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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Interview: Jimmy T Martin & Johnny Adamic

It’s often thought that a proper workout will make you sweat. Jimmy T. Martin and Johnny Adamic have turned this idea on its head with Brrrn, a fitness studio that uses the cold to enhance your workout. Kath Hudson spoke to the founders to find out more

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 9
The Brrrn Founders
The Brrrn Founders
Our first trial was in a beer fridge, the second was in an ice factory in Pennsylvania. And after seeing first hand the impact that cooler temperatures made on the fitness experience, we both realized that we were truly onto something much bigger than what we had anticipated - Johnny Adamic, co-founder of Brrrn

What is Brrrn?
MARTIN: We’re the world’s first and only cool temperature fitness experience. Our group exercise classes take place inside a patent-pending ‘fridge’ that’s set to 50°F (10°C). We offer three classes throughout the week: HIIT (battle ropes and dumbbell circuit series); Slide (a low-impact core, cardio and sculpting class with resistance bands, SandBells and our signature slide board); and HIIT + Slide (a total body strength and conditioning series with battle ropes, dumbbells and slide boards).

Why is working out in the cold a good thing?
ADAMIC: The biggest myth we’re debunking is the relationship between excessive sweating and the quality of your workout experience. The concept is rooted in science – cooler temperatures help you to move better and optimize the fitness experience. Working out in the heat withholds you from working out efficiently, as your body is faced with two competing demands all at once: trying to exercise and trying to cool off (aka sweating). Aside from being able to work out harder for longer and triggering physiologies and releasing hormones to be more alert, burn fat and more calories, we are changing the narrative of how we perceive cold: as an ally, not an enemy.

How did the idea of Brrrn come about?
MARTIN:: I’ve spent the last 10 years working as a writer and performer in NYC, and had gotten to work in a variety of capacities (e.g. Saturday Night Live, greeting card writer, copywriter) while maintaining my side hustle as a private trainer. But everything changed in 2013 when one of my former clients remarked on how she always felt leaner and more athletic during the Fall/Winter months versus the summertime. So later that night, I went home and endlessly searched the internet to see if there was such a thing as a cool temperature fitness studio and after hours of searching and finding nothing, slowly I began to realise that I may have found the next big movement in fitness. A few months later, shortly after my 29th birthday, I met Johnny in the midst of grieving the loss of my wife to cancer. I had let him know that I was working on this crazy idea and that one of the last conversations that I had with my late wife was that she felt Brrrn was going to be the biggest accomplishment that she wouldn’t get to celebrate with me. So to honor her life, I felt it was my mission to do whatever I had to do in order to bring this to fruition and that Johnny was the person that could help make this pipe dream a full fledged reality.

ADAMIC: : As a former public health official who worked for NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg’s Obesity Task Force, I understood the role your environment plays in nudging behaviour. I also have a Master’s degree in food studies and public health and had concluded that we’re addicted to food the same way that we’re addicted to heat. So the day after Jimmy pitched me this idea in a coffee shop, I looked up the health literature and found evidence suggesting that cold exposure can burn more fat and calories, and boosts longevity genes and activates brown adipose tissue (see Why Cold Works below). But the fact that really spoke to me was learning that out of the 36,000 fitness concepts in the US, zero operated their facilities below 72°F (22.2°C). The next day I emailed Jimmy in all caps saying, “WE NEED TO DO THIS NOW!”

How did you make the concept a reality?
ADAMIC: Shortly after the CAPS LOCK email that I wrote Jimmy, both him and I decided to put the wheels in motion and form this business together. I led the trials to test out our concept on ourselves as well as other people. Our first trial was in a beer fridge, the second was in an ice factory in Pennsylvania. And after seeing first hand the impact that cooler temperatures made on the fitness experience, we both realised that we were truly onto something much bigger than what we had anticipated.

MARTIN: We spent all of 2014 and 2015 gestating the concept: looking for sites, scouting the best instructors in the city, devising unique workouts that were appropriate for the temperature of our workout environment, as well as raising the capital—which was the biggest challenge.

ADAMIC: It took around 300 pitches to get the capital that we needed in order to design and construct our studio properly. Funny story: prior to one of our pitches, we found out that the one investor we were presenting to was going to invest in yet another cycling concept. So prior to the pitch, Jimmy had the brilliant idea to put the logos of all of the current cycling brands in and around NYC onto a piece of paper and we handed it to the investor at the end of our presentation. Then we handed a blank piece of paper and referenced that this was the current number of cool fitness concepts in the world and how we would like the investor to help us fill that page. A day later he wrote us a cheque.

What do people like about Brrrn?
MARTIN: Aside from them enjoying our workouts and our communal infrared sauna experience—which is also the first of its kind— the most recurring remark is about how much the brand means to them. The nuances of great business come from the DNA of the founders, so from the very beginning, we wanted to create a brand that didn’t feel like it fell in love with it’s own reflection. So it’s been incredible to see men and women of all capabilities walk into our space and contribute to a coldture™ that is ultimately changing the conversation in the fitness industry.

