Orangetheory Fitness is having a grand opening for its new Ahwatukee location next week. The event will provide workout demonstrations, food, a raffle, and more. In addition, the first 50 people to arrive will receive gift bags full of fitness-related material.

Co-owners Kris Price and Billy Sunkenberg also own a Chandler location.

The name “Orangetheory” may seem a little odd, but the business is called that for a reason.

“We train in five zones,” Sunkenberg said. “And our orange and our red zones are 85 to 100 percent of your max heart rate. And when you reach those zones, you get something called EPOC, which is excess post oxygen consumption. And that is where you see that afterburn and you see anywhere from (depending on the person) 750 to 1200 calories burned 12 to 24 hours after the workout. We are also based out of Florida and you know orange is just a really energetic color.”

This is the fourth Orangetheory Fitness in Arizona. The new location is technically also in Chandler, since it is on the other side of the freeway, but it is catering to the Ahwatukee market. The main attraction of this specific workout place is the affordable group training, which Sunkenberg said is not offered at any other place in the Ahwatukee area. It is also different from other fitness centers because of its focus on heart rate during the workouts.

“(Trainers) design a program to deliver a workout to the individual,” said general manager and coach Heath Van Patten. “They’re going to design a program understanding exactly what our methodology is, and the whole goal is to get everybody working in a group setting.”

“The reason I checked (Orangetheory Fitness) out was because it was right down the block from me, to be honest with you, but the reason I stayed is the goal for them is to be in your fat-burning stage,” said Orangetheory member Rosemary Van Wolde. “You’re wearing your heart monitor, and it actually shows you on the screen what you’re burning while you’re working out, while you’re in your fat-burning stage. So it makes you motivated to stay in that stage. That’s what’s so cool about it.”

Orangetheory prides itself on being a workout place where members can burn 900 calories an hour using equipment such as treadmills, weights, and TRX suspension machines. It also has a unique, six-week Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge in which members are required to attend at least four one-hour workout sessions a week while remembering to eat healthily.

Competitors in the six-week challenge have been known to lose up to 48 pounds and whoever loses the most receives $2,500 in cash. Van Wolde participated in an Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge in February and became a national champion, burning off 22 percent of her body fat in six weeks. Since then, she has not only managed to keep the weight off, but to lose even more weight thanks to her continuing membership at Orangetheory Fitness.

The grand opening is free and will be on June 28 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 900 N. 54th St., Suite 2. In order to reserve a spot, visit or call (480) 686-9054.

For more information about Orangetheory Fitness, visit

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Jessica Tueller is a junior at Desert Vista High School. She is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

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