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Could Cool-Temperature Fitness Classes Catch On?

Paul Steinbach

Hot yoga? Take a powder. High-altitude training? Take a hike. Make way for cool-temperature training, the newest fitness innovation to hit New York City with potential to crystalize across the country.

Men's Health writer Amy Schlinger this week profiled Brrrn, the self-proclaimed pioneering cool-temperature studio that offers group workouts in one of three below-room-temperature settings — 45, 55 or 60 degrees. “It was the summer of 2013 and I was training a client, and we started talking about how the heat makes it difficult to want to workout,” Jimmy Martin, co-owner of the studio, which debuted earlier this year, told Schlinger. “It got me thinking that I exercise better and feel better exercising in the winter and colder months. Plus, I knew there were benefits that come with working out in cool temperatures.”

“You can actually burn more calories working out in the cold because your body is not only exercising, but it’s also working to raise your core temperature, so it’s working harder,” Nadya Swedan, a sports injury and rehabilitation doctor, told a skeptical Schlinger.

One three-part, 45-degree workout involving dumbbells and battle ropes (among other body-weight exercises) was all it took to convince the writer that the cool-temperature concept may catch on. "At the end of the class, I truly felt like I got in a killer workout, but I wasn’t drenched in sweat — which honestly, I really enjoyed," Schlinger writes. "Since I wasn’t overly sweaty, I felt fresher throughout the workout, and I was more able to get through the final reps without falling apart."

“In most fitness classes and workouts, by the end, you feel so hot and overheated that you’re just done, and you can barely make it through the final rounds or exercises,” class instructor Chris Crowthers explained. “Here, heat doesn’t get in the way of performance. So at the end of the workout, you’re not dying when you’re supposed to be slamming ropes.”

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