What is Dri Tri? Dri Tri is an endurance event held at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) studios typically once or twice a year. It’s a way for members to test their overall mental and physical endurance across 3 different workout stations – a rower, treadmill and floor exercises.
The name “Dri Tri” comes from the 3 components that make up the event:
Distance – On the rower
Running – On the treadmill
Intensity – Bodyweight exercises on the floor
So in a nutshell, the Dri Tri has members:
- Row a certain distance
- Run for a certain distance/time on the treadmill
- Complete bodyweight exercises like pushups, plank holds and burpees on the floor
The goal is to complete all 3 sections and the entire workout as fast as possible! Times are tracked so members can try to beat their previous best.
Origins and History of Dri Tri
The Dri Tri endurance event originated in 2009 at OTF as a benchmark workout for members to test their fitness across various modalities.
One of the first Dri Tri events was held in Charlotte, NC in 2010. The distance for each section has varied over the years, but it has remained a 2000 meter row, 5K run and bodyweight floor exercises.
Since those early events, Dri Tri has grown immensely in popularity across OTF studios. Many members train specifically for months in advance to prepare for Dri Tri and improve their overall endurance.
It’s become a major fitness milestone that members take huge pride in completing. Finishing Dri Tri is a big accomplishment for many OTF members.
How Dri Tri Works
On the day of Dri Tri, members gather to take turns tackling the 3-part workout one section at a time. Each studio has their own way of organizing participants into heats.
Here is the general flow and order of a Dri Tri event:
- Row – Members row 2000 meters on the rower machine for the first section. This builds lower body endurance.
- Floor Exercises – Next is the floor section which includes bodyweight exercises like pushups, plank holds, bodyweight squats and burpees. This section emphasizes upper body and core endurance.
- Run – Finally, members hit the treadmill to run ~3.1 miles (5K). This challenges cardiovascular endurance.
- Cool Down – After completing all 3 blocks, members have a short cool down session as a group lead by the coaches.
There are usually multiple heats to allow all members to take on the Dri Tri challenge. While waiting, members cheer each other on!
Once everyone has gone, final times are announced and awards given out for 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest male and female Dri Tri finishers.
Preparing and Training for Dri Tri
Doing well at Dri Tri requires specific preparation focused on building endurance. Without proper training, completing all 3 stages without stopping can be extremely challenging both mentally and physically.
Here are some key tips to train for Dri Tri success:
Row and Run Regularly
Much of Dri Tri focuses on rowing and running so you must train those specific muscle groups and cardiovascular systems. Attending Orangetheory classes 2-3 times per week will help greatly with rowing strength and running endurance from treadmill intervals.
Practice Switching Stations
During Dri Tri you’ll be switching quickly between stations which can be taxing if unfamiliar. Practice transitioning from rower to floor to treadmill in your workouts. Mimic Dri Tri conditions by moving smoothly from one section to the next.
Up Strength and Core Training
The floor section only uses bodyweight so having greater strength and core endurance is key. Focus on high rep pushups, plank variations, bodyweight squats and lunges during regular workouts to prepare muscles properly.
Peak and Taper
When Dri Tri is 2 weeks out, focus hard on endurance. Then the week before taper down allowing your body to fully recover to unleash peak energy day-of. Eat well, hydrate and sleep more leading up to the event.
If you prepare methodically over at least 8 weeks, you can expect major improvements in cardio, strength and best of all…confidence!
What Happens on Dri Tri Day
Excitement fills the air when Dri Tri day arrives! Here is a general timeline of what happens:
- 9:00am – Members check in, mingle and mentally prepare
- 9:30am – Official Dri Tri kick off by head coach outlining rules and procedures
- 10:00am – First heat begins their 2000 meter row
- 12:00pm – Last heat usually completes all 3 sections
- 12:30pm – Awards ceremony and celebration of all finishers!
There is high energy in the studio all morning. Coaches, staff and members who aren’t competing yet loudly cheer on every single person conquering Dri Tri. The rush of adrenaline and emotions for everyone involve make Dri Tri a truly inspiring and rewarding experience!
Why Dri Tri is Such an Accomplishment
Completing Dri Tri is a worthy accomplishment because it requires serious physical and mental stamina to finish strong.
Tests True Endurance
Combining 2000 meters of rowing, 5K run and bodyweight exercises with minimal rest pushes your endurance capabilities to the brink. Being able to tap into energy reserves and fight through discomfort feels extremely rewarding.
Mental Fortitude Required
As much as physical endurance, maintaining mental stamina is absolutely necessary for Dri Tri success. Pushing past mental barriers and sticking to the plan even when tired means overcoming immense internal resistance.
