Eat The Frog Fitness Review (Is it worth the money?)


A few days back I went on my first Eat The Frog Fitness workout in Downtown Orlando. In today’s review, I will explain everything there is to know about this gym, how it works, and most importantly, whether is it effective or not.

picture of eat the frog fitness sandbag

Eat The Frog Fitness is a combination of cardio and functional training. This workout is effective because it uses high-intensity functional training, which helps to improve cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular fitness, without causing inflammation or muscle damage.

Here is my overall answer.

I will also touch on the pros and cons of this workout (most of the information available on their blog is about how to run a fitness franchise and nothing about the science behind their training methods.

What is eat the frog fitness?

I first find out about Eat The Frog gym from my coworker who (like me) is into fitness. She said that its similar to Orangetheory Fitness, F45, and Burn Boot Camp (however, there are some differences that I will cover later).

  • According to the internet, this is a franchise that specializes in group training workouts, one-on-one coaching, and virtual in-studio sessions.
  • Each studio offers everything from fitness assessments, to periodization training plans, 24/7 member access, and high-end technology.

Eat the flog fitness has an interesting story

The gym started in 2015 in Texas and was founded by Bryan Clay, an American Olympic gold medalist and decathlon champion, and successful executive, Joe Culver.

The idea behind Eat The Frog Fitness came from a popular Mark Twain quote “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day“.

Eating the frog in the morning means that you should complete your hardest task first thing in the morning (my wife uses this idiom all the time).

This concept was also used in Brian Tracy’s book “Eat That Frog!” where he points out that “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” This is another way to say that you should start your day with the most important task first”.

According to Bryan Clay, the co-founder of Eat The Frog, “Eat the frog is a mantra, even a lifestyle. You should get the hardest part of your day done in the morning, which is an exercise for most people”.

How does eat the frog fitness work?

To be honest, there is not much difference between this gym and other bootcamp studios. Eat The Frog Fitness is a combination of personal training and group workout.

  • Your first visit is basically the fitness assessment where trainers take you through a bunch of exercises and you receive complete feedback about your current fitness level.
  • Following the assessment, you receive an 8-week workout program.

Fitness assessment

Eat The Frog Fitness require you to perform 30-minute “Fit Assessment” where they measure your fitness level, take body measurements, and use that data to design your workout plan.

Here’s how it looked in real life:

  • The assessment started by going through a couple of cardio, strength, and flexibility assessments. I was asked to do some basic movements while I was hooked to the heart rate monitor.
  • The guy who was doing my assessment asked me about any previous injuries or other mobility or health-related problems.
  • He explained that the test is also in order to spot any movement restrictions.
  • After the assessment, my coach calculated my optimal max heart rate and used the results to plan and design my periodization plan for the upcoming weeks.
  • I was also asked to complete the assessment once every 2 months to see how effective the previous workout plan was.

This means you will receive another re-assessment to find out about your progress and design another, this time more advanced workout plan.

What happens after the assessment

  • After the assessment is done, my coach inputs my results into their database and your Eat The Frog Fitness App.
  • Everyone gets access to Eat The Frog Fitness app where they see their results from things like calories burned, frog points earned, and more.
  • From there, every time when I join the workout, the system will pull out all the info about my fitness level and goals.

The next step was to move on to the personalization phase (which is a fancy name for getting recommendations on the areas that you should work on).

This is where you basically sit down with your coach and talk about your goals. He advised me on the type of workouts you should spend more time on.

According to my coach.

  • People who choose to burn fat and build muscle need to focus more on “strength” classes.
  • On the other hand, people who want to run faster or longer should do more “cardio” or “agility” classes.

Now was time to check out the fitness schedule and choose my date for a workout.

Eat the frog schedule

The schedule is literally the breakdown of the types of classes they offer. One thing that I was blown away by was the fact that Eat The Frog Fitness studios are open 24/7.

However, it’s not what you may think.

There are classes running all the time (even in the middle of the night), but there are no instructors (more on that later).

A front desk receptionist told me that the workout schedules are dependent on the location (I didn’t know there are many more locations). Apparently, currently, there are over 30 locations across the United States.

The workout

I think that eat the frog fitness workout is what separates them from other gyms. They use proprietary training methods.

They use sandbell bags, sandbags, Nubell weights, and the TRX training system, as well as indoor rowing and indoor cycling.

Nubell weights? Yes, this gym does not use normal dumbbells. They use Nubells.

picture of a Nubell from eat the frog fitness
Nubells

Yes, they look weird but (surprisingly) I really enjoyed using them. They are balanced hand weights with a circular design to evenly redistribute the weight.

My coach said that this design helps to reduce pressure on tendons and ligaments.

I was curious about this claim and after spending hours online, I found that there is no scientific research available to back up this claim.

Sorry coach.

Types of workout

Eat The Frog Fitness has 3 different workouts:

Strength

This class is a typical bootcamp-style workout to help you build strength and tone muscle.

However, please remember that gym uses only up to 30lbs weight (which is good for untrained people, but not enough to trigger hypertrophy in trained members).

