A new fitness option for both beginners and experienced athletes around the county opens to the public Saturday, and one of the people behind it is one of Union County’s most successful former basketball players.

Dorenzo Hudson, along with his wife, Katie, are opening a new F45 Training location at 6467 Old Monroe Road in Indian Trail. F45 is a franchise based in Los Angeles with over 1,750 studios in 45 countries worldwide, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. F45 has six locations in Charlotte, but this will be the first location in Union County. Hudson said the new F45 location will have free classes at 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. on Saturday to celebrate their grand opening.

Hudson, a Marshville native, played basketball for three years at Forest Hills before transferring to Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia to play under current N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts. Hudson was ranked as a top-100 player in his class and had 18 Division 1 offers before ultimately deciding to attend Virginia Tech. As a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Hudson scored 1,200 career points for the Hokies, including a career-high 41 in a win over Seton Hall on Jan. 2, 2010. Hudson earned third-team All-ACC honors and was named the conference’s most-improved player in 2009-10 after averaging 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

The 33-year-old Hudson spoke with The Enquirer-Journal on Friday morning about opening up the new F45 with his wife, Katie, and his plans for a potential basketball training facility in Weddington.

Question: How did COVID-19 make running your businesses more challenging? How have things changed from this point a year ago?

Answer: When it came to COVID, my wife and business partner, Katie, and I were expecting to open F45 before COVID happened. It delayed things big time when it came to getting everything together production-wise, equipment being ordered and all that stuff. It was a challenge, but I’m grateful and thankful we honestly didn’t open up before COVID happened. We would have been sitting with the gym for 15 or 16 months without any revenue coming in. It’s been a little more difficult to deal with in terms of getting things back into order and all of that stuff, but I’m definitely thankful to finally be open to provide some services for the Union County and Indian Trail area.

Question: What kinds of services do you offer at F45 that you might not get somewhere else?

Answer: F45 is a very high-intensity workout. Everything is a 45-minute workout, and it’s geared to both your beginner athletes and your professional athletes. All around the country, we’ve seen professional athletes and D-1 athletes getting into the gym being able to get that high intensity work. The programs are science-based. The numbers kind of speak for themselves when it comes to losing weight or whatever the goals are for you. Every F45 in the world, even in Australia, we’ll all be doing the same workout on the same day. You get a heart-rate monitor if you want to pay for it, and you can compete with a friend or a sister across the globe when it comes to F45 and your heart rate, trying to burn calories and all that stuff. It’s definitely a competitive atmosphere, but when you walk into the gym, there’s no mirrors, so it’s more about you vs. you. It’s about getting in here, locked in, high intensity with the music bumping. Then you just get after it for 45 minutes.

Question: What has it been like doing this all with Katie? How has it been building all this up with someone you love?

Answer: It’s been a beautiful thing. My wife has been in the fitness world for a while. She’s the owner of a spin studio up in Calgary, Canada. She’s been down here for the past two or three years, and she had a vision to open up something else. We kind of teamed up with another partner out of Canada and started to think, “O.K. Maybe F45 is the way to go.” Me and my wife had been doing F45 at local studios around the area and just kind of fell in love with the process and everything like that.

Question: I’ve heard there are plans to build a new basketball training facility in Weddington. How’s that coming along?

Answer: That’s the goal. We’re looking to expand and build a facility out in the Weddington area. Obviously COVID and all that pushed everything back. We’ve just kind of been making sure it makes sense and it’s definitely a need in the Weddington area. I’m in the Weddington area myself, so I just want to make sure that we’re making smart investments and get local athletes or professional athletes or whoever else to do some fitness stuff. We’ll put it up under the Triple Threat Academy umbrella once we break ground and find that space. We found a space, but things didn’t really work out the way we wanted to in terms of offering and all that stuff. We’re still looking, and I’ve got a private gym up in Davidson my client built that I use to do some of my work out of there. We have two or three AAU girls teams in Monroe and three basketball teams up in Davidson. We’re all over the place when it comes to basketball.