Complete Body Challenge
Rowing, running and floor work challenge your cardiovascular system, quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, shoulders, arms and core strength simultaneously. Very few workouts test total body endurance like Dri Tri.
For all those reasons, members often cite Dri Tri as their proudest fitness accomplishment that builds confidence to achieve even greater goals in health and life.
Common Concerns and Fears About Dri Tri
Despite all the benefits, tackling something as demanding as Dri Tri understandably evokes some trepidation for first-timers.
Here are some of the most common Dri Tri concerns:
Finishing feels impossible because it’s such a long endurance event pushing your limits.
Won’t Finish on Time
Fear of still working out as others are cooling down and leaving the studio.
Coming in Last
Worried will have the slowest time and hold others back.
Pushing too hard while fatigued heightens injury potential.
Here is the good news – with proper preparation over 8+ weeks, these worries diminish because your body adapts and confidence builds week-after-week.
And on event day itself, tapping into the infectious energy plus catching moments of rest makes it feel less intimidating. Coaches and members also provide endless encouragement to persevere through any rough patches.
Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Do Dri Tri
Dri Tri is rewarding for any Orangetheory member to attempt because it pushes your limits and builds confidence. However, for safety there are cases where taking on Dri Tri might not be wise:
Should Do Dri Tri
- Attending OTF classes 2+ times per week already with good base endurance
- Have gradually built higher cardio capacity over 6+ months
- Looking for a thrilling challenge to prove total body endurance gains
- Injury free currently and in good health
Should Not Do Dri Tri
- Very new to OTF and working out (less than 2 months)
- Coming back from injury still rebuilding strength
- Have underlying heart conditions or breathing issues
- Physically exhausted leading up to event from overtraining
- Severe anxiety about public fitness events that could heighten health risks
As with any intense workout, be smart and strategic in deciding if attempting Dri Tri aligns with current health and fitness levels. Have open conversations with coaches too for guidance.
How Studios Organize Dri Tri
To accommodate all members wanting to compete, Dri Tri gets structured in certain ways:
Assigned Start Times
Members sign up for designated heat times spread out over a 2-3 hour Dri Tri session. First come, first served so spots fill up quickly when registration opens.
Age Group Divisions
There are separate male and female divisions divided by age ranges: 14 & under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+
This allows more equal competition among similar fitness levels across ages.
Once heats book up, members can still join a Dri Tri waitlist. Last minute cancellations often open reserve spots.
Friends and family of competing members are highly encouraged to come spectate and cheer everyone on! Fans make a lively, high-energy atmosphere.
How Dri Tri Differs from Regular Classes
Besides testing endurance from station to station, there are other key differences that distinguish Dri Tri as a standalone benchmark event:
No Coaching Guidance
Dri Tri participants aren’t coached on proper form, cadence or heart rate zones as strictly during normal classes. Members already familiar with rowing, treadmill running and various bodyweight moves have autonomy on best strategies given current fitness levels. Having independence to push yourself while exerting control over intensity based on feel makes Dri Tri exhilarating.
Music and Motivational Cheers
More motivational and heart-pumping music plays throughout the studio to energize everyone! Members and coaches amp up encouragement with loud cheers, applause and motivation when anyone finishes sections or completes Dri Tri. The collective energy, excitement and even relief feels infectious.
To prepare for intensive rowing, brand new rower handles get installed so hands stay protected. Floors also have thick padding added in push up zones. This specialized equipment helps optimize safety and performance.
The communal yet independent nature of Dri Tri conducted in uplifting environment makes it such a uniquely thrilling experience.
Dri Tri Workout Format
Wondering exactly what the Dri Tri workout entails? Here are the details on what each section looks like:
- 2000 meter row
- Target 500 meters every 5 minutes or less
- Low-medium resistance control
- 15 bodyweight reverse lunge left leg
- 15 bodyweight reverse lunge right leg
- 30 push ups
- Plank hold – 30 seconds
- 30 bodyweight squat jumps
- 15 push ups
- 400 meter row
- 5K run (~3.1 miles)
- Recommended pace 8.0 mph base or higher
- Incline increases 0.5% each minute up to 3.0%
- To finish: 12 min mile, 14 min mile or best effort
That is the standard Dri Tri format. Having targets for the rower and treadmill plus outlined floor exercises allows for Tracking progress between heats.
But again, members can control exertion based on current fitness levels. Whether completing sections briskly or needing extended breaks, coaches and fellow members show utmost support.
The flexibility plus rousing spirit make Dri Tri an uplifting environment for PRs or simply surviving until the victorious finish!