Cardio

Cardio workouts are mainly focused on interval training using the Concept II Rowers and Keiser Spin Bikes. I love these wokrouts becasue they remind me of Orangetheory fitness.

Agility

I haven’t done agility class (apparently my range of motion is fine). However, according to my coach, this type of workout uses all the functional movements and a combination of equipment to challenge balance, stability, and coordination.

How long are the workouts?

The workouts take 55 minutes. Each session includes an introduction, a 5-minute warmup, 45-minute interval training, and 5 minute cool down with stretching.

A 5-minute cool-down is a combination of stretching and foam rolling as a way to enhance recovery and decrease your risk of injury.

Eat The Frog Fitness Classes

The classes are divided into virtual and Coach-led. The difference between the two is that a coach-led class has a trainer on-site, whereas a virtual class does not.

The new class starts every hour between 9 pm and 5 am. You cannot walk into the studio and randomly join a class that has already started.

You still have to book the class, doesn’t matter if it the coach-led or virtual.

Virtual class

  • The virtual class is the workout done on the site without the presence of a personal trainer.
  • Exercises for each session are displayed on massive IMAX experience screens by the virtual green character, T.A.D.

(Those IMAX screens are also used for the coach-led workouts, which I will cover later).

You can book the class via the Eat The Frog Fitness App or in-person at the Studio (keep in mind you need to book the class no later than one hour prior to the starting time).

I haven’t tried this class (I’m not a huge fan of virtual group workouts). However, the front desk staff said that to join the virtual class you need to arrive 7-10 minutes before and check in with the reception desk (even if you come in at night).

Being on time will ensure you do a warmup, which is mandatory for every workout.

Below is the video of what you can expect from the virtual class at the Eat The Frog Fitness.

Coach-Led class

The coach-led class is basically a group workout, a typical bootcamp-style group fitness class with the presence of experienced personal trainers.

The job of the coaches is to guide every member throughout the class, ensure their technique is on point and make adjustments to the exercise selection if necessary.

What I noticed straight away is that trainers didn’t spend most of the time demonstrating the movements.

Instead, they walked about the studio and ensure everyone was doing exercise in the correct way (well done).

To demonstrate the exercises, the studio had 2 immersive IMAX-style screens and a couple of flat-screen TVs where you could see exercises, how to do them, and which movement was coming next.

This made everything super easy for coaches becasue they could focus mainly on us (their members) and our safety.

Is Eat The Frog Fitness Workout Effective?

Now let’s dig into some science.

  • Overall, Eat The Frog Fitness uses the HIFT method (high-intensity functional training), which is an effective way to improve cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular fitness.
  • It also helps while reducing inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein and creatine kinase, according to National Strength and Conditioning Association.
  • You can see similar workouts done by military personnel, firefighters, and law enforcement officers who train to improve their operational readiness and fitness.

Research

Here is the excerpt from current research about the efficacy of this type of training.

“16-weeks of high-intensity functional training have shown significant improvements in maximal oxygen consumption (around 12%), decreases in body fat (around 8%), as well as improvements in bone mineral content (around 1%)”.

Feito et al. 2018

In other words, this is a viable alternative to traditional resistance training, at least when it comes to developing cardiorespiratory health and improved body composition.

Of course, this is not the type of gym where you maximize your hypertrophy and muscle size gains.

This is the type of place where you can train in a safe and nonjudgemental environment with like-minded individuals (similar to Orangetheory fitness).

Eat the frog fitness can help you lose weight

Yes, this workout can help you lose weight because it uses high-calorie burn high-intensity functional training. This type of workout helps to increase metabolic rate, glucose tolerance, and cardiovascular endurance.

  • High-intensity functional training is an alternative workout method that emphasizes functional multi-joint muscle-strengthening exercises (e.g. walking lunges or overhead squats).
  • The workout looks like circuit training, however, there is a strong emphasis on physical agility and multiplanar movement.
  • Your job is to perform an exercise, back to back, for a number of reps or seconds, with short rest between sets.

You need a heart rate monitor

Yes, it is mandatory to wear a heart rate monitor for every workout (no joke).

Eat The Frog Fitness has a specific policy that requires you to bring your own heart rate monitor or gives you the option to rent a Frog Pod or Froh Strap for $5 per session.

  • On the one hand, I understand that gym uses heart rate monitors as a way to measure workout intensity.
  • I like to use HRM because you can see in real-live how hard you train, and how much progress you’re making.
  • On the other hand, I don’t understand why everyone is required to do it. They basically refuse you to join the class without wearing one (at the end of the day, this should be optional).

Of course, you can purchase their heart rate monitors in the studio. The price for Frog Pod (the armband) is around $100.

Other gyms like OTF or F45 also use heart rate monitors. However, it is still possible to join the orange theory without a heart rate monitor.

Heart rate monitors are not that accurate

Eat the frog uses two types of heart rate monitors and they are both not 100% accurate. One is Frog Pod, which is the name of their optical armband heart rate monitor.

