December 3, 2020

Brorun-f

health is good for you

New Cumming Fitness Studio Turns Up The Heat On Routine Exercise

3 min read
CUMMING, GA ­– More than once over the past six months, Allan Congrave has considered...

CUMMING, GA ­– More than once over the past six months, Allan Congrave has considered just how wise it would be to launch a new business and, more specifically —a fitness-related venture — in the midst of a global pandemic that seemingly has no finish line in sight.

Yet, every time Congrave and his wife, Stephanie, considered that question after choosing to leave their respective careers in corporate America and teaching, the couple realized that opening a boutique health and fitness center where clients spend time in an infrared sauna that reaches up to 130 degrees couldn’t actually come at a better time.

Next week, the couple will open a Cumming location for Hotworx, a national chain of studio fitness studios, and already have about 200 pre-sale clients booked, Congrave said Tuesday. The company’s newest location, located at 5456 Bethelview Rd., offers eight sauna studios, each which serves one client at a time.

Hotworx also has area locations in Alpharetta, Sandy Springs and Johns Creek.

As opposed to more traditional fitness-related studios or gyms, Hotworx eliminates any stress that may come with a lack of social distancing. Sessions take place in an infrared sauna where clients select their own program while working with a virtual instructor. Like many other Hotworx studios across the country, the Cumming location will be opened 24 hours a day, which adds to the freedom clients have.

Each session is like walking into your own little world, Congrave said.

The infrared energized environment, which healthcare professionals have found over the years, helps to remove toxins from the body. That process is accelerated with the addition of the heat element that produces sweat, which, in turn, speeds up the manner in which bad toxins are allowed to escape from the body, Congrave said.

“For me, it was more about helping people from a general health perspective than necessarily helping them through fitness to reach their goals,” Congrave told Patch on Tuesday. “I guess I get to have the best of both worlds.”

The infrared sauna environment makes for a unique fitness experience (photo courtesy of Allan Congrave)

While many first-time clients expect Hotworx to be simply a hot yoga studio, the studio also offer s spin-like classes, Pilates and other personalized workouts – all of which takes place in the specialized infrared sauna. Unlike group fitness classes, the individualized nature of the environment allows clients to select what they do during their time in the sauna while benefitting from the surroundings that will produce a wide range of health benefits.

A typical hot yoga studio is run at 80 degrees, but also offers some sort of air conditioning element. The combination of the two temperatures produces moisture, which makes for a damp setting while clients are surrounded by other participants. The infrared energy at Hotworx meanwhile comes from the sauna itself as well as panels inside the studio that provides for a drier air.

In addition to the individual nature of the Hotworx experience, the separation from others provides an element of pandemic-related safety, which played a major role in Congrave moving forward with his business plan full steam ahead.

Congrave, who began planning to open a facility in Cumming 18 months ago, said he has had numerous chances to walk away from the venture since the pandemic began. Instead, he and his wife chose to keep their plans in place while understanding what kind of health-related services they can offer local residents.

“At the end of the day, people are going to work out,” Congrave said. “The fitness industry isn’t going to implode – it’s just going to be new ways to work out to accommodate what people want to do.

“People enjoy doing group classes at their local gym. Now we’ve done a complete 180 on that where you’re doing individual classes to a virtual instructor and that’s really what the market right now is demanding and I don’t think that’s going to go away anytime soon.”

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