Combine sauna heat, yoga, interval training and virtual exercise instruction, and you have Hotworx, a new fitness facility opening soon in Fountain City.
“My cousin in Atlanta loved Hotworx and said you need to check it out,” said Jen LeBus, who admitted she did not know it even existed. “It felt like such a good workout. I have neck and back pain; I felt so much better, I slept better and didn’t feel like I did after other workouts where I couldn’t walk the next day.”
Since then, LeBus and her husband, Robert, launched their first Hotworx franchise in Hardin Valley in October 2020 and later purchased the original Cedar Bluff location that opened in August 2019.
Construction has started on this side of town at 2605 Adair Drive across from Food City. It is set to open around the new year.
Hotworx will have eight saunas that combine heat, infrared and virtual exercise instruction to potentially triple the workout burn in just a third of the time.
“There are four saunas for 30-minute isometric yoga or Pilates workouts,” said Jen LeBus. “The other four are for 15-minute HIIT sessions (High Intensity Interval Training). Two cycle, one Hot Blast and one for rowing.”
The Hot Blast is a full body workout performed on the Keiser Total Body Trainer.
“The infrared heat starts with the core and moves out,” said Robert LeBus, who outlined many of the benefits of infrared heat absorption.
The heat and isometric postures detoxify your organs through muscle contraction, he said.
The infrared technology is said to reduce the time needed for a warmup and to maximize the calorie burn. It also accelerates workout recovery by strengthening the body’s regenerative process.
Other added benefits are said to be pain relief, stress reduction, detoxification, lower blood pressure, improved circulation and weight loss, with a continued calorie burn even after the workout is completed.
There is no in-person instruction. Instead, there is a choice of workout videos in each sauna. Hotworx calls it 3D training.
Hotworx sessions were donated to two firefighter groups to help them detox the carcinogens they may inhale while fighting a fire. Football and dance teams as well as cross-fitters have used the saunas for muscle recovery.
Access to Hotworx is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “You have an app to access the sessions we offer and the times. You can choose what you want to do and when you want to come,” said Jen LeBus. “You can book an appointment up to two days in advance and it can hold up to three people or on your own.” Appointments are 45-minute blocks to allow time for changeover.
Hotworx is staffed from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.
“The door is locked 24 hours a day. You have a six-digit key code or the app to open the door. Security is high because we are open 24 hours a day,” said Robert LeBus. “We want it to be a safe space, with no anxiety. The reality of the world leaves inside the 9×12-foot cedar sauna.”
“It is an intimate workout with friends or spouses, but a lot of people are working out and that stranger becomes a friend,” said Jen LeBus. “It is social, but you don’t have to work out with someone else if you don’t want to.”
Opening during the pandemic has been both challenging and opportune.
“Workouts are at 100-130 degrees Fahrenheit, and we have NASA based technology that kills 99% of bacteria,” said Robert LeBus. “The peak of the pandemic was tough because we had to cut back capacity in the sauna, but we are back to three at a time. It is the safest place to work out.”
Robert LeBus said they have to limit memberships due to scheduling logistics and have started releasing limited time offers.
“It will increase incrementally after that. We only have a certain number of charter memberships, so for example the enrollment fee of $15 and monthly rate of $49 is locked in right now,” he continued.
The first workout is always free and family memberships are also available.
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This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Hotworx: Popular fitness studios expanding in Knoxville