minute.

OrangeTheory Fitness is highly popular for its group workout classes focusing on different heart rate zones. Because of the efficiency of their workout routines, nearly all OrangeTheory studios generally have waitlists for their classes.

It should be noted that being on the waitlist does not always guarantee you a spot in the class. As such, it’s best to book a class beforehand for your own assurance.

How does OrangeTheory waitlist work?

The waitlist at OrangeTheory allows members to sign up for classes that have already been fully booked. If someone opts out of the class, then members on the waitlist will take their spot.

Signing up for the waitlist before others also has its perks, as the staff at OrangeTheory adds members to the class in the same order in which they signed up for the waitlist.

It should also be noted that the waitlist is not infinitely long. Only 10-30 people can sign up for the OrangeTheory waitlist for each class. The actual number varies from one studio to another, depending on the type of class they are taking and the capacity of the studio.

One important thing to remember is that members should keep track of the waitlist by themselves.

Some studios will send you a text message or an email if you clear the waitlist and have been enrolled in the class. However, some locations do not notify the members at all. So, if you clear the waitlist and don’t attend the class, you’ll be liable to pay the no-show fee.

How do I get on the OrangeTheory waitlist?

Signing up for the waitlist of a class that has been fully booked is pretty simple. There are two ways through which you can do this:

  • By using the OTF application: If you want to use the OrangeTheory Fitness mobile application, just book any class like you would normally do. If the class is full, you’ll see a small clock icon next to the name of the class. You can add yourself to the waitlist for that class by clicking on the clock icon.
  • By calling the studio: The other option is to call the studio directly. Sometimes, you might not be able to see the clock icon on the application, even if the class is full. This happens when you are booking an OrangeTheory class for the first time or if the application is glitched. Either way, you can avoid all these complications by calling the studio up and asking them to add you to the waitlist.

Both of these methods are pretty simple and reliable. If you are tech-savvy and have been booking your own classes using the fitness chain’s mobile application, you can do the same for signing up for the waitlist too.

If you prefer a human touch, you can call the front desk of the studio and tell them that you want to sign up for the waitlist.

OrangeTheory Waitlist Policy

OrangeTheory Waitlist Policy

To sum up, here is the OrangeTheory waitlist policy if you wish to sign up for a class that has been fully booked:

  • Members can choose to sign up for the waitlist if a class is full. They can use the OrangeTheory app or website for the same.
  • Members who clear the waitlist will be enrolled in the class in the same order (of time) in which they signed up for the waitlist.
  • If a member clears the waitlist, they hold the responsibility of either attending the class or cancelling the reservation at least 8 hours before the class starts. Failure to do so will result in a no-show fee.
  • Members can opt to remove themselves from the waitlist at any point.
  • Members on the waitlist who are physically present at the studio when the class starts will be given precedence over members who had booked the class beforehand but have arrived late.
  • Studios may opt to change their classes from 2G to 3G to accommodate large waitlists. But this is not standard practice and depends on the particular franchise where you have signed up.

Do I have to pay if I am on the OrangeTheory waitlist?

Fortunately, you are not charged anything for signing up for an OrangeTheory waitlist. However, members who only have a limited number of classes per month (Basic and Elite memberships) will need to ensure that they have at least one class available.

You will only be charged (or lose a session) if you actually clear the waitlist and are enrolled in the class. If that happens and you don’t show up, you will either lose your class or be compelled to pay a no-show fee, depending on the studio’s policies.

Do I need to use the OTF waitlist? Can’t I just show up?

You would not believe it, but you don’t actually have to sign up for a class at OrangeTheory. You can simply show up at the gym and take any class, provided a vacancy is available.

Unfortunately, that is hardly ever the case. OrangeTheory Fitness classes are almost always fully booked. That’s why members like to book their classes and confirm their presence beforehand.

So, yes, you don’t need to use the waitlist. You have the option of just showing up and hoping there’s a spot available. However, if you do so, keep these considerations in mind:

  1. Members who have booked their classes or have signed up for the waitlist will be prioritised above you. Even if they show up later than you, they’ll be granted access to the class, while you will not. So, if you show up without joining the waitlist for the class, you will have to wait for 5 minutes after the class begins to confirm that there are vacancies available and that nobody else will show up.
  2. In some cases, members who had booked the class beforehand will not be given a grace period of 5 minutes. If they are not in the studio by the time the class starts, their spot will be given to another member on the waitlist. If nobody from the waitlist is physically present at the facility, the empty spot will be given to anyone who is there and is willing to sign up for the class.
  3. OrangeTheory generally entertains a lot of late cancellations. Moreover, not everyone on the waitlist is always present. So, if you show up, there is a strong chance that you might just be able to get in without making a prior commitment. However, nothing is confirmed. So, there is always a risk that there might not be any room for you, resulting in a wasted trip.

What are the odds of securing a spot?

The chance that you clear the OrangeTheory waitlist depends on the particular studio where the session is being hosted as well as the type of class.

Generally, the first 5-10 people who sign up for the waitlist tend to get into the class because of various last-minute cancellations. But there is no guarantee, and the number might fluctuate from one studio to another.

Also, OrangeTheory records more late cancellations on weekends as people who party or hang out on Fridays and Sundays might be too exhausted to work out. The chances of you clearing the waitlist on Sundays, therefore, are higher.

