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Freemotion, Orangetheory Create a Heart Rate Zone Training Classic

Freemotion, Orangetheory Create a Heart Rate Zone Training Classic

A collaboration between two top fitness brands, the OTF REFLEX™ Treadmill sets industry standards in design, force absorption and durability

In the realm of boutique fitness, finding partnerships that seamlessly blend technological innovation with a keen understanding of user needs can be rare. Enter the collaboration between Freemotion Fitness, the commercial equipment division of iFIT, and Orangetheory Fitness, a partnership that has flourished over 13 years and resulted in what Freemotion confidently asserts to be the finest treadmill in the industry or on the planet — the OTF REFLEX™ Treadmill.

Said to be a game-changer, the Freemotion REFLEX™ Treadmill outperformed its counterparts in a scientific study with a staggering 29% reduction in impact force when running. This study, conducted by a leading university, unequivocally positions the REFLEX™ treadmill as one of the most comfortable, impact-reducing, and performance-enhancing running machines available today.

Through five evolutions, the OTF REFLEX™ Treadmill has evolved to meet the exacting demands of the Orangetheory workout, enduring over 12 hours of daily, varied-intensity use. The partnership between a fitness equipment manufacturer and a boutique fitness franchise like Orangetheory is a symbiotic relationship, fostering continuous feedback loops from trainers and clients that drive improvements and innovations.

This collaboration embodies the fusion of cutting-edge technology with a deep understanding of fitness enthusiasts’ needs. The REFLEX™ Treadmill doesn’t just stand out; it sets a new standard for member experiences, offering unparalleled comfort, impact reduction, and performance enhancement. Freemotion’s commitment to creating the best treadmill in the industry is not just a claim; it’s a scientifically proven reality.

credit: Freemotion Fitness

The Beginning of a Win-Win

The inception of this partnership coincided with Orangetheory’s early phase of franchising. The fitness brand was on a quest to find a treadmill that could not only withstand the rigors of extensive daily use but also cater to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts.

Orangetheory’s criteria were clear: a robust and safe machine for heavy usage, a design that encourages all exercisers to start and enjoy moving more, and a unit that offers an optimal training experience for all fitness levels, especially with minimal impact on the joints. 

The Freemotion REFLEX™ Treadmill, with its unique deck design, met these criteria, significantly reducing impact force and marking the beginning of a fruitful partnership.

“There have been several iterations of treadmills over the duration of our partnership,” says Elise Vance, Freemotion Director of Orangetheory Global Sales. “There has been significant growth over the last 13 years!” 

Elise Vance (credit: Freemotion Fitness)

The journey, she says, began with practical modifications like reducing the handlebar width to accommodate more units in each studio. This was followed by integrating Orangetheory’s connected technology and software. 

Additionally, all painted plastic was removed to prevent visible wear, and the upright shroud was redesigned for easier maintenance and cleaning.

Other notable changes, according to Vance, include improving acceleration and deceleration, allowing members to reach their desired speed more quickly than before, increasing the speed to 15 MPH, introducing greater options for advanced fitness enthusiasts, and “embedding a tablet that allowed Orangetheory to integrate its own connected solution onto each and every machine, eventually (including) a 22-inch tablet on the unit, which … elevated the member experience with new technological features” 

Data-Driven Refinement

The process of developing the customized REFLEX™ treadmill for Orangetheory was marked by continuous collaboration and data analysis. 

Freemotion engaged closely with Orangetheory’s corporate team, studio owners, staff, and members, gathering extensive feedback. This data was reviewed with key decision-makers at Orangetheory to prioritize enhancements while adhering to budget constraints. 

“We wanted the REFLEX™ treadmill to be the best solution for everyone involved, so consistent communication was key,” Vance says.

The result was a treadmill that not only met but exceeded the expectations of both Orangetheory and its members.

In terms of fitness experience, Vance says the REFLEX™ Treadmill emerged as the perfect fit for Orangetheory’s workouts. It featured 1-STEP™ Controls for quick speed and incline adjustments and a flex deck that reduced impact force by 29%. These features, combined with its ability to handle excessive usage, provided a superior experience.  

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Looking Ahead to Future Collaborations 

The partnership between Orangetheory and Freemotion is not just about product development; it’s a continuous dialogue aimed at improving member experiences. 

Regular meetings focus on exploring new designs, operational changes, and software features, ensuring that the equipment evolves in tandem with the changing fitness landscape. This relationship exemplifies a true partnership, with both brands committed to elevating their products and services together.

Vance says the impact of the REFLEX™ Treadmill on Orangetheory classes has been significant. Members have reported running without pain, a notable benefit given the heart rate zone training approach of Orangetheory workouts. 

The treadmill’s robust construction allows it to withstand the demands of continuous, back-to-back classes that involve varying speeds and inclines, a testament to its durability and advanced design.

Complementing its commitment to product excellence, Freemotion’s customer service sets a high bar. 

“From our speed to responding to issues, parts kits being strategically placed across the globe to ensure parts are easily accessible, to having an expansive service network that allows us to have a technician onsite to complete repairs within 72 hours of the issue being reported, we are focused on providing best-in-class products, experiences and service,” Vance assures.

This partnership also paves the way for future collaborations between Freemotion and other brands. 

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