Chances are, you've probably never heard of a workout like Brrrn.
While we all know the benefits of working out in a heated room for yoga or pilates, Brrrn's workout classes take place in a room with temperatures of 60, 55 or 45 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the class. And when the one goal in a workout class is to break a sweat, working out in a cold room sounds counterintuitive, right?! Well, let me tell you -- you'll definitely break a sweat!
I got a chance to try out all three of Brrrn's classes -- 1st°, 2nd° and 3rd° -- at their posh New York City studio and I can safely say that just after the high-energy, blood-pumping warmup, I was already taking off all the layers I wore when I walked into the class.
Brrrn's 1st° class takes place in a 60-degree room and features yoga-inspired movements focused on strengthening and lengthening your body. Their 2nd° class is in a 55-degree room and is a 45-minute, circuit-based class, with a lot of your cardio coming from the slide board portion of the class. And lastly, their 3rd° class is a mix of battle rope exercises and circuit training.
AOL Lifestyle had the chances to speak with Brrrn's co-founders Jimmy Martin and Johnny Adamic about what this new workout phenomenon is all about.
AOL: Where did the idea for this out-of-the-box workout come from?
Jimmy: The idea was conceived five years ago by me during a hot summer day after my client remarked on this thing called brown fat (the good type of fat that keeps you warm) and how she lost more weight, exercised better and felt better during the fall and winter months. Realizing that people exercise for those three reasons, I went home and spent hours on the Internet trying to see if there were any fitness facilities that exercised people in cooler temperatures. It was after not finding anything that I realized he might actually be onto something. I came up with the name Brrrn and a few a years passed. When I met Johnny [Adamic], whose background was in public health, I knew I found the other half to make Brrrn a reality.
AOL: Why the cold?
Johnny: The cold is an environmental stimulus. It encourages movement. Heat discourages it. We disrupting the fitness landscape by pairing the benefits of routine cool temperature exposure (called mild cold stress) with exercise (called environmental conditioning) to optimize the fitness experience—as well as provide other health benefits, such as burning more calories than in ambient or hotter environments. You burn more calories in cooler temperatures, you burn fat, you can acclimate to the cold and it creates an overall better fitness experience.
AOL: What are the fitness and wellness benefits tied to this type of workout?
Johnny: We are focused on improving the fitness experience. One of our goals was to debunk this myth that sweating is a by-product of a great workout. It’s not. If you turn up the thermostat, you’re going to sweat regardless because your internal organs like to stay at 98.6°F. Once you start to move in a 72°F or warmer box, you’re going to sweat even more, and with that, lose excess water and electrolytes that you need to fuel your workout, and case in point, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are working out harder. In fact, we argue the opposite. It’s a false sense of exertion sweating if the room is 72°F or warmer. If you drop the thermostat, your sweat is earned—and trust us, you’ll sweat, just not after the second minute.
Studies have also shown the cold increases the metabolism so much so that a dietary intervention isn’t needed. This means you don’t need to change your diet and can enjoy all the delights of food if you get enough cold in your life.
AOL: What are the reactions to your workouts so far?
Jimmy: What’s most surprising is seeing people who walk in skeptical walk out requesting for it to be colder. In terms of the actual workout, it’s been fun to see both men and women walk out of our 2nd° class obsessed with the slide board in 55°F. It’s also great to see people talking about how they have been craving the cold a few days after their workout.
AOL: What are your three go-to moves to get that summer bod?
First move: Slide into summer with our slide board class. Lateral conditioning should be all the rage. Why? We move too much in the north to south plane these days. We need to embrace moving east to west and we do that with this class, called 2nd° set to 55°F.
Second move: Brrrpee. Yes, a brrrpee is a burpee, but done in cooler temperatures we do them in our 3rd° Class set to 45°F
Third move: Brrreath. We all need to breathe more. Even better, breathing in cool, crisp air set between 45-60°F. How about a 4th move? Finish your showers on cold this summer!
Check out Brrrn's website here to book your first class!