I’ve never been a gym person, ever.
Not that I’m much of an exercise person in general, but I’ve had my kicks of at-home fitness and outdoor movement (you might remember the likes of 75 day medium, or the summer that I changed my whole personality to Colorado outdoorswoman). I’m a former athlete, but that doesn’t make it easy to exercise.
These days, however, I’m feeling inclined to try something new. Gone are the days when I can hit the neighborhood hiking trail, and our apartment gym is both lackluster and temporary. So, here we are: I’m a woman looking to workout, trying to curve the latest temptations of local beer and cheese curds.
Luckily for me, there are plenty of gyms here in Milwaukee—almost as plentiful as variations of ales. Choosing came down to a few different options: location, variation, and excitement. So, I settled on an infrared sauna studio, down the block, that offers a mix of workout classes 24/7. HOTWORX ticks all of my boxes.
As previously mentioned, HOTWORX is located super close to us – it’s about a 1-minute drive or a 7-minute walk from our apartment, and will maybe be twice as long when we move into our house, if that.
I found HOTWORX by both Instagram and my realtor’s recommendation. She pointed out the gym while giving us a tour of the area, and also posts great selfies post-workout. I felt compelled (*influenced,* if you will) to check it out!
I took my trial on a rainy day, and walked into the HOTWORX studio dripping wet from my riverside commute. Very quickly, however, things heated up.
For my complimentary trial workout, I opted to try the “Hot Iso” class. It’s one of the most popular programs and is suggested for all levels of fitness (i.e. beginner friendly, i.e. me after a few weeks of laziness). I had the sauna all to myself, armed with a borrowed HOTWORX mat, towel, hand towel, and foam roller. Thankfully, my water was full too – though it didn’t last me long.
The temp ranged between 120-130 degrees and the sweat began to pour as the video class played in front of me. One instructor and two other women filled the screen, demonstrating a series of moves for half an hour. We went through various positions, holds, and moves, mostly in the realm of yoga.
Truthfully, I was pretty tired by the end of it. The workout itself wasn’t necessarily hard, but it was tough on me. But even as I struggled, out of breath and sweating out of pores I didn’t know existed, I was immediately hooked.
I signed up immediately after finishing. And you know what? The rain felt pretty damn good on my walk back home.
For your information
Here are various things that are good to know if you’re interested in going to HOTWORX.
- The first workout is free.
- Memberships (at least mine) are $59 a month.
- Hotworx is open 24/7, but after hours isn’t staffed. My location has codes to enter into the building.
- There’s two definite categories of classes: isometrics (yoga, band work, abs) and equipment (HIIT classes with cycling, rowing, biking). There’s also an area with free weights for non-class movement.
- A specific HOTWORX mat and towel are required for the isometric classes. You can rent them for $5 every time, or you can purchase them for $75. They also rent and sell other things, from lockers to headphones to energy drinks. There’s a lot of cute clothes and bags for sale too.
- Hand towels and foam rollers are provided for free. There are also small cubby spaces outside the sauna for quick storage – that’s where I put my phone, backpack, and shoes.
- Any classes are done virtually through displays within the sauna, not in-person with you. You follow along to their instructions on the screen.
- Bring a water bottle! Be sure to hydrate before, during, and after. There are water fountains for refills.
- Similarly – it’s HOT. You’re working out in a sauna. Just be aware if you’re super sensitive to high temperature, that it might not be for you.
- You can bring a guest with you to workout for free, during staffed hours.
- What to wear: I wore shorts and a tank top – most women seem to wear leggings and a sports bra. Tennis shoes are required for the equipment classes, while the other sauna’s require bare feet only.
- There are two bathrooms (in lieu of a locker room), which each have a shower. Makes it easy for the recommended quick rinse off afterward.
- They have an app that’s used to schedule, reserve, and track your calorie burn for prizes and rewards (such as money off of your monthly membership).
Annnd…that’s it! My goal is to head to HOTWORX at least three times a week, to get my money and location’s worth. I hope to check in with updates as I explore the different classes that are available.
If you happen to be in Milwaukee and want to join me, let me know! 🙂