LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Spending an hour at Orange Theory Fitness is like spending 36 to 48 hours in the gym.
That's the theory behind the franchise gym headed for Lakewood Ranch. A new Orange Theory location off of State Road 70 is under construction and set to open within two months.
The building still needs a paint job to reflect the fitness chain's color theme and underlying theory. The hourlong sessions are designed to push exercisers into the "orange zone" for 12 to 20 minutes during each workout.
In the "orange zone," participants will train at 84 percent or higher of their maximum heart rate. The Orange Theory workouts are based on the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and use interval training.
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According to the Orange Theory website, clients can burn between 500 and 1,000 calories each hour training session.
Ruth Hardy, studio manager of the Lena Road location, said she's been working out at Orange Theory for about three years and has seen results herself. Most people, if they stick with it, will see results within 30 days, Hardy said.
Hardy has lived in Sarasota for 24 years and previously owned the Off The Hook restaurant in Gulf Gate Estates. The long hours at the restaurant became too much for her and her three children and after she met franchisee Mark Flannagan while working out at the University Park Orange Theory, everything fell into place. Her restaurant provided healthy meal options to area gyms and clients of fitness coaches, so working in the fitness industry was a natural transition.
"We both have the same passion," Hardy said of Flannagan. The two decided to pair up and build the 2,000- square-foot gym on Lena Road about a year ago.
Flannagan was visiting his daughter in Denver when she urged him to try an Orange Theory class. He said he was immediately "hooked" and bought a franchise.
"Real people get real results," Flannagan said. He's lived on Siesta Key for more than 20 years and is the franchisee of the Gulf Gate Estates location.
"I had thousands of requests to put one" in Lakewood Ranch, he said. "That whole area is booming."
Although there's an Orange Theory "right around the corner" from Lena Road on University Parkway, it's just enough out of the way for working moms and busy families who live in Lakewood Ranch, Hardy said.
"And there's nothing else around here; no other gyms," she said.
Each Orange Theory gym hopes to sign up 700 members. The 60-minute classes will be offered from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the hour and each class holds 28 people.
"And you'll never repeat the same class twice," Hardy said. "It's like having a personal trainer." The classes can be modified for injuries or any other needs, she said. Orange Theory is suitable for children 12 and older. Hardy said one member at the Gulf Gate Estates gym is 82, proving you're never too old to get a good workout.
Flannagan will open another gym on downtown Sarasota's Main Street in November. He also plans to open a gym in West Bradenton next year. More than 225 Orange Theory franchise gyms were opened by July and the company hopes to open 600 by the end of 2017.
The Lakewood Ranch location, at 5496 Lena Road next to the PDQ restaurant, is hiring for 10 to 12 employees including trainers and front desk staff. Pre-sales for memberships are offered at the gym, the Smoothie King location at 11161 E. State Road 70 and the 5770 Ranch Lake Blvd. GNC location.
Memberships start at $5 per class until the gym opens and drop-in classes are $12.
Applicants interested in working at the Lakewood Ranch Orange Theory can email their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-444-2442.
Janelle O'Dea, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095 or follow her on Twitter@jayohday.