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Orangetheory 2G Vs. 3G: Which Is Better For Beginners?

At a glance, Orangetheory 2G and 3G are not actually what they mean; they have nothing to do with networks. On the contrary, they are all about the number of people in Orangetheory classes and the groups taking the class at a time, that is, G for groups. 3G= 3 Groups (1. Tread 2. Rower 3. Floor) and 2G = 2 Groups (1. Tread 2. Rower/floor). Whether 2G or 3G, the time of the class is the same; 60 minutes

A 2G class means only 2 groups are going at once so you’ll spend 1/2 the class (roughly 24 active mins) at one section and the other 1/2 doing the other. Usually, tread gets its own, then the weight floor/rower is combined for the other. It’s not always that format… sometimes it’ll be a run to row (switching between tread and row) for half w/ the weight floor getting its own dedicated half for example… just depends on the programming that day.

3G means 3 groups so all 3 sections are in use the entire class. Because they’re all taken, there’s no switching. You’ll spend 1/3rd of each class at each station. That means less time at each station (approx 14 mins a-piece) but again, you do it straight through without switching. 3G rotates through (example: rower > floor > tread). Typically this means less running and more rowing compared to 2G classes.

2G is the original format, the way it is supposed to be done. 3G was created to accommodate high volume classes that were heavily waitlisted. They allow more members to get into class. Usually reserved for weekend or high traffic evening classes.

It’s based on maximizing your utilization. That’s all. As a coach and owner, we move very popular times to 3G so that people can workout. Nothing more frustrating than being motivated to workout and being placed on a big ass waitlist. It’s about utilization and ensure people have a place to workout.

According to Matt Kellett , Franchise owner/operator at Orangethery

What Does 2G and 3G Mean Orangetheory? (Details)

Regardless of the type of class you join in Orangetheory, whether 2G or 3G, the time you spend in the class is the same; 60 minutes. Nonetheless:

Orangetheory 3G

what is a 3g Orangetheory class? It refers to the type of Orangetheory class where three equal groups of people are stationed at each of the three Orangetheory exercise stations.

Essentially, Orangetheory is a full-body exercise gym with cardio (treadmills or bikes), strength (floor weight training), and a blend of the two (rowing machine). Technically, the three are referred to as endurance, strength, and power (ESP), granted by the three types of training.

In a 3G class, Orangetheory requires that there is a group at the treadmills, another at the rowing machines, and another on the floor weight training. That means that each group also gets to spend a third of their time at each station on a rotational basis.

Let’s take an example of a standard Orangetheory class; it has 12 treadmills, 12 rowing machines, and 12-floor station sets of weights. In a 3G class, the whole class should consist of people at each station at all times, hence 3 groups. Therefore, there will be 12 x 3 participants, which is equal to 36 participants.

One outstanding aspect of the 3G Orangetheory class is that one must go through all the stations because there isn’t much choice. One has to move with their group from one station to the next to give space to the incoming group.

Orangetheory 2G

what does 2g mean at Orangetheory? 2G refers to 2 groups in a single Orangetheory class. These classes are more liberal than the 3G classes since only two of the stations are usually occupied at a time.

Basically, the class setting requires that one group is on the treadmill, while the other is on the rowing machines or the floor strength training. 

Therefore, the rotation doesn’t have to be uniform among the three stations. Actually, one group spends half their time on the treadmill, while the other half is split between the rowing machines and the floor strength training. Also, one does not have to be on the floor and at the rowing machine; you have the option to either remain on the rowing machine the whole time or at the floor exercises.

In a typical 2G class in a standard Orangetheory with 12 settings in each station, there are 12 x 2 =24 people in a 2G class.

Orangetheory 2G Vs. 3G Summary Table

Orangetheory 2GOrangetheory 3G
Classes Treadmill, rowing machine, and strength trainingTreadmill, rowing machine, and strength training
Rotations The treadmill is compulsory; the rowing machine and the floor training vary per individual preferenceCompulsory rotation among the three exercise stations
Duration 60 minutes60 minutes
Duration at each station½ time on the treadmill, ½ time split between rowing machines and floor weight training⅓ time on the treadmills, ⅓ on the rowing machines and ⅓ on the floor weights training
Number of peopleStandard Orangetheory studio with 12 settings at each station: 24 peopleStandard Orangetheory studio with 12 settings at each station: 36 people
Trainers Any Orangetheory trainer can take a group through the trainingThe trainer must have gone through a specific number of 2G classes to coach 3G classes
Intensity High-intensity interval trainingHigh-intensity interval training
Exercise goalsWhole-body cardio and strength training; more cardio for weight lossWhole-body cardio and strength training; evenly distributed exercises

Similarities Between Orangetheory 2G vs 3G

Generally, Orangetheory 2G and 3G are full-body exercises, where the heart rate, calories burned, and intensity targets are usually high. They also take 60 minutes each, which means subjecting the body to high-intensity activity for a good 60 minutes, with few breaks in between.

Moreover, the three exercise stations are available for either class. So, whether you are in 2G or 3G, you can access treadmills, rowing machines, and strength equipment.

Differences Between Orangetheory 2G and 3G

The main difference between Orangetheory 2G and 3G is the number of groups and, subsequently, the number of people in a class. In a 3G class, there are three groups, hence a large number of people. On the other hand, in 2G, there are only 2 groups, which makes ⅔ the number of people in a 3G class.

