It’s the middle of summer in New York City and here I was dressed for late October—full-length leggings, thick socks, a long-sleeve shirt, and even a hat. I even contemplated gloves.
I came prepared, or so I thought, to try out a new boutique fitness studio called Brrrn that is intentionally kept chilled as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit—even when it’s twice that outside.
I am from California, and, like many people, despise the cold. So the idea of working out in refrigerator temps—the Silicon Alley gym has giant industrial cooling units—gave me pause.
“It’s so funny to see people’s point perception of comfort,” laughs Jimmy T. Martin, cofounder of Brrrn, which is billed as the world’s first cool temperature gym.
Twenty minutes in, my initial trepidation seemed absurd: It feels less like a meat locker and more like a crisp fall morning. This is what every gym should feel like.
That shift is exactly part of Brrrn’s mission: to make cold more palpable to the average American. Traditionally, we crave the comforts of 72 degrees, reports the ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers). But that isn’t necessarily ideal for working out.
Brrrn, which opened its doors in May, wants to reintroduce the benefits of lower temperatures.
“The hardest thing to do in the boutique space is to encourage movement,” explains cofounder Johnny Adamic, “and there’s nothing better in our opinion than to turn the thermostat down and just be completely in the moment–not feeling like your body has to sweat profusely to cool off.”