I used both 9Round and Orangetheory, and it’s difficult to pinpoint which one is better because it will depend on your personal preferences, fitness level, and how much time you have on your hands.
As a whole, the Orangetheory Fitness and 9Round Fitness are completely different types of workouts but are based on the same idea; organized group fitness training. They both have advantages and disadvantages compared to other places, and both have similar pricing.
Choosing between 9Round and Orangetheory is like choosing between Bootcamp and martial art class. They are both effective and they both can get you fit.
9Round Fitness vs Orangetheory
The main difference between the two is that the 9Round class primarily focused on boxing and kickboxing where you do multiple kicks, strikes, and punches. Some stations also include elements of strength training and HIIT cardio exercises.
Each 9Round session will have some of the exercises below:
- Punching bag training
- Speed bag training
- Partner boxing (with a personal trainer)
- Strength and conditioning exercises
On the other hand, the Orangetheory Fitness is a boot camp style workout focused on traditional strength and cardio exercises using rowers, treadmills, and free weights.
Each Orangetheory session will include:
- Barbells and dumbbells
- TRX Training
If I would be choosing my primary workout based on the type of training they offer, I would go for Orangetheory. I find that their training structure is more comprehensive. I also like when you alternate cardio with weights every few minutes.
Studies have shown that alternating cardio with strength training enhances lactate clearance and allows one to continue exercising, without fatiguing the muscle (Piras et al. 2015).
On the other hand, I like the boxing and kickboxing component of the 9Round because apart from high energy and high calorie burn it is also therapeutic.
In short, here are some of the benefits of boxing.
- release muscle tension
- helps to de-stress
- increase endorphins
- elevates your mood
- improves self-esteem
This means I would strongly recommend you join the 9Round if you are looking for a way to release stress, and weight loss is just the secondary goal.
Also, both OTF and 9Round use heart rate monitors during the classes where they keep an eye on your effort level and ensure you’re training at recommended intensity.
Learn more: I’ve already written a review article about “9round fitness“, which I recommend you read.
9Round vs Orangetheory Class Structure
The main difference between OTF and 9Rounds is that the 9Round session takes 30 minutes and includes 9 stations where you spend 3 minutes each. Each station is different, which means you won’t be doing the same exercise twice.
Here is the class structure for the 9Round class.
|Total time||30 minutes|
|Number of rounds||9|
|Exercises per round||2|
|Rest between rounds||30 seconds|
- Class starts right off the gate with the light cardio exercise like jump rope or jumping jacks. The second round is usually some strength movement with dumbbells or kettlebells.
- Each round has 2 exercises where you alternate between punches, kicks, and bodyweight HIIT exercise (e.g. burpee).
- During the 30 second “active recovery” you will be doing something to keep your heart rate high like mountain climbers or sparring with a trainer.
Orangetheory also has rounded, but here you will be doing rowing (or running) multiple times per class.
Here is the class structure for the Orangetheory class.
|Total time||60 minutes|
|Number of rounds||6-7|
|Exercises per round||1-3|
|Rest between rounds||–|
- Warmup usually starts from walk/run on the treadmill and progresses into endurance and tempo speed after the first 3-5 minutes.
- Each strength training round has 3 weight training exercises that alternate between the lower and upper body. When you’re on the rower/tread you will likely do some elements of HIIT (e.g. row as fast as possible for 150m).
- The rest is only for the transition between rounds and you may catch your breath as the trainer is explaining the next exercise.
- You do get 5-minute stretch at the end of the class.
Schedule and Openning Times
Orangetheory and 9Round and both franchises, but they operate differently when it comes to opening times and class schedules.
|Schedule and timetable||Orangetheory|
|Opening times||6 am – 9 pm|
|Weekend times||Saturday (6 am – 8 pm)|
Sunday (8 am – 12 pm)
|Number of classes per day||10|
|Number of people per class||max 26|
- Monday to Friday all Orangetheory gyms operate within the same schedule (6 am to 9 pm). However, on the weekend the opening times will vary, depending on the location.
- Monday to Friday you have 10 classes per day at set times, and you need to book in advance to get a spot. Members can use any facility across the whole US, regardless of where they’ve signed up.
- Classes can be filled up with a maximum of 24 to 26 people.
Here you can see the 9Round Fitness schedule.
|Schedule and timetable||9Round|
|Opening times||6 am – 12 pm|
4 pm – 8 pm
|Weekend times||Saturday (6 am – 12 pm)|
|Number of classes per day||Unlimited|
|Number of people per class||10 – 15|
- Each 9Round gym has different opening times and members cannot use their membership in all locations.
- The gym is closed during the afternoon times, and its closed on Sundays.
- No need to book appointment for the class.
You can tell that fitness franchises are looking for innovative ways to add more convenience to their members’ lives. However, the 9Round took it to a whole new level by allowing you to walk in and start a class without any timetable.
You can enter the 9Round gym at any time and start workout class (even on your own). There is no set schedule or need to make an appointment.
I find it extremely convenient, especially if you don’t want to be tight up with the set time or if you’re the kind of person who always runs late.
