There’s a HOT new fitness studio in town, and I’m excited to tell you more about it! HOTWORX is an infrared sauna studio offering a variety of fitness classes including rowing, yoga, spinning, Pilates, ISO, etc., via virtual instructors. Let me preface this by saying that ordinarily I have not gravitated towards “hot” workouts in the past in fear of feeling claustrophobic or just, well…too hot! I must say after trying HOTWORX and reading several articles on the benefits of infrared saunas, I am hooked and didn’t feel claustrophobic at all! Honestly, the sweat pouring out felt AMAZING!
HOTWORX offers two different types of workouts: HIIT (high intensity interval training) and Isometrics with a variety of classes offered for each. The HIIT classes include rowing and cycling and are 15 minutes each. The Isometrics classes include options like pilates, yoga, buns, etc. and are 30 minutes in length. Each class is taught by a virtual trainer on a TV inside of the sauna. Each class has a respective sauna (ex. Hot Row may be in Sauna 1) and the class runs all day long in that one sauna. You may be thinking “15 minutes-how can that be long enough??!” because I know I was thinking that! HOTWORX is all about a great workout in a shorter amount of time; perfect for anyone that feels like they are too busy to find time for a workout! And for convenience, the studios are open 24/7!
The first time I visited HOTWORX I tried Hot Buns, a class dedicated to your glutes! Weighted bands, that are available in the studio, are used in this class. You also need a foam roller (also available in studio). I already love foam rolling but it feels AMAZING when your muscles are that warm! On my next visit, I knew what to expect and was feeling up for a good challenge! I started with Hot Row. The rowers aren’t like ones you’re probably used to, they are better! My lungs were on FIRE, in the best way! After a short break, I then went into Hot ISO, which is a class where you hold positions like plank and squat variations. This class also ended with foam rolling! This was my favorite class I’ve taken so far! Now that I am used to the concept of the infrared workout, I will probably take a 15-minute HIIT class first, followed by an Isometrics class! In the Isometrics classes, you need a HOTWORX mat and towel. They must be the HOTWORX brand because the mat is toxin free and made to withstand the heat and the towel is made to soak up perspiration and help with slippage. These two items can be purchased at the studio.
Infrared heat is different from the heat in a typical sauna in that it heats you from the inside out.It is a great way to rid your body of toxins. Read more about the benefits of infrared saunas here and here.
HOTWORX places a great deal of emphasis on the “after burn” effect. It takes your body a little while to cool down after your workout, so you continue to burn calories for at least an hour after you finish! On my second visit, I now owned a Fitbit which I wore during the workout and I was BLOWN AWAY by how many calories I torched during and after my workout!
At HOTWORX, there is also a functional exercise area in the studio with free weights, medicine balls, kettlebells, etc., that are available for use before, in-between, or after classes!
HOTWORX is the perfect addition to round out my workout routine. I enjoy mixing things up so that my body doesn’t get used to one particular type of exercise. In a typical week (at home), I try to workout at least four days a week. I will do megaformer pilates, spin, run (typically on the treadmill) + weight training/tabata and now I’m so excited to add HOTWORX to the mix! HOTWORX studios are popping up in locations across the country and hopefully in a city near you!
- Play your own music! The owner of my local studio encouraged me to crank up the music of my choice for extra motivation! (Be sure to wear headphones if there is someone else in the sauna with you!)
- Workout with a friend! The saunas can hold up to three people, but they are small (and there’s a lot of sweat dripping)! Being next to a sweaty stranger is not super appealing to me so booking classes with a friend or two will alleviate that awkwardness! If you prefer to sweat alone, you can always watch the app and choose a class that doesn’t have anyone else in it. The classes are back to back all day long so you have plenty of options to sweat!
- Stay hydrated! Make sure to take a full water bottle into the sauna with you, you’re going to need it!
Interested in trying HOTWORX? Your first session is free! The studio will lend you a mat and towel during your trial.
**If you’re local to Birmingham** – HOTWORX Vestavia Hills is having their grand opening on April 5, 2019! On THIS DAY ONLY, the enrollment fee will be ONE DOLLAR!! (normally $99) and you will then pay a monthly price of $59. My advice would be to try your first session (free) before April 5th to decide if you’d be interested in joining! (If you don’t want to become a member, you can always drop in for $20/session).
Get ready to “Earn the Burn”!
Always Finding Joy,