The Man and the ‘Theory’ Behind Orangetheory Fitness Las Vegas

When Michael Worley moved to Las Vegas in 1987, he immediately went to work using his background in franchising and business development to start his own glass repair company. Over the years, he spent time at several Vegas properties on the Strip, and it was at the MGM Grand Hotel where he met his wife, Jill Oliver.

Compared to his wife’s family — well-known Las Vegas residents since 1928 — Worley jokes he’s “still the new guy” with that clan. Oliver, who’s always had a passion for science, was studying to become a medical doctor. After medical school, Dr. Oliver moved with her husband to Arizona where she was stationed for her residency. But the two couldn’t wait to get back to their home in Las Vegas.

Upon completion of her residency, Dr. Oliver worked in a clinic, but Worley knew his wife was capable of achieving much more. For this reason, he proposed opening their own medical clinics in Las Vegas: Glimpse Medical. With his history in business franchising for large corporations, Worley could manage the business aspects while Dr. Oliver focused on the medical side.

The Glimpse Medical clinics specialize in weight loss, wellness/nutrition, hormone replacement and cosmetics. Worley and Dr. Oliver were able to open two locations within one year. While business was successful, Worley still felt he and his wife had an even greater potential to fulfill. Worley noticed that while their clients were indeed losing weight, some were physically fit and others were in need of exercise. That’s when an idea sparked for Worley: to get involved in the fitness industry.

After doing his research and considering opening his own gym, he stumbled upon Orangetheory Fitness. At that time, there were only 350 locations nationally — compared to today’s 1,200 locations — and Worley knew instantly he wanted to be a part of the growing phenomenon. As fate would have it, an Orangetheory Fitness location was just across the street from one of the clinics, and Worley wasted no time in contacting the owner. Worley purchased that location, a license to open two more and the area developer rights for Las Vegas and Clark County. Now with six locations in three years and three more locations under construction, it’s not hard to see why Orangetheory Fitness has taken the Las Vegas Valley by storm.

So what exactly is the “theory” behind Orangetheory? The theory is if you spend 12 to 20 minutes per workout in the “orange” heart rate zone (84 to 91 percent of your maximum heart rate), you will experience excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.This is known as the “after burn.” After your workout, your body is still exerting energy, and you’re taking in so much oxygen to repair your body and muscles that you continue to burn calories for about 24 to 36 hours post-workout. The workouts focus on high-intensity interval training, and they utilize a unique heart rate monitoring system to ensure every member gets the most effective workout possible.

The Orangetheory Fitness centers feature highly skilled coaches, and the environment is different from that of a typical “big box” gym in that it’s not intimidating. The class size is kept small so every member gets the personalized attention they deserve. Your coach is with you challenging you to succeed, the classes are unique and well-rounded to give you all your cardio and weightlifting in one hour, and your results are emailed to you immediately after every class. All levels are welcome: from beginner to pro athlete.

As Orangetheory Fitness has seen massive success, Worley and Dr. Oliver make it their goal to give back. They challenge business owners across the Vegas Valley to do the same. “Life has treated us well,” Worley said. “We’re driven by our goal to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves — people and animals alike — anyone who’s been neglected.”

The couple donates generously to many local and national charities, including the NSPCA, A Home 4 Spot, and The Shade Tree. They are also active members in the GLCCNV, and seek to promote equal rights and diversity.

“As humans,” Worley said, “we should all be able to see through other people’s eyes, be patient and tolerant to every walk of life. You never know where people are at in life and tolerance for humankind is important. We’re all the same — we’re people. Be a better man. Be a better human.” MV

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