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The Short Version: When Brrrn opened the world’s first cool-temperature gym in New York City, it brought new meaning to the phrase “feel the burn” and challenged locals to take on a cool new workout. In 2020, the Brrrn team temporarily closed its studios and started producing at-home workout videos that bring the gym experience into the living room. Now singles and couples can get a Brrrn Board, click play on a video, and get some exercise while chilling at home.
Jimmy T. Martin moved to New York City in his 20s with dreams of making it big. He wanted to build his résumé as a creative self-starter. In the years that followed, Jimmy married his college sweetheart Linmarie and juggled gigs as a greeting card writer, an extra on “Saturday Night Live,” and a comedian.
Then, in 2014, Jimmy’s life took a dramatic turn when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. After her treatment was unsuccessful, doctors told her she had one month to live, and she passed away that spring.
As a widower at 29, Jimmy began forging a new path away from comedy and toward personal health and fitness. He dove into his side gig as a personal trainer and researched ways to strengthen a person’s body and mind. Eventually, he teamed up with public health advocate and yogi Johnny Adamic to start a wellness company that would honor Linmarie’s memory.
Brrrn opened its first boutique fitness studio in 2018. The name is a clever reference to its cool-temperature workouts. The studio thermostats are set at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and that chilly temp motivates folks to get moving and burning calories. The cold environment puts the body under mild cold stress, meaning it triggers the metabolism to go into overdrive to stay warm.
Jimmy and Johnny co-founded Brrrn to promote workouts that were fun, effective, and inclusive, and its flagship studio has become a hot spot for fitness enthusiasts in New York City. Over the last year, Brrrn has also developed an online shop and video subscription channel to help singles, couples, and families work out at home and grow closer together in their relationships.
“We’re two small-town guys who wanted to live big-city dreams,” Jimmy said. “We’re so fortunate to have cultivated a tremendous community built on the values that we felt are important — to strive to feel better, to focus on progress not perfection, and to be the leaders we would want to follow.”
Before developing the Brrrn concept, Johnny worked with a New York City task force that used architectural designs to foster better public health. He has put a lot of thought into how one’s environment can nudge people to get more exercise and incorporate workouts into their daily routines. As Co-Founder of Brrrn, he encourages people to get out of their temperature comfort zones and discover the benefits of cold workouts.
“It’s all about coming up with really cool things to help people live better,” he said. “I love it. It’s not a job — it’s my life.”
Cool temperature fitness is the idea that put Brrrn on the map, but it’s not the only draw for the fitness studio. The Brrrn Boards, which use sliding as a workout method, have also gotten a lot of positive reviews, particularly from singles who enjoy low-impact cardio.
“People call it sneaky cardio,” Jimmy explained. “It seems fun and enjoyable, but you’re sore in all the good spots the next day.”
The Brrrn online store offers its sliding Brrrn Board along with slide accessories, including booties, mittens, and slide board care wipes. Customers can choose either a one-time payment or a monthly installment payment plan.
The Brrrn board is sold separately from the at-home subscription, which includes access to over 100 workout videos led by Brrrn trainers.
The video catalogue is organized into nine categories ranging from core work to breath work (aka BRRRTH work), and each video lasts no longer than 30 minutes. It was important to Jimmy and Johnny to offer short exercise sessions that could easily be incorporated into a daily routine, so subscribers can find 10-minute videos, 20-minute videos, or 30-minute videos to follow in their free time.
Whether you want to do a quick stretch by yourself or engage in high-intensity training with a workout partner, you can find something just your speed and style with Brrrn’s at-home subscription.
“We wanted to create something that was extremely accessible no matter what your physical capabilities were,” Jimmy said. “It’s a great complement for some people who are a little bored with their workout routines — pun intended — and want something to set them up for success.”
At-home workouts have been in high demand since the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures have caused gyms to temporarily close or abbreviate their services. The Brrrn team has had to be flexible to meet the moment and develop an at-home workout subscription that could benefit people of all ages and backgrounds.
“We wanted to maximize on this moment when gyms aren’t open the way they were before,” Jimmy said. “People still need to be healthy, and exercise is essential to bettering a person’s mental and physical health.”
The Brrrn Board sliding programming facilitates a full-body exercise routine that’s low-to-mid impact and easy to get the hang of. Plus, the thin, six-foot-long board doesn’t take up much space, so you can slide it under a couch or bed when you’re done. No need for heavy equipment or a complicated setup.
“It’s great for a quick workout,” Johnny said. “You put on the booties and start sliding, reverse lunging, and planking.”
A Brrrn Board can fit in any house, apartment, condo, or dorm room, and it can dramatically change the way people take care of themselves. Singles can use the Brrrn board to slide their way to physical fitness, and couples can take the opportunity to jump on board the same workout routine.
Brrrn offers partner workout videos for couples, friends, and family members working out together. The team is even developing an adjustable board so young children can join in the fun and exercise alongside their parents.
“We’re trying to give people the most bang for their buck while they’re at home working out,” Jimmy told us. “No matter how old you are, you can do these workouts under our guidance.”
Brrrn began with two men who wanted to reshape the world of fitness and open people up to new ways of working out. Its chilly studio in New York City thrived because of its uniquely cool vibes. And now Brrrn is bringing that fun and healthful experience to people stuck at home.
Thanks to its sliding board and training videos, Brrrn can give singles and couples the opportunity to try something new and shake up their exercise routines. Anyone can pick up a video subscription to participate in at-home workouts on their schedule without needing any bulky equipment.
Brrrn’s original workouts can help people build strength, lose weight, or just get healthier, and at-home subscribers can turn down the heat to really test themselves and feel the burn.
“We want to evolve our brick-and-mortar business, expand digitally, refine what we’ve done in the past, and continue to be purveyors of cool experiences and products,” Jimmy said. “It’s an incredible journey, full of many hardships along the way, but we’re excited to meet people where they’re at — which, right now, is at home.”