Hotworx has six isometric saunas available with workouts guided by a virtual instructor. (Photos by Briana Rucker, SDN)

Hotworx plans to heat things up in Starkville offering infrared heat workouts at their 24-hour infrared fitness studio located at 310 University Drive.

Owner Rob Thornton graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelors and masters degree in business administration.

His partner John Thomas is a lifelong friend and also a MSU graduate.

“He grew up in Jackson and I grew up at the Reservoir,” Thornton said.

They both own other businesses but collectively decided to partner into a mutual business that was different.

The first Hotworx was opened in Oxford.

“He and I went up to Oxford and looked at it and decided it was something very unique and unlike anything in our market,” Thornton said.

Starkville’s facility is the second Hotworx franchise in the system.

To test things out Hotworx held a soft opening in October 2018, but on Friday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. Hotworx celebrated its grand opening.

“It brings a whole different type of workout to Starkville,” Thornton said as he noted it’s not the traditional treadmill and weight lifting type of gym.

“This is just totally different off-the-shelf heat therapy that is not currently available in Starkville,” he said.

Similar to the sun, infrared is a radiant energy that travels in wavelengths on the invisible light spectrum.

Its heat absorption strengthens and activates the regenerative process in the human body, and its warming effects creates a comfortable atmosphere for hot exercise.

“It heats people, floors, walls and other surfaces without heating up the air,” Thornton said.

An example he used was going outside on a cold day, but when the sun hits your face it warms it instantly.

Hotworx utilizes a three-dimensional workout.

“You’ve got your heat, you’ve got your infrared energy and the workout,” Thornton said. “Those three things make it a three-dimensional workout.”

Infrared heat warms the core up rapidly allowing the heart rate to increase to the desired workout level quicker than if one were to workout in an air-conditioned gym.

Hotworx saunas are set at 125 degrees.

“So you start out at 125 degrees and that infrared heat is more of an internal heat so by doing that you burn a lot of calories,” he said.

Following workouts, people may experience after burn because their bodies are still amped up and burning excess calories.

Three workouts are common at Hotworx: isometric workouts, hot iso, and hot warriors.

Isometric workouts are traditional workouts such as Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates.

Hot Iso class consists of isometric compression postures.

Hot warrior is an advanced version of hot iso where individuals are holding postures longer, utilizing body weight to create core strength.

Those who want to exercise their abs, hips and lower back can give Hot Core a try.

“Another workout that we have is called our HIIT, the High Intensity Interval Training which are our Hot Cycle and Hot Row,” Thornton said.

If anyone is looking for a traditional element in Hotworx they will find an area that resembles a normal gym setting with dumbbells and an universal weight lifting machine.

The benefits of using infrared saunas is detoxing because of the increase in sweat.

“All that sweat helps you with skin rejuvenation, weight loss and sports recovery,” Thornton said.

“People that workout really hard - they’re sore and their body aches but this heat loosens them up and helps with that sports recovery,” he added.

Chiropractors and doctors recommend their patients with back pain to go to Hotworx for relief.

In the future Hotworx plans to contribute more to Starkville through sponsorship and getting involved in the chamber.

The joining fee for Hotworx is $1 and $59 per month with unlimited use.

Discounts are offered to families, first responders, veterans, and teachers.

For more information call the studio at 662-498- 1552, or visit

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