It’s been said that change is one of the only constants in life. It applies to our careers, our popular culture, even our habits. Now, thanks to years of trial, error and technology, you can see how “change” applies to our physical fitness.

Gone are the days of venturing to gyms with only free weights, exercise machines and a few treadmills from which to choose. Today, facilities are becoming more appealing and far more advanced, relying on research and evolutionary practices to help you achieve your best while also saving time to accommodate your busy schedule.

One gym fusing exercise with such new techniques is HOTWORX in Benton. The premise centers around what owner Michael McNamara calls 3D training—a combination of fitness, heat and infrared energy.

“It works great because it’s all part of the full process,” he said. “When you’re in one of our saunas, you’re getting the heat (approximately 125-degrees), the exercise and the infrared. You could be doing yoga, Pilates or a hot core class, allowing for a full workout with reduced soreness in much shorter time.”

So how does the HOTWORX 3D approach work, especially where infrared energy is concerned? 

“(Infrared) strengthens and activates the regenerative properties within the body, accelerating the recovery after a workout,” he said. “It penetrates an inch and a half into the muscle tissue. If you’re really sore or if you’ve had an intense work out, it helps stimulate muscle recovery and get the lactic acid out of your muscles.

“Infrared also has a lot of medical uses,” he added. “Several people come in who’ve had knee replacement or hip replacement just to get their mobility back. By relying on the heat and the infrared, they get their muscles warmed up and can stretch much better once they get the combination of the two.”

A lifelong entrepreneur and a Bryant native, McNamara discovered the HOTWORX approach to fitness after he began experiencing severe soreness following his own cross fit sessions.

“I started doing some research and began learning a little more about infrared and saunas,” he said. “After trying a few alternatives that really didn’t work out for me, I learned more about the infrared component with the sauna and drove to Memphis to research the HOTWORX locations. It was a night-and-day difference from what I had experienced from other saunas, and I realized we had to have this here in Saline County.”

McNamara says the “heat” component is self-explanatory, where exercising in a room at such a high temperature allows for calories to be burned at a higher rate and the body will stretch and become more flexible faster.

“The heat speeds up your metabolism,” he said. “You warm up quickly, meaning a better workout in less time. In the past, you might have to warm up for 10 or 15 minutes leading into your workout, but not with heat. You can get in more work in less time.”

McNamara says weight loss remains the major benefit of the hot workouts, with some clients burning up to 500 calories in a 30-minute session. Other clients have seen improvements lowering their blood pressure, reducing stress and improving circulation. 

McNamara does say, though, if you have a history of medical concerns, you should consult a doctor before going all-in with HOTWORX. “We want everyone who joins us to have the best experience, so if you have any questions, it’s best to get checked out first,” he said.

 Response to HOTWORX has been overwhelming. Currently, the facility has just over 400 members, and McNamara says the results he’s seen are more than impressive. “We’re in the business of selling fitness in a safe and time-friendly environment. It’s great to hear from so many about the positive results they’ve seen, and that’s the real point for us.” 

The HOTWORX Benton location allows for 24-hour access to fit your schedule, and scheduling workouts is incredibly simple. McNamara says all you need is a smartphone.

“This is what helps make the process so simple,” he said. “Sessions are booked through the app, and the classes range from yoga and Pilates to core training and rowing.

“Once you’re in the sauna, the workout is what you experience with your virtual trainer on the television screen in your room,” he added. “Often, we encourage our clients to continue the same types of workouts for several sessions so they can see exactly how much they are improving. In a class like hot yoga, someone may not be able to touch their toes at first. Within a month or two, their hands’ palms will be down on the floor. Those are the results we really want people to see.”

In addition to his Benton location at 20320 I-30 North, McNamara plans to expand HOTWORX locations to Little Rock and Conway. For more information, go to