What are your future plans?
ADAMIC: Aside from expanding nationally and internationally and working on an at-home workout concept, our biggest goal is to continue to be the sole purveyors of this inimitable cool temp fitness experience.

WHY COLD WORKS

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a cell with more mitochondria in it and is involved in energy expenditure when we’re cold. It uses fat to produce heat. It represents an attractive target to combat both obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Cold exposure has been found to be an effective mechanism to stimulate BAT activity and increase glucose and lipid uptake, resulting in metabolic benefits including elevated energy expenditure and increased insulin sensitivity.

A study showed that BAT is important in the regulation of body weight, with 96 per cent of men observed showing BAT activity when exposed to cold, but not thermoneutral conditions. However, BAT is reduced in men who are overweight or obese.

Brrrn offers group exercise classes in a refrigerated environment set at 10°C
Brrrn offers group exercise classes in a refrigerated environment set at 10°C
Martin and Adamic say the colder temperature allows customers to work out harder for longer
Martin and Adamic say the colder temperature allows customers to work out harder for longer
Community is an important aspect of the brand, with each person contributing to the ‘coldture’
Community is an important aspect of the brand, with each person contributing to the ‘coldture’
Cold exposure has been shown to activate brown adipose tissue, which results in metabolic benefits
Cold exposure has been shown to activate brown adipose tissue, which results in metabolic benefits
The founders plan to expand the brand nationally and internationally
The founders plan to expand the brand nationally and internationally
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/603682_199178.jpg
Meet the minds behind Brrrn, Jimmy T Martin and Johnny Adamic- the US based company who are improving and extending workouts through cold temperature based workouts. Martin and Adamic say they are 'changing the conversation in the fitness industry' and claim to be pioneering the cool fitness concept.
Jimmy T Martin, Johnny Adamic, Brrrn, Co-founders,Jimmy T Martin, Johnny Adamic, Brrrn,
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features

Interview: Jimmy T Martin & Johnny Adamic

It’s often thought that a proper workout will make you sweat. Jimmy T. Martin and Johnny Adamic have turned this idea on its head with Brrrn, a fitness studio that uses the cold to enhance your workout. Kath Hudson spoke to the founders to find out more

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 9
The Brrrn Founders
The Brrrn Founders
Our first trial was in a beer fridge, the second was in an ice factory in Pennsylvania. And after seeing first hand the impact that cooler temperatures made on the fitness experience, we both realized that we were truly onto something much bigger than what we had anticipated - Johnny Adamic, co-founder of Brrrn

What is Brrrn?
MARTIN: We’re the world’s first and only cool temperature fitness experience. Our group exercise classes take place inside a patent-pending ‘fridge’ that’s set to 50°F (10°C). We offer three classes throughout the week: HIIT (battle ropes and dumbbell circuit series); Slide (a low-impact core, cardio and sculpting class with resistance bands, SandBells and our signature slide board); and HIIT + Slide (a total body strength and conditioning series with battle ropes, dumbbells and slide boards).

Why is working out in the cold a good thing?
ADAMIC: The biggest myth we’re debunking is the relationship between excessive sweating and the quality of your workout experience. The concept is rooted in science – cooler temperatures help you to move better and optimize the fitness experience. Working out in the heat withholds you from working out efficiently, as your body is faced with two competing demands all at once: trying to exercise and trying to cool off (aka sweating). Aside from being able to work out harder for longer and triggering physiologies and releasing hormones to be more alert, burn fat and more calories, we are changing the narrative of how we perceive cold: as an ally, not an enemy.

How did the idea of Brrrn come about?
MARTIN:: I’ve spent the last 10 years working as a writer and performer in NYC, and had gotten to work in a variety of capacities (e.g. Saturday Night Live, greeting card writer, copywriter) while maintaining my side hustle as a private trainer. But everything changed in 2013 when one of my former clients remarked on how she always felt leaner and more athletic during the Fall/Winter months versus the summertime. So later that night, I went home and endlessly searched the internet to see if there was such a thing as a cool temperature fitness studio and after hours of searching and finding nothing, slowly I began to realise that I may have found the next big movement in fitness. A few months later, shortly after my 29th birthday, I met Johnny in the midst of grieving the loss of my wife to cancer. I had let him know that I was working on this crazy idea and that one of the last conversations that I had with my late wife was that she felt Brrrn was going to be the biggest accomplishment that she wouldn’t get to celebrate with me. So to honor her life, I felt it was my mission to do whatever I had to do in order to bring this to fruition and that Johnny was the person that could help make this pipe dream a full fledged reality.

ADAMIC: : As a former public health official who worked for NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg’s Obesity Task Force, I understood the role your environment plays in nudging behaviour. I also have a Master’s degree in food studies and public health and had concluded that we’re addicted to food the same way that we’re addicted to heat. So the day after Jimmy pitched me this idea in a coffee shop, I looked up the health literature and found evidence suggesting that cold exposure can burn more fat and calories, and boosts longevity genes and activates brown adipose tissue (see Why Cold Works below). But the fact that really spoke to me was learning that out of the 36,000 fitness concepts in the US, zero operated their facilities below 72°F (22.2°C). The next day I emailed Jimmy in all caps saying, “WE NEED TO DO THIS NOW!”

How did you make the concept a reality?
ADAMIC: Shortly after the CAPS LOCK email that I wrote Jimmy, both him and I decided to put the wheels in motion and form this business together. I led the trials to test out our concept on ourselves as well as other people. Our first trial was in a beer fridge, the second was in an ice factory in Pennsylvania. And after seeing first hand the impact that cooler temperatures made on the fitness experience, we both realised that we were truly onto something much bigger than what we had anticipated.

MARTIN: We spent all of 2014 and 2015 gestating the concept: looking for sites, scouting the best instructors in the city, devising unique workouts that were appropriate for the temperature of our workout environment, as well as raising the capital—which was the biggest challenge.

ADAMIC: It took around 300 pitches to get the capital that we needed in order to design and construct our studio properly. Funny story: prior to one of our pitches, we found out that the one investor we were presenting to was going to invest in yet another cycling concept. So prior to the pitch, Jimmy had the brilliant idea to put the logos of all of the current cycling brands in and around NYC onto a piece of paper and we handed it to the investor at the end of our presentation. Then we handed a blank piece of paper and referenced that this was the current number of cool fitness concepts in the world and how we would like the investor to help us fill that page. A day later he wrote us a cheque.

What do people like about Brrrn?
MARTIN: Aside from them enjoying our workouts and our communal infrared sauna experience—which is also the first of its kind— the most recurring remark is about how much the brand means to them. The nuances of great business come from the DNA of the founders, so from the very beginning, we wanted to create a brand that didn’t feel like it fell in love with it’s own reflection. So it’s been incredible to see men and women of all capabilities walk into our space and contribute to a coldture™ that is ultimately changing the conversation in the fitness industry.

What are your future plans?
ADAMIC: Aside from expanding nationally and internationally and working on an at-home workout concept, our biggest goal is to continue to be the sole purveyors of this inimitable cool temp fitness experience.

WHY COLD WORKS

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a cell with more mitochondria in it and is involved in energy expenditure when we’re cold. It uses fat to produce heat. It represents an attractive target to combat both obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Cold exposure has been found to be an effective mechanism to stimulate BAT activity and increase glucose and lipid uptake, resulting in metabolic benefits including elevated energy expenditure and increased insulin sensitivity.

A study showed that BAT is important in the regulation of body weight, with 96 per cent of men observed showing BAT activity when exposed to cold, but not thermoneutral conditions. However, BAT is reduced in men who are overweight or obese.

Brrrn offers group exercise classes in a refrigerated environment set at 10°C
Brrrn offers group exercise classes in a refrigerated environment set at 10°C
Martin and Adamic say the colder temperature allows customers to work out harder for longer
Martin and Adamic say the colder temperature allows customers to work out harder for longer
Community is an important aspect of the brand, with each person contributing to the ‘coldture’
Community is an important aspect of the brand, with each person contributing to the ‘coldture’
Cold exposure has been shown to activate brown adipose tissue, which results in metabolic benefits
Cold exposure has been shown to activate brown adipose tissue, which results in metabolic benefits
The founders plan to expand the brand nationally and internationally
The founders plan to expand the brand nationally and internationally
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/603682_199178.jpg
Meet the minds behind Brrrn, Jimmy T Martin and Johnny Adamic- the US based company who are improving and extending workouts through cold temperature based workouts. Martin and Adamic say they are 'changing the conversation in the fitness industry' and claim to be pioneering the cool fitness concept.
Jimmy T Martin, Johnny Adamic, Brrrn, Co-founders,Jimmy T Martin, Johnny Adamic, Brrrn,
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: RLSS UK - First choice for all aquatic rescue, pool management, first aid qualifications and training
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is proud to be the industry leader in water-related safety qualifications and training. More than 40,000 pool lifeguards qualify with an RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) every year.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Staycationers treated to whale of a time at newly expanded W Club
Holiday complex Whalesborough Cottages and Spa in Bude, North Cornwall, has enhanced its visitor experience by expanding its leisure facilities.
Opinion
promotion
Gyms need to look at ways to deploy technology that helps them engage with customers on a human level. This can be done by encouraging customers to leave as much real-time feedback as possible
Opinion: Customer Feedback: the Good, the Bad and the ‘Could be Improved’ Why health clubs need to take action in 2020 to retain their New Year customers
Video Gallery
Wattbike AtomX
Wattbike
Join our tribe. Become powered by Wattbike. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Keiser UK Ltd
Keiser began its history of visionary sports science leadership over 40 years ago, rejecting the ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Exercise equipment
Eleiko Sport AB: Exercise equipment
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
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Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25 Mar 2020
Executive Boardroom, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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