BFX Studio Is Piloting Cool Temperature Fitness Classes

Following research from Joslin Diabetes Center, the gym is using cool workouts to enhance calorie burn.

Box & Bell

A Box & Bell class using the Joslin Coolout at BFX. Photo by Anthony Collins, provided

Thanks to Joslin Diabetes Center and BFX Studio, your days of almost passing out in Bikram yoga may be numbered.

Joslin recently released a set of workout guidelines called the Joslin Coolout, which say that exercising in a room cooled to between 62 and 64 degrees, wearing clothes that expose skin to the chill, could be the best way to burn extra calories. The Coolout was originally just a set of principles individuals could apply to their workouts, but BFX is now the first local gym to use Joslin’s cool workout concept in some of its classes.

Instructor Kelly Brabants—known for her Booty by Brabants class—is now turning the thermostat down during her Tuesday night Box & Bell class, which mixes boxing with kettlebell exercises. Brabants began using the Coolout in July, and has announced that she’ll continue the pilot program through August after a positive response from students.

The science behind the Joslin Coolout hinges on a substance called brown fat, which keeps babies and animals warm in the cold and is found in trace amounts in adult humans. Brown fat kickstarts in cold temperatures, burning calories as it turns them to heat—unlike regular white fat, which just stores unused calories—so Joslin researchers posited that exercising in the cold could actually burn more calories than trendy hot workouts.

BFX is currently the only Boston gym working with Joslin, but a spokesperson from the diabetes center said that, pending the success of BFX’s offerings, the plan is to eventually partner with other area gyms as well.

BFX Studio, 699 Boylston St., Boston; Drop-in Box & Bell classes are $30 or $349 for a month of unlimited classes; Brabants uses the Coolout during her 5:30 p.m. class on Tuesday nights.