Here in New York City, some boutique fitness spots have a reputation for turning their “studios” into glorified sweatboxes. Despite the air conditioning vents and the industrial fans in every corner, some instructors insist on literally turning up the heat. And Ambyr D’Amato, a group fitness instructor at Crunch Gym, says that—ironically—hotter than hot rooms aren’t doing your sweat goals any favors.
“I think the room best serves the students in the class if the temperature is comfortable. Often, I find that if it’s too hot or too cold during a spin class, students are distracted by being uncomfortable,” says D’Amato. “I also think the fan is helpful in both spin and yoga because no one wants to breathe in deeply if the air is stale and uncirculated.” It’s safe to say that inhaling your neighbor’s stank won’t exactly inspire you to “get up that hill.”
What’s more: sweat can give the illusion that your body’s hard at work when, in reality, it’s just hot as the dickens. “I can’t work people as hard if they are already sweating before they’ve even done anything. I like to make people sweat because they are moving and working hard,” D’Amato adds. If you find yourself dripping with perspiration in a room that’s an average temperature, then you know you’re sweating from exertion. Not from near heat stroke.
As trainer Sal Di Stefano said on a recent episode of the Mind Pump podcast: “The workout has to be appropriate for whatever goals that you have—and if that means that you’re not sweating during the workout, that’s okay. But the sweat—or lack thereof—doesn’t mean that what you did [was or] wasn’t effective.” Moisture pooling at the base of your sports bar does not an effective workout make. So if your next spin, boxing, or Zumba instructor dares turn off the fan, don’t be afraid to channel your inner informed HBIC and walk right out of class.
You get to decide for yourself when to turn up the heat on your workout.
You can break a sweat in cold classes, too. Here’s your proof: