Bikram yoga sparks trend for other "hot" gym classes – but is turning up the heat to intensify a workout safe?


Bikram yoga sparks trend for other 'hot' gym classes – but is turning up the heat to intensify a workout safe

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 6 April 2012

Bikram yoga, which is staged in a man-heated room with a temperature of 105 degrees-fahrenheit, has long been considered one of the world’s hottest workouts.

But now, gyms and studios across New York and Los
Angeles are offering a range of exercises in even higher temperatures,
sending the popular Indian practice into the amateur league.

New highs of 110 degrees-Fahrenheit have sparked the
attention of one medical expert who believes the health benefits of hot
workouts peak at 100 degrees.

Extreme: While a Bikram yoga class (pictured) may boast temperature highs of 105 degrees-fahrenheit, new exercise workouts are reaching 110 degrees

Extreme: While a Bikram yoga class (pictured) may boast temperature highs of 105 degrees-fahrenheit, new exercise workouts are reaching 110 degrees

Douglas Casa, a kinesiology professor at the University of
Connecticut and an expert on athletic exertion in heat told The New York Times: 'Above that [100 degrees], you're just jeopardising safety.'

Pilates and group cycling instructors are just some of the
people who have turned up the heat across exercise venues in the U.S.

Kate Albarelli, a 31-year-old instructor at New York's Pure
Yoga studio, has adjusted the heaters in her ballet-based barre method class to
110 degrees 'by popular demand.'

Mr Casa said extreme temperatures such as this are not
necessary.

'If it's so hot you can’t get a hard workout in, it defeats
the purpose. If you're able to maintain the same intensity in the heat as you
do in cool conditions, you'll have to work harder and you’ll burn more
calories.

'But a lot of people can't do as much in the heat so it
could just be a wash. You might as well work harder where it's cooler.'

Some fitness fanatics claim they enjoy the heat due to its
detox benefits which include ample sweat generation and a fast heart rate.

'I don’t think there's any inherent advantage to sweating
more. Some people just like the feeling.'

But Mr Casa called the concept a hoax.

'I don’t think there's any inherent advantage to sweating
more. Some people just like the feeling.'

Gyms and studios show no signs of backing down
from their customer's demands.

New York's Crunch gym began teaching Pilates in 99 degree
temperatures in September.

They claimed the classes 'will have you looking hotter
than ever.'

Carlos Rodriguez, the New York-based founder of Caponyasa
which blends the Brazilian martial art capoeira with weights, gymnastics and
other practises, also conducts his classes in high-heated
rooms.

Alexandra Cohan, a 42-year-old television producer said she
enjoyed Mr Rodriguez's sessions for their sweat-breaking ability.

'A good day is when I have to literally wring my clothes out.
I tell you, your body adjusts,' she said.

'I probably need to make it harder at this point.'