9Round vs Orangetheory for Weight Loss
Overall, the 9Round and Orangetheory are equally effective for weight loss because the number of calories you burn during the class will only depend on how hard you push yourself.
However, the OTF classes are longer, so if you look at the weight loss from a purely mathematical standpoint, you will get a better workout at OTF.
- 9Round 30-minite class can burn 300 to 600 calories. The most energy-demanding form of exercise in the class is boxing and kicking.
- Orangetheory 60-minute class can burn from 400 to 900 calories. The most difficult form of exercise in the class is rowing and running.
However, please remember that weight loss is not only about hard exercise. It is more about controlling your calorie intake. This means if you choose the right nutrition plan, you can choose your exercise based on what you enjoy doing, not what burns the most amount calories.
Learn more: You can learn 8 ways to maximize weight loss with Orangetheory. Details here.
As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer doing workouts as you can find in the Orangetheory class. Keep in mind that I’ve been doing fitness for over a decade and have tried all types of stuff:
- Olympic lifting
- Marathon running
I typically do one thing for a year or two, and then change it into something else. So naturally, if you want to try something new, don’t judge the activity based on the calories only. Look for things that you like.
You can learn more about “orange theory heart rate zones” in my article here.
Facility and Cleanliness
The Orangetheory has a much larger space comparing to 9Round. Much of the space in the OTF is taken by the cardio machines so you do feel slightly compressed.
However, because everyone is constantly moving and changing the stations, you don’t have problems bumping on each other toes.
The 9Round gym is small, but it’s organized in a way that when it’s crazy busy, you still have plenty of room to train. The studio is usually narrow, but long, so it can accommodate all the boxing equipment.
- Car park – Gyms that I went to where located close distance from the shopping mall, so there was plenty of space for car park.
- Water – Both gyms sells water and other beverages.
Since 2020, all the gyms that remain open have to comply with CDC guidance, and here you have no exceptions. In the gyms that I’ve been, both Orangetheory and 9Round have the standard operating procedure when it comes to cleanliness.
I’ve spoken with one of the 9Round trainers at the Coral Gabels gym and he said that they have a 4-hour window between the opening times, and that’s when they clean the gym and equipment.
The Orangetheory is open all the time, but they do have staff that clean the facility after each class.
- Showers – The 9Round fitness doesn’t have showers because the facility is too small. The Orangetheory fitness does have showers and full range of amenities like shower gels, lockers and chanigng rooms.
- Towels – Both of the gyms advise bringing towels with them, however, I’ve noticed that the OTF gym that I’ve been in also handled scented cold towels at the end of the workout.
Learn more: Click here to learn essential tips and hacks for “showering at the gym“
What I liked about 9Round fitness is that before the class I had a chat with one of the trainers and he asked me about any injuries or mobility problems that he should know before.
On the other hand, when I went to OTF I didn’t have anyone ask me that question. I signed the waiver and was ready to train.
- Client evaluation – In 9Round fitness, I did receive an introduction where the trainer assessed my range of motion and we both worked on the plan that will meet my fitness goals. He asked me about my fitness history and preferences. I didn’t get this type of service with OTF.
I didn’t need any special attention, but for anyone new to boxing or kickboxing, the trainer at the 9Round walks you thru all the exercises and gives you an alternative, if you need plan B.
Oragnetheory fitness coaches did a good job of explaining how to do each exercise, but I saw some people who did exercises incorrectly but didn’t get any feedback.
I assume that’s because each class is packed and with everything moving at a fast pace (watching people transition, explaining exercises, looking at the screen with heart rate) I completely understand there is no way to see all the mistakes that people can do.
Membership and Cancellation Policy
I haven’t signed up for the membership in either of the gyms because I was only in the location temporarily. However, I know that prices are fairly similar, depending on how often you plan to use the gym.
Also, both gyms offer a free trial where you can walk in and check if that’s something you’re looking for (that’s what I did).
Pricing for 9Round membership.
|Cancellation Methods||Through the phone 866-619-7978|
In-person at your local gym
- There is a second option when you don’t pay an upfront enrolment fee, but instead, you pay more each month.
- Once you signed up, there is no limit in how many sessions you can take each month.
- Sometimes when you try to call there can be an issue with the number so I recommend always filling out the form in person. You should bring with you all the necessary information like ID and account details.
To compare, here you have the Orangetheory Membership plan.
|Monthly Fee||Basic $59 (4 sessions)|
Elite $99 (8 sessions)
Premier $159 (unlimited)
|Cancellation Methods||Through the phone 1-954-530-6903|
In-person at your local gym
- The sessions are per month, so if you look at the basic plan that’s one session per week. By the way, I think that is a good option, especially if you use OTF as an addition to your regular gym.
- If you plan to only use Orangethery fitness as your main thing, I recommend going for unlimited.
- To cancel the membership all you need is fill-up the form.
NOTE: If you’re looking for an affordable alternative, you can read more about the list of “gyms like an orange theory but cheaper” in my article here.
In short, I think that beginners will find both OTF and 9Round challenging. Overall, you will be able to build muscle and improve your performance with either one.
However, if you’re looking for something long-term and you don’t know which one is better, I would recommend sticking to the type of workout that you feel you like the most, and don’t think about calories.