On the other hand, special events or benchmark days at OrangeTheory signify peak attendance in most studios. For example, Hell Week, the special event planned around Halloween, is almost always fully booked. The chances of you clearing the waitlist around that time is much slimmer.

How do I know if I got off the OTF waitlist and into the class?

If you clear the waitlist, most OTF studios will notify you via email. Some busier gyms, where attendance is a bigger issue, will make sure to send you a text message or even call you for the same.

However, it’s a good idea to keep regular track of the OTF app yourself to see your status on the waitlist.

That’s because some OrangeTheory studios will not send you any notifications. They will just put you in the class. If you don’t show up, you’ll be charged a late cancellation or a no-show fee.

Will I be penalized with a late-cancel fee if I am on the OTF wait list and fail to attend the class?

Yes, you will have to pay a late-cancel fee if you clear the waitlist at any point in time and still don’t show up.

Generally, it’s recommended that you expect to visit the studio for the class if you sign up for the waitlist. That’s because it’s highly likely that you’ll clear it. Sometimes, people might get cleared off the waitlist and added to the class at the last minute. As such, they don’t have the time to make it to the class by then. Yet, they are still charged the no-show fee for not attending the class.

The fee is usually $12 for members with a Premier plan. For others, they’ll just be deducted a session for the month.

So, it’s better that you remove yourself from the waitlist if you know that you won’t be able to attend the class after a certain point.

When browsing classes in the Orangetheory app, what does the number beside the clock symbol indicate?

If you are booking a class through the OTF application and see a clock icon, it indicates that the class is fully booked, and you can sign up for the waitlist instead.

The number next to the clock, on the other hand, indicates the number of people who have currently signed up for the waitlist.

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What does it mean when there is no number displayed next to the blue clock icon while viewing a class in the Orangetheory app?

As per an employee at OrangeTheory, if you see a blue clock with no number on the OTF application, it basically implies that you have cleared the waitlist and the staff members are waiting for your confirmation that you will be present.

However, to make sure that it’s not a glitch, you can simply call your studio and confirm the same.

Why am I unable to join the waitlist for an Orangetheory class when the app shows that it is “full”?

If that happens, it simply means that both the class and the waitlist are fully booked. So, you will have to wait for someone to opt out of the waitlist to be able to sign up for the same. You can also choose to call the studio and ask if they can find you a spot.

Will Orangetheory change a class from 2G to 3G to accommodate more people on the waitlist when it is full?

Usually, OrangeTheory follows the policy that classes cannot be changed at the last minute, even if the waitlist appears to be long.

However, during special events like Hell Week, some studios keep track of their waitlists and change the schedules by converting 2G classes to 3G classes to accommodate larger crowds.

Some studios (although it’s rare) will do the same on regular days when the waitlists are large.

Will Orangetheory studio consider opening a new location to meet the demand for classes and waitlists that are consistently full?

OrangeTheory Fitness is a renowned gym chain. Most of their classes are filled to the brim with maximum attendance. So, it’s not uncommon to see studios that are constantly putting out waitlists for their classes.

The decision to launch a new location in the same area to accommodate the demand, however, rests with the franchise owner. While it’s unlikely that they will do so, if the community gathers and request the same, they might oblige.

Why are there open spots in an Orangetheory class even when it previously had a large waitlist?

Sometimes, you will find that the class is not full, even if it had a pretty big waitlist. It’s a big issue for OrangeTheory, and there are several reasons for this:

  • Members tend to overbook and sign themselves up for multiple classes and waitlists to maximise their chances of getting in. They also cancel all the other reservations when they get into a specific class.
  • Some studios increase their capacity and switch from 2G classes to 3G classes when there are a lot of people on the waitlist.
  • A majority of the people just don’t show up because of busy schedules.

Tips for maximizing the success rate when signing up for the waitlist at Orangetheory Fitness

Here’s what you can do to maximise your chances of clearing the waitlist at OrangeTheory Fitness:

  1. Sign up for the waitlist as soon as possible. As soon as you realize that the class you want to attend is full, sign up for the waitlist. The earlier you join the waitlist, the better your chances of getting a spot.
  2. Try signing up for classes during less popular times
  3. Don’t book yourself twice for the same waitlist. Instead of maximising your chances of clearing it, doing so might frustrate the staff and bar you from getting in. You might also get a late-cancel penalty if you do this.
  4. Don’t fear how large the waitlist is. People tend to cancel their bookings a lot, and you would be surprised to know how fast these waitlists move.
  5. Sign up in advance for special events like Hell Week. During those occasions, it’s almost impossible to clear the waitlist.
  6. Whatever happens, treat the support staff with the utmost respect. Managing and scheduling class attendance based on bookings and waitlists might get exhausting and confusing. They are allowed to make mistakes.
  7. If you are having trouble getting into a class or off the waitlist, consider speaking to the staff at your studio. They may be able to offer advice or suggest other options.

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Final Words

OrangeTheory follows a pretty strict waitlist policy. Most of their classes are almost always fully booked. So, it’s no surprise to see a large number of people signing up for the waitlist.

Fortunately, these waitlists tend to clear up pretty fast, especially on weekends. A lot of people cancel at the last minute. So, if there are only 5-10 people on the waitlist, there is a high chance that you’ll be enrolled for the class.