HOTWORX is a 24-hour infrared fitness studio with five locations across Charlotte.
Why it matters: HOTWORX aims to provide a challenging workout in less time than a typical gym workout. It’s achieved by exercising in an infrared sauna cranked up to around 120-130 degrees.
As a fan of heated exercise, I was curious about the HOTWORX method. So, I took the hot pilates class at the recently-opened HOTWORX in Highland Creek.
Want to give the HOTWORX method a try? Here are my key takeaways.
It’s relatively affordable.
If you’ve dabbled in Charlotte’s fitness scene, you know you can expect to pay well over $100 a month for most studios.
- HOTWORX offers unlimited use memberships for $59 a month at one location. Or, $79 a month for access to all (there are over 500 locations nationwide).
It’s always open.
HOTWORX is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
- This would be particularly helpful for college students or someone whose job makes it difficult to workout during regular business hours.
The HOTWORX method claims a range of health benefits.
For example, it’s claimed you’ll burn 250-400 calories in one 30-minute isometric workout and another 350-600 calories in the hour afterward, due to the heated environment.
- Essentially, you’ll burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
- HOTWORX also claims the infrared light in the saunas can help accelerate workout recovery.
- I didn’t go full scientific method and duplicate my workout in an air-conditioned environment, so I can’t say much for how this may differ in terms of metrics, like calories burned.
There are a variety of classes.
HOTWORX offers about every workout you can think of, but heated. Every workout falls under two categories: Isometric (meaning you hold the position for a certain amount of time) or HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
- Isometric workouts are 30 minutes and include options like hot pilates, hot yoga and hot core.
- HIIT workouts are 15 minutes (think cycling and rowing).
They’re (sort-of) instructor-less.
All classes are virtually instructed on a screen in front of you.
- Classes are limited to three people, given the size of the saunas.
You should expect to sweat — a lot.
Don’t underestimate this. Trust me, you’ll want to factor in time to shower.
And to be exhausted.
I know this sounds par for the course of a hard workout. But just like being out in the sun will zap you of your energy, so will sitting in a 123-degree sauna for 30 minutes.
If you don’t want to workout, you can go just for the sauna.
Having essentially 24-hour access to a sauna is a huge perk, in my opinion.
Don’t be afraid to take breaks.
Heated exercise is no joke. And it gets hot, fast.
- Drink a lot of water beforehand. And make sure to bring a full bottle in the studio with you.
- I stepped out a few times just to cool off (even my phone overheated a few times).
The bottom line: HOTWORX is an option for those who are fans of heated exercise or curious about the benefits of infrared light.
- I’d go again, especially to try more of the classes.
- Though there are some trade offs — like no in-person instruction — HOTWORX is an efficient choice for short, heated workouts at a lower cost than a boutique studio.