Is exercising in a heated infrared room one of the easiest ways for mums to get fit and have fun at the same time?

It’s hailed as a new and unique fitness concept. Joy In Movement (J.I.M) combines a pilates and functional training style workout while you are in a heated infrared room. Imagine a workout class in an infrared sauna and you get the picture. J.I.M launched last year in Sydney and now has seven gyms around the city.

Touted as the “perfect choice for busy mums”, they invited Mums At The Table for a free trial. Here’s what I found out.

First impressions

A J.I.M workout lasts for 30 minutes in a room using infrared heat. The workout room is small—when I visited the one at Glenhaven in Sydney’s northwest, it only had enough space for 12 mats and not much else. The room is dark, lit only by dim red lights from the ceiling and the three TV screens in the front of the room.

According to founder Jarad Hobbs, this is deliberate. “J.I.M has a concept that goes beyond physical fitness, emphasising inclusivity and comfort,” he says. “We designed our studios to be super dark with no mirrors, allowing members to focus on their wellness journey without feeling any pressure of how they look or having to stare themselves down in the mirror.”

Naturally, the lack of lighting also makes it difficult to observe others. Of course, the reverse is also true. So if you often feel self-conscious when working out, the set-up is ideal.

The first thing you notice when you enter is how warm the room is, not unlike a heated yoga room. Although in J.I.M’s case, infrared technology heats the room.

One of the more surprising elements was the lack of a real-person trainer during the session. Instead, a voice instructs you through the speakers on what to do and you can copy the person performing the workout on the TV.

While this means you won’t have a trainer breathing down your neck while you work out, it also means there’s no-one to correct you. It also very much felt like an in-home YouTube video exercise session, with the added difference of the infrared heat.

What are the benefits of infrared?

The use of infrared as a form of therapy has been gaining popularity in recent years. You may have come across the infrared sauna, one of the most common—and rather trendy—uses. The reasons and benefits for exercising in a heated infrared room are the same as for other forms of infrared therapy.

“Infrared is known for helping to assist with circulation, detoxification, and improving skin tone and cardiovascular function,” says Jarad. “Working out in this way will give you more bang for your buck. You can get a solid workout in 30 minutes as opposed to having to slog it out for 50.”

For my session, I was particularly interested in the espoused benefit of pain relief and muscle recovery. I had participated in a rather vigorous game of indoor soccer the night before. My thigh muscles were screaming in pain as I climbed the stairs to the J.I.M gym before I started working out.

The J.I.M workout I participated in involved a mix of stretches and body weight resistance exercises. I struggled with the squats at the beginning because of my painful muscles. I don’t know if it was the stretching or the infrared therapy, but I was pretty much pain-free by the end of the session.

Infrared therapy risks

While infrared technology is relatively safe and non-invasive, like everything else, it involves risks. Most significantly, experts do not recommend infrared workouts for pregnant women as they can increase their core body temperature.

During a J.I.M workout, excessive perspiration can lead to heat-related negative side effects such as dehydration and light-headedness. Those with exisiting medical conditions should also speak with their doctor before trying a J.I.M workout.

Is infrared workout worth the hype?

Left: Exercising in an infrared heated room is a different experience.
Right: The squats challenged my already sore muscles, which surprisingly eased up by the end of the workout.

Exercising at a J.I.M gym will depend on your personality and expectations. I enjoyed my morning workout session. It provided a good rush of endorphins for me to go about the rest of my day. The heat and subsequent pouring of sweat (make sure you bring a towel) was quite satisfying as I felt like I had definitely put in some hard work. I felt the 30-minute workout duration was just right as the “warm down” commenced just as I felt myself faltering.

Is it good value for money to pay for a workout class without an actual trainer to help you? That’s something you will need to decide. On the one hand, it didn’t feel too different to working out at home to a YouTube video (minus the heat). On the other, booking in to a gym adds a layer of accountability that some would appreciate. Not to mention the proposed benefits of infrared technology which you can’t easily replicate at home.

“You also don’t feel the pressure coming from a trainer, whether you are late to the class or whether you need to give yourself some breaks in between series,” Jarad says.

J.I.M workouts start every hour, on the hour. You need to download the Joy in Movement app to sign-up and packages start from $49 a week for unlimited classes. You have to make a booking if you want to participate, but everything is automated once you are there. You also only have to bring a water bottle and a towel for the class as mats are provided.

I thoroughly enjoyed my workout session at J.I.M. The exercises were easy to follow and achievable even for a beginner. I liked working out in what was essentially an infrared sauna. I don’t know if my body benefitted from the infrared therapy, but the amount of perspiration at least gave the impression it did.

How helpful was this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

0 / 5. 0

Be the first to rate this post!