This device uses LED lights and uses optical sensing technology. The second one is Frog Strap, which is chest-strap HRM that uses EKG sensors.

The whole idea behind wearing a heart rate monitor is to measure your heart rate and monitor your training zone.

Eat the frog fitness use heart rate zones

Overall, Eat The Frog Fitness studios use heart rate zones to track your performance and intensity, but its not like other boot camp gyms.

Let me explain.

  • In the regular boot camp gyms, you would hook up any heart rate monitor and rely on the cookie-cutter heart rate equation, based on your age.
  • This formula does not take into consideration individual fitness level, as well as the resting heart rate.

So this heart rate thingy is nothing new because other gyms like F45 also display your metrics.

Eat the frog fitness is different

The difference between Eat The Frog and other gyms is that here they use the aforementioned 30 minutes “Fit Assessment” to establish your optimal maximum heart rate, as well as heart rate zones.

So its more personalized and not based on outdated formulas.

They still use 5 heart rate zones, but your numbers are much more dialed in. Obviously, this helps to measure how hard you train and provide instant feedback to either increase your intensity or scale down

They display your percentage of maximum heart rate on a flat-screen TV, as well as the number of calories burned.

See the picture below.

eat the frog fitness monitor with heart rate zones
The monitors display your heart rate and calories burned
  • Each of the squares displays members’ names and a colored circle, which indicates the heart rate zone you’re in right now.
  • Inside the square, you can see the number, which is the percentage of your maximum heart rate.

Eat The Frog Fitness heart rate zones chart

The colors of the heart rate zones are as follows.

Heart rate zone% of maximum heart rate
Zone 1 (blue)Very light (50-60%)
Zone 2 (yellow)Light (60-70%)
Zone 3 (green)Moderate (70-80%)
Zone 4 (red)Hard (80-90%)
Zone 5 (grey)Peak (90-100%)
Heart rate zones at the eat the frog fitness

Apart from your current heart rate, the IMAX screens will also provide other interesting information.

  • Time countdown – This number indicates how long the class has already been going (as well as how much time you have left).
  • Heart Rate Zone – You will be able to see which heart rate zone you’re currently training at.
  • Frog Points – Total number of frog points for the whole group, as well as for each individual (I will explain what are Frog Points in a moment).
  • Calories burned – The number of calories burned for the whole group, as well as for each individual.

Eat The Frog Fitness vs Orange Theory

Eat The Frog Fitness and Orangetheory Fitness are slightly different workouts but they share one thing in common; they both use heart rate monitors and heart rate zone training as a way to track your intensity levels.

  • The difference between Eat The Frog Fitness and Orangetheory is that Eat The Frog is open 24/7 and uses functional training equipment as its core workout.
  • It also provides an 8-week training plan and assessment that checks on your progress.
  • On the other hand, OTF uses traditional weights and TRX suspension trainers, as well as rowers and treadmills.
  • They also emphasize training around Orange Zone and collecting 12 Splat Points per workout.

Eat The Frog Points

In general, Eat The Frog Points is a reward program that encourages members to train more often, as well as refer friends, have a birthday, or write an online review about the club. For example, you get up to 5000 points every time your friends/family members join sign up for the membership.

I like the idea because you get for points even for just showing up in the gym (which can be really motivating, especially for beginners).

These points can be redeemed for rewards such as:

  • Eat The Frog merchandise (e.g. 20% off from apparel).
  • Eat The Frog services (e.g. $10 off your next month’s sessions).
  • Hotel deals
  • Concert and sporting events
  • Movies
  • Theme parks

Here is the list of things that Eat The Frog Fitness reward program includes and the points you get.

Eat The Frog FitnessPoints Earned
Refer a Friend+5000
Birthday+150
Online Review+150
Join Rewards Program+50
Facebook Check-in+15
Checkin+1
Eat The Frog Points Table

Eat The Frog Fitness Membership Cost

In general, Eat The Frog Fitness offers three types of memberships; Live, Unlimited, and FrogFit.

  • The Live – This package includes 24/7 access to the gym facility, as well as the ability to join any virtual class. Plus, it also gives you access to 8 coach-led classes per month.
  • The Unlimited – This package works exactly like Live membership, however, the only difference is you can join as many coach-led workouts as you want.
  • The FrogFit – This is the most expensive membership and includes everything from the Unlimited package, plus you receive one-on-one personal training, body composition analysis, access to specialty programs, and exclusive access to the FrogFit app.

You wanna know how expensive is Eat The Frog? Here is the price breakdown of current membership prices.

Eat The Frog MembershipPrice
Live$69.99
Unlimited$99.99
FrogFit$159.99

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Conclusion

  • Eat The Frog Fitness is a great alternative for people who are looking for something different than a regular gym.
  • This type of workout is equally effective as traditional resistance training, plus it comes with additional mobility benefits.
  • Before the class please remember that this gym uses heart rate monitors and will ask you to pay extra if you don’t bring one.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc) and a veteran endurance athlete. He loves to experiment and share his successes and failures to help busy men and women who want to lose weight.

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