Many people start working out every January to look better in their birthday suits, but a new fitness class at a Lower East Side gym wants you to actually work out naked. That's right, in your birthday suit.
“These naked personal training sessions are all about creating a ‘new (‘nu-de’) you’, as guests burn the calories whilst nude,” the team at Hanson Fitness wrote in a Facebook post announcing the class. The gym — which bills itself as having “Rihanna’s favorite celebrity trainers” — claims that working out sans clothes provides “a number of benefits” including “skin breathing, the release of endorphins due to Vitamin D from sunlight and complete body awareness so you can see if you're cheating on your exercise routines.”
And they aren’t kidding about the whole naked thing.
“The class is designed to be a total body workout that uses your body weight as resistan[ce] to work the glute, butt, legs and core — making you look and feel good naked.”
This isn’t a new concept. Emma Dench, professor of the Classics and of History at Harvard, told WBUR said that it dates back thousands of years.
“[T]he ancient Greeks indeed exercised and competed in the nude, enjoying a cult of the beautiful body that often has upper class connotations and that is also associated with male-male admiration and sensual or even outright sexual pleasures that were sometimes problematized,” she told the radio station. “I don’t think they came up with any utilitarian explanation: I think it was rather an aesthetic ideal.”
Is it better to work out naked?
Various blog posts extol the virtues of working out in the buff, though it all seems to be anecdotal, rather than science-based.
“[C]ivilized people can work that out for themselves so it is not an issue at any sessions that I attend in the UK,” one man wrote in response to the Facebook post. “Workout, gym, yoga and 5K runs are all a lot more comfortable done naked — in particular the body is much better able to regulate temperature so you don't end up in sweaty sportswear.”
Work out naked if you want...but know the risks
While fully consenting adults definitely have the right to exercise in the nude, there are some serious health aspects to consider before signing up for the Hanson Fitness class. Gyms have a bad reputation for spreading Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an infection that is becoming more common because of antibiotic resistance. It’s nothing to mess with: New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells had to retire from the NFL after almost losing his foot to MRSA.
The best way to avoid contracting MRSA or other nasty infections from the gym is to wipe down all surfaces — and don’t allow skin contact with the gym equipment. Don’t worry, though: You don’t have to strip down to attend Hanson Fitness.
“Nude underwear can be worn if desired,” the gym wrote on Facebook.