Move Over Hot Yoga, There's (Several) New Heated Classes in Town

From ballet to spinning to dance, studios are turning up the temperature.

ByABC News
October 3, 2014, 8:09 AM
Boston Cannons Dancers Taking Hot Barre at Dance Fit Studio. The studio is the official sponsor of the Boston Cannons Dance Team.
Boston Cannons Dancers Taking Hot Barre at Dance Fit Studio. The studio is the official sponsor of the Boston Cannons Dance Team.
DanceFIT Studio

— -- The temperature's falling, but workouts all over the country are heating up. Literally.

Move over, hot yoga. There's plenty of other hot workouts in town these days. From Pilates to ballet to spinning to boot camp, there's more ways than ever to work up a real-deal sweat.

In Brookline, Massachusetts, Gina Fay, owner of Dance Fit Studio, was offering her ballet-inspired barre class at the Church of Our Savior, a space that has no air conditioning and was 90 degrees in the summer months before class even started.

The heat wasn't a deterrent at all. "The women loved the extra flexibility and the detox of sweating," she said.

When it came time to expand, she opened a new studio in a former hot yoga studio.

"We start the room at 92 degrees," she said of her hot barre and hot deep-stretch classes. "Our clients asked that every class we offer be a hot one." They mostly are, she said, though she thinks she'll keep Pilates at a normal temperature.

Fay may want to rethink that: the demand for hot Pilates in Los Angeles is so great, a studio dedicated to the practice will open later this in West Hollywood. Hot Pilates claims to be the first heated Pilates studio in Los Angeles. And in Las Vegas, Inferno Hot Pilates combines Pilates principles with high-intensity interval training and is performed in a room heated to 95 degrees with 40 percent humidity.

The trend extends beyond major metro areas. In Waunkee and Ankeny, Iowa, Kris Hot Yoga studios offer hot barre, hot cardio barre, hot ballet barre, a run-barre fusion class and a hot barre boot camp. All classes are in rooms heated to as high as 95 degrees. The hot classes were so popular, founder Morgan Phipps opened a second studio earlier this year.

"The hot classes are what make it different than just going to a gym and working out,” Phipps said. “I think for most clients, the more you sweat equal the harder the workout.”

In North Hollywood, The Sweat Shoppe offers heated, indoor cycling classes, "inspired by heated yoga," according to its website. Rooms are heated from 80 to 83 degrees, "creating an environment which efficiently warms the body and intensifies an already challenging workout."

But is that true? It's hard to say. Experts generally agree that as long as you stay hydrated and stop if you don't feel well, hot workouts are similar to working out outside on a hot summer day.

Fay, the owner of Dance Fit Studio in Massachusetts, said she wore a heart monitor during a "normal temperature class" and during a hot class to see whether there was a difference: "I burned almost 200 extra calories."