Since March, I’ve been a member of HOTWORX, a national chain of gyms that uses infrared heat and saunas for their workout classes. You come, you sweat it out in 15 or 45-minute intervals, and you leave feeling pretty good considering the stains on your armpits.
I am a big fan of HOTWORX, especially as my first gym membership ever. However, I know that it entails some element of mystery: their website isn’t necessarily a huge resource when you’re trying to figure out what the gym is all about. You really don’t know, until you know.
So here’s me, letting you know.
HOTWORX questions and answers
What do you wear to HOTWORX?
Something you feel comfortable sweating in! I aim for a bra top, leggings or bicycling shorts, and quality socks. There’s no wrong answer here—wear your usual workout clothes, though expect heavier t-shirts to be less comfortable as you sweat.
I always wear my Apple Watch (and used to use my Fitbit), which work fine in the sauna. I also wear my Airpods for the quick 15-minute sessions every once in a while, and never have issues.
What are the workouts at HOTWORX?
All the workouts at HOTWORX can be divided into two categories: HIIT and Iso (Isometrics). In each sauna, there’s a screen at the front, playing a video with an instructor who walks you through each workout as they’re doing it themselves.
HIIT are 15-minute machine classes, including: hot cycling, hot blast, and hot thunder.
Iso classes are each around 45 minutes and include: hot iso, hot yoga, hot warrior, hot core, hot buns, hot blast, barre none, and hot pilates.
To schedule a class, you use their app. You can track your calories with a fitness watch and your progress is tracked through the HOTWORX app as well.
Is HOTWORX good for beginners?
Yes. I think HOTWORX is great for beginners: everything is at your own pace, with a guided video playing with instructions that are easy to follow. Because it’s an individualized workout session, you are free to modify.
For beginners, I really recommend starting small and working your way up to more. It’s hot in there! I love the quick HIIT workouts to reacclimate myself after taking breaks and not being as used to the sauna.
What to bring to HOTWORX?
Every time I visit, I bring my backpack (I bought a HOTWORX bag because it has a holder for the mat and towel) with my gym shoes and my water bottle. If you’re taking an Iso class, bring your mat and towel.
You can always pack extra clothes to wear afterwards. Lockers are available to rent, and there’s a coat rack. Plus, there are cubbies to stash your stuff (that’s where I keep my phone during the workout.) Some people bring their phones inside the sauna, but I’ve never tried—it doesn’t seem like a good idea for long periods of time.
HOTWORX provides you hand sweat towels for your workout (a must!) and I bring that and my water bottle inside the sauna for each session.
They have a water fountain, restrooms with a shower (you’d need to bring your own towel and toiletries), a hairdryer, and a vending machine with snacks and workout accessories (like bands and gloves, which might be useful for some of the workouts) that you can purchase.
How much is a membership to HOTWORX?
This one is where there’s variation and I’m not totally sure what everyone’s experience is. I got in on HOTWORX when it was brand new and I got a discounted rate at $55 for the first year. I would expect, however, that it’s at least $75/month for a basic membership, where you can go an unlimited amount to your studio in-person.
Can you bring your own mat to HOTWORX?
Nope! You can’t. You have to use a HOTWORX mat and towel for all Iso workouts. You can rent them for $5 each time, or you can buy them for around $50. I did this on day one, because I knew it’d pay for itself.
They say that a HOTWORX mat/towel is required because of the heat and the materials to keep everything safe and sterile.
Do you wear shoes to HOTWORX?
Yes and no.
On the HIIT side (the 15-minute machine classes), shoes are required. In the FX Zone (where the free weights are), shoes are required.
On the Iso side (where the 45-minute classes are, where mats are required), you’re not allowed to wear shoes inside the sauna.
Let me know if you have any more HOTWORX-related questions!