Following the number of groups in a 3G class, all the stations are always occupied at all times. Therefore, one has no option but to undertake all the Orangetheory exercises, giving each the same duration as the other. However, in 2G, one of the stations is usually unoccupied. Therefore, one can exercise more in one station and less in another station.

In this regard, 2G only has treadmills as the compulsory exercise option, which takes half the time in the class. Then, the rowing machines and the floor training can split the remaining time, or one could consider one over the other. For this reason, 2G is the best option for weight loss, especially if one combines rowing with running.

On the other hand, 3G is the best option for a wholesome exercise. Regardless of your feelings, you must go through the three stations equally. It is for this reason that Orangetheory 3G is referred to as the perfect ESP training.

Which Is Better for Beginners?

Well, most beginners find more difficulty rowing than with all the other stations. Therefore, 2G is the best option since you can always forego rowing and concentrate on running and strength training, where the correct form is not much of a challenge.

Which Burns More Calories 2g Or 3g?

I generally get close to the same burn. No real difference. It’s more about the template of the day that makes more of a difference for me. I burn way more when there’s heavy rowing involved. 3G always has that.

Now, I have been working on my rowing form 2g, you get more time in the weight room and muscle gain burns more calories at rest but 3g you get more rowing time and the water tower using every muscle in your body.

I think it really depends on how much you can get your heart rate up on the rower. When I first started, I couldn’t sustain a good pace on the rower in 3G. Now it’s more even. I actually like 3G better now!

Is Orangetheory 2G or 3G Harder?

Orangetheory 2G and 3G are high-intensity, making them really hard. Also, one is required to target at least 12 splat points in the whole class, meaning at least 12 minutes in levels 4 and 5 of the heart rate zones. These zones are represented by Orange and red consecutively and are the most strenuous.

However, 3G is harder than 2G, given that the breaks are shorter to utilize each station before the next group comes fully. Also, you have no choice but to participate in all the three-station exercises, unlike with 2G classes.

Pros and Cons of 2G and 3G

I like both 2G and 3G. But 3G feels like it goes by faster and 3G typically has a lot more rowing than 2G which I enjoy.

If you love the treadmill and don’t think you get enough time at each station in a 3g then I  prefer 2G

Orangetheory 2G and 3G template

Orangetheory 2G (60 minutes) template

Tread Block 1 – 7 minutes

  • 2 min push
  • 45-sec base
  • 1 min push @ 4%
  • 45-sec base
  • 1 min push @ 4%
  • 45-sec base
  • 45 sec AO

Tread Block 2 – 6.30 minutes

  • 90-sec push
  • 45-sec base
  • 1 min push @ 3%
  • 45-sec base
  • 1 min push @ 3%
  • 45-sec base
  • 45 sec AO

Tread Block 3 – 6 minutes

  • 1 min push
  • 45-sec base
  • 1 min push @ 2%
  • 45-sec base
  • 1 min push @ 2%
  • 45-sec base
  • 45 sec AO

Floor Block 1 – 7 minutes

  • 20 stroke push row (check distance)
  • back-to-back superset:
    • 8 x chest press
    • 8 x chest fly, rest
  • 4 each x cross back lunge

Floor Block 2 – 6.5 minutes

  • 20 stroke push row (check distance)
  • back-to-back superset:
    • 8 x upright row
    • 8 x high row, rest
  • 8 x sit up stand to shoulder press

Floor Block 3 – 6 minutes circuit

  • 8 x full v up
  • 8 total x seated alt oblique knee tuck
  • 8 total x low plank alt wide knee drive
  • Finisher: 45 sec of sit up stand to shoulder press

Orangetheory 3G (60 minutes) template

Tread Block 1 – 4 minutes

  • 1 min push
  • 30-sec base
  • 1 min push
  • 30-sec base
  • 1 min AO

Tread Block 2 – 4 minutes

  • Goal – match or beat your distance from block 1
  • 1 min base to push
  • 1 min push
  • 1 min push to AO
  • 1 min AO

Tread Block 3 – 4 minutes

  • Goal – match or beat your previous best distance.
  • 3 min tread for distance
  • 1 min AO

Row Block 1 – 4 minutes

  • 200m AO row
  • 20 x pogo hops

Row Block 2 – 4 minutes

  • 150m AO row
  • 20 x quick feet exchanges

Row Block 3 – 4 minutes

  • 100m AO row
  • 20 x twist hops, repeat
  • Finisher: 1 min AO row

Floor Block 1 – 4 minutes circuit

  • 6 each x low bench reverse lunge to single leg hop
  • 12 total x low bench high plank up and down

Floor Block 2 – 4 minutes circuit

  • 6 each x single arm clean to press
  • 12 x low bench high plank jack x 12

Floor Block 3 – 4 minutes circuit

  • 6 each x single arm snatch
  • 12 x low bench bridge
  • Finisher: 1 min of alt single arm snatch

What is the Orangetheory 60 Workout?

Orangetheory 60 workout refers to the common Orangetheory exercise, where you spend 60 minutes in a class. Usually, the 60 minutes are split for power, endurance, and strength training on the treadmills, rowing machines, and floor exercises.


Orangetheory 2G refers to two groups in a single Orangetheory class, while 3G refers to 3 groups in a single class. In 2G, one has the freedom to switch among the three exercise stations, while one is restricted to a station in each duration in 3G classes.

Given the information above, you can now decide which Orangetheory class works for you, though a combination is always great if both are available.

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Written by

Jennifer Lewis