Time To Get On Board: I Tried the Cult-Favorite Brrrn Board & Here Are My Honest Thoughts
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Working out at home has become more and more popular since the pandemic began in 2021. While there are plenty of at-home fitness machines and gadgets on the market these days (hello, Peloton), there’s a new workout system on the horizon. Brrrn, a chic fitness studio in New York City, recently launched an at-home version of its premium sliding boards for people nationwide to stay in shape. If you’re skeptical about making an investment, read ahead for my comprehensive Brrrn board review.
In 2018, Brrrn opened in New York City and quickly gained popularity for its “cool temperature concept” in which the studio is set at a degree between (45°F-60°F). Unlike hot yoga, Brrrn provides a ~chill~ place for people to work out in a cool and comfortable environment. Prior to the pandemic, members were able to take fitness classes like yoga, HIIT, and yoga at the brand’s Flatiron studio.
Developed with a blend of scientific methodologies including cool temperature exposure (called mild cold stress) and exercise (called environmental conditioning), Brrrn strives to enhance the workout experience with its simple and evidence-based concepts.
“When you turn the temperature down and work out in cooler temperatures like our cool-temp (50°F) studio at Brrrn, you can work out harder for longer because heat is [is not] in the way,” says Johnny Adamic, Co-founder of Brrrn. As a result, you get a much more intense workout without wanting to faint — you’ll burn more calories and fat, trigger a host of physiologies and release mood-boosting endorphins that help you feel more alert, focussed, and maintain performance at peak levels of exertion.
As someone who generally runs hot, the thought of a cold gym definitely caught my attention. However, over the past year, Brrrn was closed to adhere to social distancing guidelines. It reminded me how much I missed ice skating and the feeling of gliding side to side on the ice (my childhood hobby). So, I decided to get my hands on an at-home Brrrn board.
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BRRRN Slide Board
Even though I wouldn’t be able to feel the chill of the studio (which would have been epic, TBH), the at-home slide board, I could, at least, pretend I was ice skating from the comfort of my own home. Since I’ve missed out on some of my favorite activities would be well worth it. Plus, when I got tired of gliding, I could use it for other low-impact workouts so it was not just a one-and-done deal.
Similar to the classes at the studio, Brrrn Board owners can take part in guided workouts on the app, which is chock-full of different workouts, from full-body strength training to cardio. With the app, members get access to top-notch instructors and a large variety of different intensity levels — just like you’d find in a studio. It’s basically bringing the studio to your home minus the air conditioning – but hopefully, your place has an AC.
Since the studio has closed for safety reasons, Brrrn decided to provide people with the experience at home with its Brrrn Board and I wanted to test it out.
So what exactly is the Brrrn Board you may ask? It’s basically a portable sliding board that provides users with a versatile, low-impact fitness experience. Some of my personal favorite workouts include a 20-minute cardio sculpt class, a 10 minute lower body boot camp, a 45-minute power flow class, and a 30-minute total body boot camp.
Made with a custom polymer blend, the Brrrn Board is said to be thicker than other sliding boards. In all fairness, I’ve never used a sliding board prior to the Brrrn Board, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but from my experience, it does feel thick and extremely smooth — perfect for sliding.
“They were built to last with recycled materials and engineered to stay secure on your floor so that the product doesn’t slide on any surface like the rest of the market’s options,” says Jimmy Martin, co-founder of Brrrn. “I think people really appreciate the black aesthetic of the slide deck and the repurposed wood we use for the bumper –– it weighs 32 lbs so it’s also portable and storable and the bumpers are 3 inches wide which is the perfect size for placing your hands on to support a plank.”
Brrrn Board Six-Foot
Brrrn has two Brrrn Boards available: 5-foot ($229) and 6-foot ($299). Both of the boards come with a one-month free on-demand subscription package, a pair of slide booties (5-12″), slide mittens and board care wipes by Armor All.
When I took the board out of the box, it was already assembled and ready to use (and thank god, because I hate assembling). All I had to do was peel off the plastic and follow the simple set-up instructions. The Brrrn Board comes with a pack of wipes and sprays, which you are directed to use before your first use. At first, I just used the wipe and could not even slide to one side. I was wondering if I was doing something wrong, and in fact, I was. I forgot the spray. Make sure you use a decent amount of spray to give the board some “slickness.” Without the spray, you won’t glide as smoothly — trust me.
As with any new exercise machine or device, I experienced a learning curve when I initially stepped onto the board. I had to practice sliding back and forth until I got a feel for the board and how much force I had to use. I’d say this depends on how long your legs are and the intensity and speed you’re looking to achieve. Personally, I decided to keep it slow and simple. The booties took a few minutes to get used to because it feels like there are shower caps on your feet. When I tried to glide with solely my socks, it was not as smooth and more difficult because of the friction.
Once I got the hang of it, I did one of the brand’s virtual on-demand fitness classes. (Note: The board only comes with one month of free classes, so if you want to participate in the classes then subscribing — $15/mo. or $144/yr —- is your best bet.
I appreciated how the classes were designed for people with different athletic abilities and goals in mind. The 10-minute class I did “Intro to Slide” helped me get more acquainted with the board. By the end of the video, I broke a sweat and could tell I was using muscle groups that haven’t been used in a while. While my balance has improved from using the board, I get pretty tired after a 20-minute class so I’ve been sticking to 20 minutes or less. When I’m feeling stressed, I pull out the board and do some guided sun salutations found on the app, and when it’s done slide it right under my bed.
Since using the board for nearly a month, I’ve definitely noticed more definition in my legs. There are muscles being used that I didn’t even know existed and I’ve unlocked core strength I never knew was there — a major added bonus. I’ll likely continue using the Brrrn Board because it’s actually a workout I want to do. I can’t really say that about climbing on a stair machine or running on the treadmill, but mimicking ice skating motions can be fun and there’s a lot more versatility to work with.
What I also loved about the Brrrn Board is that whether you live in a small studio apartment or a pint-sized dorm room, you can literally work out anywhere and because it easily stores under your bed, it takes up virtually no space at all.
The videos were some of the highest quality exercise videos I’ve seen in a hot minute. I felt like I was in an IRL exercise studio being taught by a real instructor — who were all so energetic and professional. For someone who doesn’t do exercise classes often, I liked how there was the option to rewind and pause so I could go at my own pace.
Overall, if you’re looking to switch up your workouts, I’d recommend trying the Brrrn Board to see what you think.