OrangeTheory’s Capture the Flag Workout [Guide]

If you’ve never heard of OrangeTheory, you’re living under a rock. This fitness studio has been rising in popularity these last couple of years, and you’ve probably been asked to join by either your friend, a close relative, or even your gym colleagues. It sort of makes you feel like there is something sketchy about it or that you’ve been asked to join a cult since everybody’s talking about it. Well, as it turns out, the main reason why OrangeTheory has been growing exponentially is the fact that they offer a unique approach to training and working out, something that’s never been done before. Unique daily classes, challenges, and events are all that make this fitness studio worth your while. With that being said, they have this little challenge called Capture the Flag, what is it about? And how is it done exactly?

Capture the Flag workout is a 23-minute partner workout where you and your partner switch between rowing and floor/treads while trying to reach certain milestones that they call “flags”. Each “flag” color represents a distance milestone that you reached with your partner. 

In this article, we’ll talk about what OrangeTheory’s Capture the Flag workout is and some tips to dominate everyone around you.

What is OrangeTheory’s Capture the Flag Workout?

what is capture the flag orangetheory

With the multitude of classes, challenges, and events that OrangeTheory offers for its members, it’s understandable that it can get quite confusing, especially if you’re a newcomer.

You have things like Inferno workouts, Catch Me If You Can, 12 days of fitness, Orange Voyage, Lift 45, Marathon Month, All Out Mayhem, and many more. And now there is this thing called Capture the Flag.

And If you’re wondering, you don’t actually run around trying to capture flags scattered around the studio. Although, I’m almost certain that this sort of challenge may come up in the future.

Capture the Flag workout is essentially a 23-minute partner workout where you and your partner switch between rowing and floor/treads while trying to capture “flags” which is just a fancy way of saying reaching certain milestones. 

Here is how it goes:

  • You first choose a partner, which could be your friend or a random person from the studio.
  • Partner A (could be you or your friend) rows for a certain distance while partner B runs a set distance or completes a set of repetitions on the floor and then you both switch positions.
  • You “capture the flag” each time you pass a certain combined distance on the rower. For example, you capture a green flag for 3k meters, an orange flag for 4k meters, and a red flag when you reach 5k meters. Keep in mind that the colors of the flags or the milestones may be different depending on each studio, so always make sure to verify them before starting your workout.

Here is what the different Capture the Flag exercises may look like:

  • Floor 1: 20/16/12/8 TRX bicep curl, squat jacks, plank Spider-Man & sit-up to alt punch
  • Tread 1: 2m push, 1m base, 2m push, 1m base, 90s push, 1m base, 1m push, 30s AO
  • Blocks are 10 min each, get into Teams and then Capture the Flag which is a 23 min block.
  • Partner A: 20 squats to twisting shoulder press with MB, 10 MB push-ups, and 10 MB double crunch, then run 0.2 (Run decreases by 0.05 each round).
  • Partner B: Row until tagged out.

Again, this is just an example and it could be different in your studio. There are certain ones that have a completely different approach. Instead of relying on milestones, the trainer sets a flag on the rower with the most distance and will move it if another team moves ahead on row distance, so it’s sort of like a competition where everyone’s trying to get the most distance to “capture the flag” and win a prize (wristbands, towels, and so on).

How to Dominate in OrangeTheory’s Capture the Flag Workout

Although the workout is pretty straightforward, there are still some things that you can do to fully unleash your potential, dominate everyone around you, and not let your partner down.

Think of it as an Endurance Test

At the end of the day, even if has some fancy words like “capture the flag”, it’s pretty much just one long endurance effort that lasts for 23 minutes. No matter how short that treadmill distance gets (0.2, 0.05, or 0.01 miles), focus on a steady push and avoid going all out so you can get right off the treadmill and into your row without needing any rest (because you won’t get any if you want to hit an impressive distance)

Keep Your Rows Long & Strong

You’re going to be doing ALOT of rowing, so the key here is to keep your rows long and strong. This means that you need to avoid sprinting fast. You want your rows to stay long while leaning forward and swinging back.

And if you get tired, make sure to not let yourself shorten up or slow down and keep at it. If you use the right rowing technique, you won’t ever get tired during the entirety of those 23 minutes.

Use the Right Form

If you’re hitting those exercises on the floor, make sure to keep your reps fair and square and avoid cheating even if you get tired. The majority of these exercises involve touching your elbows to your thighs so make sure they actually touch (like a squat jack).

Additional Tips

  • Remember that it’s a long endurance test
  • Minimize your rest time to get as much distance as possible
  • Make sure to communicate with your partner
  • Pick a partner with similar size feet so you don’t have to change the footplates on the rower.
  • Don’t reset the rower


At the end of the day, this workout is all about having fun and challenging yourself to reach new levels. The main reason behind having a partner is to complete and motivate each other to push yourselves to your limits. 

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