Celebrating Personal Wins
The sense of community and collective triumph comes to a head once the final competitor crosses their last Dri Tri finish line.
Everyone gathers for a cool down stretch as coaches recognize Standard accomplishments like:
- Fastest female and male finishers in each age category
- PR milestones on row or tread distances from previous Dri Tri’s
- First time Dri Tri competitors
- Oldest and youngest competitors
Beyond formal awards, personal wins reign supreme at Dri Tri. Minds are flooded with elation from pushing through barriers once deemed impossible. Months of hard training pays dividends. Bonds between members solidify even more from the shared thrill.
Dri Tri gets celebrated because it represents an entire community willing each other to show inner strength. Cheers erupt loudly for every single person courageous enough to try.
Why Dri Tri Hooks OTF Members
What makes so many Orangetheory members caught up in the Dri Tri frenzy every 6 months? There are clear reasons this signature benchmark workout becomes addictive:
Quantifiable Signs of Progress
Seeing rower wattage increase, treadmill speeds quicken and finish times drop provides tangible measurements of endurance improvements. Having quantifiable metrics to showcase growth is extremely gratifying.
Breakthrough Fitness Milestone
Checking “complete a Dri Tri” off the fitness bucket list gives confidence to continue advancing. It marks a breakthrough moment being tougher, mentally stronger and more resilient than previously thought possible.
Bonding Social Experience
The collective energy of studios rallying together at Dri Tri builds community unlike any other workout. Friendships grow while motivating one another through major challenges together.
Thanks to the perfect storm of markers of personal growth combined with a charged social climate in studios, members catch “Dri Tri fever” hoping to top the exhilaration of previous years.
Final Advice for Dominating Dri Tri
If you want to maximize chances of a strong Dri Tri performance, here is a recap of top tips:
- Start Training Early: Begin increasing endurance across all 3 disciplines at least 2 months prior targeting specific capacities needed like rower strength and run pace intervals.
- Practice Transitions: Mimic event conditions during normal Orangetheory workouts by moving quickly between rower, floor and treadmill stations to acclimate.
- Strategize Intensity: Given current fitness, determine best plan of attack for row pace, floor exercise modifications if needed and pushes vs. bases on treadmill. Conserve energy wisely.
- Fuel Properly: Be diligent about proper nutrition and hydration weeks before and morning of Dri Tri for optimum energy. Carbo load mini-meals.
Pros and Cons
|Tests overall endurance across three modalities (rower, treadmill, floor exercises)
|Requires significant preparation time to properly train
|Provides measurable performance metrics to quantify progress
|Can increase injury risk if proper training/preparation is not followed
|Breakthrough fitness accomplishment builds confidence
|Very physically and mentally demanding
|Inclusive competitive divisions based on age and gender
|Spots fill up quickly so must register early
|Social – builds bonds through group support/motivation
|Waitlist not guaranteed; subject to last minute availability
|Variety – uniquely challenging format from regular OTF classes
|Can feel demotivating or embarrassing if finish last place
|Flexibility to work at your own pace
|Significant soreness likely in the 24-48 hours after
|Tangible evidence of increased endurance capacity
|Less personalized coaching guidance during event itself
|Addictive! Creates “Dri Tri Fever” eagerness to keep competing
Share Dri Tri plans with coaches, friends and family to rally encouragement leading up to and especially on game day!
Check off each tip and have complete trust in months of preparation. Block out all self-doubt. Embrace the thrill of finding grit and tenacity to come out victorious!
The courage and resilience uncovered while preparing for something as demanding as Dri Tri pays rewards long after finish line celebrations end. Let the Dri Tri experience spark even greater personal accomplishments ahead.
Dri Tri gets it’s name from the 3 components of the event – Distance (rowing), Running (treadmill) and Intensity (floor exercises).
Dri Tri started in 2010 at a studio in Charlotte, NC and has been held systemwide 1-2 times per year since then.
The workout includes:
2000 meter row
Bodyweight exercises like 15-30 reps of reverse lunges, push ups, plank hold, bodyweight squats
5K run (~3.1 miles)
Finish times range greatly based on fitness level, but the average is 45-55 minutes. The fastest elite finishers complete in under 36 minutes!
Yes! OTF encourages members to invite friends/family to cheer them on and create an electric, motivating atmosphere.
You should have a good base fitness with at least 6 months of OTF classes before attempting Dri Tri which allows the body to properly adapt to endurance training.
Make sure to register early because spots fill up quickly! You can also join the waitlist. Openings happen often last minute so don’t get discouraged.
Focus training days on rowing strength, run pace intervals, total body moves that mimic floor section format (lunges, pushups, planks).