Orangetheory Fitness has become one of the most popular interval training franchises, with over 1,300 studios across the globe. The intense 60-minute full-body workouts promise to get your heart rate up, boost energy levels and help you meet your fitness goals.
When you sign up for an Orangetheory membership, you commit to paying monthly dues that allow you unlimited access to classes at your home studio. But life sometimes gets in the way of regular workouts. From injuries to work travel to family demands, many reasons could prevent you from taking full advantage of your membership for a period of time. This is where freezing your membership comes in handy.
The Benefits of Freezing Your Orangetheory Membership
Freezing stops the monthly billing cycle associated with your membership for up to three months annually at no cost. This allows you to essentially press pause on your membership if you know life events will get in the way of attending classes for an extended time. Reasons you may want to freeze include:
Temporary Injury or Illness
An injury, surgery recovery or illness that leaves you unable to workout for more than a couple weeks makes sense for freezing your membership. This ensures you don’t waste money paying for something you can’t use anyway while you heal.
Vacation or Work Travel
If you have a vacation or work trip planned that will keep you away from your home studio for longer than 7-10 days when you can’t make up the classes, freezing ensures you don’t pay for unused sessions.
Family or Caregiving Demands
Caring for family members or having a new baby in the house can make it difficult to get to Orangetheory. Freezing lets you pause payments until your schedule allows for more flexibility.
Losing a job, going through a divorce or having other financial constraints may make that monthly membership fee difficult to manage. Freezing gives you financial breathing room so you don’t lose access entirely.
How the Freezing Process Works
Freezing your membership is designed to be seamless and convenient. Here is an overview of how it works:
You must have had your Orangetheory membership for at least two billing cycles before being eligible to freeze it. This means you can’t sign up and immediately hit the pause button.
Studio policies can vary slightly, but you typically need to give at least by the 25th of the month prior to when you want the freeze to start. This gives adequate notice to stop billing and paperwork.
When you freeze your membership, you decide the duration, from one month to up to three months. The months do not have to be consecutive. Just be aware that you only get a total of three free months per calendar year.
Paying Any Balance
Before freezing, you must pay any account balance in full, including charges from prior months. No balance can be outstanding.
Extending if Needed
If an injury, family demands or other factor leaves you unable to return to working out when your freeze ends, you can contact your studio to request an extension. Not all will allow this, but many will work with members on limitations.
Reactivating Your Membership
On the freeze end date you select, your membership will automatically reactivate. You simply resume attending classes on your schedule. No action is required on your part to lift the freeze.
Steps to Freeze YourMembership
Freezing your membership is designed to be simple once you know the process. Follow these key steps:
1. Review Studio Policies
Check your studio’s specific policies and freeze request deadlines. While most align to the same Orangetheory corporate policy, some locations have minor variations.
2. Give Advance Notice
Let your studio know at least by the 25th of the month before you want the freeze to kick in. This includes completing any request forms they require.
3. Pay Outstanding Balances
Log into your membership account and pay any balances due for prior services before requesting a membership freeze.
4. Select Freeze Duration
Decide if you want to freeze for one, two or three months, depending on your circumstances. Remember you can use non-consecutive months if needed.
5. Mark Your Calendar
Make a note on your calendar for when the billing freeze lifts so you remember when your membership becomes active again.
6. Return to Working Out
Once your freeze concludes on the end date you selected, you can simply resume attending classes when you return.
What Happens If You Need More Time?
Hopefully your fitness freeze gives you adequate time for an injury, trip or other event before you are ready to hit the treads again. But some situations mean you may need a longer break.
Here is how to navigate needing more freeze time:
Request an Extension
Reach out to your studio manager in writing to formally request an extension before your initial freeze expires. Not all locations permit this, but many try to accommodate reasonable requests.
Check Membership Options
See if your studio offers membership downgrade options for reduced classes per month if financial issues are prolonging your break. Dropping from unlimited to 4x/month classes may help in some cases.
Review Cancellation Terms
If an extended multi-month break is inevitable and you have fallen outside an allowable freeze extension, you may need to cancel and rejoin when your schedule allows for workouts again. Check any cancellation fee policies so you know the impact.
Weigh Pros and Cons
Think through the advantages of taking a longer break vs trying to get some classes in when possible before throwing in the towel. In some cases, a partial attendance option may work better financially and for your goals.
What You Give Up When Frozen
While pressing pause on payments, there are some membership benefits you temporarily lose out on while frozen:
Freezing fundamentally means you have voluntarily stopped attending classes at any studio location for the duration. You give up access to any sessions.
Tracking Activity and Stats
Your activity inside the studio can’t be tracked on the performance screens and summaries since you aren’t attending. Your stats essentially freeze in time as well.
Accumulating Class Packages
Any promotions your studio offers for accumulation of classes over certain time periods would pause progress as you are not actively scanning into sessions during the freeze timeframe.
Studio-Specific Promotions and Events
Special events, sales and promotions offered to active members would generally not apply to frozen memberships since those focus on members actively purchasing services. Check with your location to confirm details if a special event occurs during your freeze window that you may be interested in attending as requirements can vary.
While frozen, you remain an Orangetheory member, just with billing and activity suspended temporarily. So don’t panic about losing everything while you take a short fitness break!
Can You Freeze On Day One?
A common freezing question is whether or not you can join a gym and then immediately press pause if you already have a vacation or surgery scheduled right after signing up. Every gym has policies on new member freezes and Orangetheory is no exception.
