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Professional Athletes Make Great Orangetheory Coaches

Orangetheory Coach Jordan Gray Shares Her Journey To The Olympic Trials
Professional Athletes Make Great Orangetheory Coaches

Before Jordan Gray left for the Olympic trials in late June of 2021, her 6:45 p.m. Orangetheory class members wished her luck with a signed card. A fellow coach even brought her baked-from-scratch cupcakes decorated to look like Olympic rings. It was a sendoff indicative of the tight-knit Orangetheory community.

As the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris approach, not only is it exciting to watch talented athletes compete on the world stage, but it’s also an honor to call one of the Olympic trials qualifiers who is vying for a spot on the U.S. track and field team “coach.”

Why Professional Athletes Make Great Coaches

Coach Jordan Gray seamlessly blends her extensive athletic background with coaching expertise. Embracing a rigorous training routine, Gray spends four to five hours on the track and in the weight room five to six days a week before heading into the studio to teach class.  

While winning on the track brings her a sense of self-pride, Gray says, “When you help coach someone to their own goals, you can feel that happiness that you helped somebody else feel that same way.”

Athlete-coaches like Jordan Gray embody the qualities of a good coach in sports, seamlessly blending leadership, discipline and motivation into their roles at Orangetheory. Rooted in their sports backgrounds, these coaches demonstrate strong leadership skills cultivated through team sports or individual pursuits. Their disciplined work ethic, homed in rigorous training, sets a positive example, fostering commitment within the studio environment.  

Jordan Gray, a professional athlete and the American Record Holder in the Women's Decathlon

A Unique Coaching Approach

Orangetheory coaches, led by professionals like Gray, not only excel in fitness guidance but also serve as catalysts for athletic excellence beyond the studio. Their expertise extends to coaching athletes, imparting invaluable knowledge that goes from optimizing form to enhancing on-field or on-court performance.  

With a strong emphasis on education, Orangetheory coaches, including Gray, hold NCAA-approved certifications, CPR/AED certifications and stay updated with internal education developed by exercise scientists, fitness specialists and a medical advisory board. Holding these certifications and possessing this level of knowledge is exactly what you should look for in a personal trainer or fitness coach.  

Navigating Challenges: A Hurdle for Women Olympians

The summer before Gray joined Orangetheory’s coaching staff, she competed during the first women’s decathlon championship hosted in the U.S. The decathlon combines 10 track and field events, and not only did Gray win the competition — she also achieved the women’s American record.

While Gray trains as a decathlete, she can’t compete in the decathlon during the Olympics because the event is currently available only to men. Women are limited to competing in the heptathlon, an abbreviated version that only includes seven events.

The limitations imposed on women’s decathlon events fueled Gray’s determination to raise awareness. She envisions a future where female athletes can compete in the full decathlon during the 2024 Olympics, challenging outdated beliefs about women’s capabilities.  

The 2021 Olympic Trials

While Gray faced challenges at the 2021 Olympics trails, competing in the heptathlon due to restrictions on the decathlon, her resilience and determination still inspired the local Orangetheory community and staff. Despite not securing a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, Gray’s performance leaves room for growth and optimism.

Looking Ahead: Join the Cause for 2024 Olympics

Gray is already gearing up for the 2024 Olympic Games, aspiring to compete in all 10 events. Join the Orangetheory community in supporting her cause by signing the ‘Let Women Decathlon’ petition. Together, let’s make strides toward inclusivity in the 2024 Olympic Games.

Photography provided by Adam Choukri, Jordan Gray and Orangetheory Fitness McAllen


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