To freeze your Orangetheory membership, you must complete at least two full billing cycles. This means if you join on the 10th one month, the soonest you could freeze would be just past the 10th two months later. You can’t sign up and instantly freeze.
Some gyms allow freeze exceptions for medical necessity and the like for new members, but Orangetheory corporate policy does not permit studio leeway on the two month waiting period. It applies to all members uniformly.
If you want to take advantage of a new member offer but already know you have a trip or surgery a few months out keeping you from workouts, plan your joining timeline strategically. Push it out so you hit your 60 days just before the known absence.
If you absolutely need to freeze immediately after joining for unexpected health reasons or similar, weigh paying two months of membership dues unused anyway vs. cancelling and re-joining when your schedule allows for full participation. Cancellation can sometimes cost less than paying for two months sitting frozen.
While the two billing cycle rule prevents immediately joining and freezing, it exists to help discourage quick cancellations and incentivize using services paid for. Plan around it and the freeze option opens up shortly into your committed membership.
How to Cancel During a Freeze
On occasion a life event leads you to cancel your OTF membership entirely in the midst of a freeze. Maybe an out of state move or new baby leads to indefinite pausing.
Here is how cancellation works if you need to:
Check Notice Deadlines
Review when your bill date falls and any policies on written cancellation notice requirements so your last payment aligns cleanly with ending freeze date.
Send Written Notice
Provide formal written notice to your studio manager that you intend to voluntarily cancel the membership permanently due to personal circumstances. Keep a copy for your records as well.
Double Check Charges
Log into your membership account and confirm no additional charges have hit or will hit before cancellation takes effect. Dispute any discrepancies immediately.
Ask what rejoining options exist if you later move back or have availability to resume workouts. While they vary, most allow former members to reactivate memberships without repaying startup fees. But check specifics.
Retrieve Summary Data
Download or request a copy of your full Orangetheory workout history and summary statistics captured during your membership up until freeze time in case you should ever like to access it again or share with future gyms or physicians.
While not ideal, cancelling when frozen is still fairly straightforward and allows you to remove financial commitment if permanently pausing. Just follow key steps for officially closing the account.
Four Key Takeaways on Freezing
As you consider pressing pause on your Orangetheory commitment short term and want to make an informed choice, keep these key freeze factors in mind:
1. Freezing is for Temporarily Unable
Don’t take advantage of the freeze option as a way to take an ongoing break from exercise or quit but still stay technically a member. Base the decision on temporary injury, illness, travel or other inability to attend classes you intend to eventually return from.
2. You Must Become Active Again
No matter how long your freeze duration, remember your billing and workouts will automatically resume on your end date. So plan ahead for likely attendance again once thawed or cancel entirely if an indefinite pause becomes necessary.
3. Each Month of Freeze Has Cost
While freeze months mean you pay $0 temporarily to Orangetheory, remember you lose out on use of unlimited classes you already paid to access. So freezing bears a time cost that reduces overall membership value. Factor lost months into any cost equations before committing.
4. Advanced Notice is Critical
To prevent headache, hefty fees or even threat of losing your membership, always inform your studio in writing of intention to freeze with adequate notice before the coming bill date. Don’t expect last minute requests to smoothly process. Plan ahead is key.
Orangetheory makes freezing your membership accessible for times you truly can’t attend temporarily. But approach freezes reasonably, with advanced planning and full intention to resume workouts again when possible to maximize the value of your commitment..
Pros and Cons
some of the key pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to freeze an Orangetheory Fitness membership:
- Avoid paying for unused classes during injury/illness recovery
- Pause payments during long vacations or work travel when you’ll miss many classes
- Provides financial flexibility if facing job loss or other monetary constraints
- Lets you take a break from high-intensity workouts if experiencing burnout
- Gives time to resolve scheduling conflicts preventing attendance
- Allows you to keep membership active to lock in current rates if expecting to return
- Lose ability to attend classes while frozen
- Stats and workout progress tracking pause during freeze period
- Ineligible for member promotions offered during freeze window
- Must repay startup/registration fees if later cancelling full membership
- Still need to provide written notice by billing date to avoid being charged
- Forfeit included classes you already paid for each frozen month
- Risk losing motivation to return and cancel instead
- Can only freeze for up to 3 months total per calendar year
You must be a member for at least two full billing cycles before being eligible to freeze. This prevents people from signing up just to immediately freeze.
No, the 3 month total freeze allowance per calendar year does not have to be consecutive. You can break it up as needed (1 month now, 2 months later etc.)
You can request an extension, but approval depends on your studio’s policy. Many will work with members on limitations. But there is no guarantee of getting more than the allowed 3 months frozen.
No, freezing stops access entirely during that period. It pauses both billing and attendance eligibility. If you think you may attend occasionally, inquire about reduce class packages instead of full freeze.
No, your freeze time continues to count towards tenure for Founder’s Rate eligibility and timing. You retain original join date loyalty benefits.
Likely, yes. Speak to both your home and new studio to handle paperwork. Some areas may require a small studio transfer fee but freeze duration will continue unaffected.
The Bottom Line
Freezing your membership can provide nice financial flexibility when life happens. Before choosing an Orangetheory freeze, weigh your specific situation against lost months of workout access, be sure you still intend to return, check studio policies, provide plenty of notice, pay any balances and clearly communicate duration.
Used reasonably for injury, vacation and the like, freezing lets you easily pause payments then resume attendance later with no hassle. But also consider partial attendance options or cancellation if an extended multi-month absence becomes necessary to avoid paying for something you realistically won’t use anytime soon. Plan ahead and freezing your Orangetheory membership can offer the perfect fitness break when you need it!