Barre classes

Barre classes, interval training and five types of yoga classes are available under infrared at Red Effect within the Shops of Norterra.

Brittany Wise loved the Michigan-based Red Effect Infrared Fitness company so much that when she prepared to move west, she opened one in the Shops of Norterra. 

“I was a member of the Red Effect group fitness in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I fell in love with the product while walking in and having options of classes to take and I felt comfortable as a community,” Wise said.

“It didn’t feel like I didn’t belong, it just felt like a family.”

Wise and her family moved into the Fireside Norterra community and opened Red Effect in the Shops of Norterra on Jan. 6 — the day before her birthday.

What sets Red Effect apart from other fitness studios is the infrared technology that is used during every class and in the personal saunas.

“All of our classes and all of our workouts are under infrared, which helps with recovery and anti-aging,” Wise said. “A lot of our members would like the option to burn an extra 100 calories per class with infrared and really just taking advantage of that.”

Infrared is a colorless light that “warms the core” making it possible to burn extra calories while working out in a room set at “78 to 79 degrees.” Red Effect uses red lights in its fitness room “because it’s fun,” according to Wise.

“We offer hour-long interval training classes with heart rate monitoring,” Wise said. “We have barre studio-type classes and we also have yoga classes — five different types of yoga. Then we also have the personal infrared saunas.”

Membership is available on a monthly basis without a commitment. Memberships start at $99 per month for eight sessions a month to $159 per month for unlimited interval training, barre, yoga and infrared saunas.

“A lot of people take a sauna after class to help with recovery,” Wise said.

“A lot of people will take saunas in lieu of classes just to burn a few extra hundred calories or if it’s a recovery day for them they’ll just go to the sauna.

“For the hour-long classes, the first 28 minutes or so are spent on the treadmill and the last half of the class is spent on the water rower and doing like the synergy floor work,” she said. 

Red Effect is similar to Orangetheory Fitness, but the Norterra facility has additional weights, battle ropes and other fitness equipment that can be used during the interval classes, according to Wise.

Most of the saunas are on the second floor. Members can use them when needed. 

“It’s a three-person sauna but only one person is there at a time,” Wise said.

“It just gives them plenty of space if they want to do meditation or yoga or just stretch out. They all have Bluetooth so that people can listen to their favorite playlists (podcasts or watch Netflix),” she said.

 Each sauna includes a “sanctuary box” that houses members’ technology like iPads to watch TV shows or guided meditations in the sauna.

Because Red Effect opened during the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitation is a priority for the fitness studio.

“We don’t know a world before COVID so for us we had to sanitize after every class,” Wise said.

“Now we know we don’t need to do all of that, but we still probably do more hand cleaning than other studios did pre-COVID, but that’s only because, to us, that’s the only thing we know and it’s natural for us.”

Members are required to wipe down their equipment after use and employees take the time to mop and further disinfect the room after a class.

Classes are available at 100% capacity and just last month the studio stopped “staggering treadmills” to help socially distance the members during class. After receiving community feedback that members felt “OK being closer together,” Wise made the switch.

“As an owner, I love seeing and meeting everybody every day,” Wise said.

“I like seeing how they grow. We have people who go from walkers to runners to people who swore they would never be able to do a barre class and now they are doing three or four a week. I love just seeing them every week.”

Close to home

As new Norterra residents, Wise sees it as “a blessing and a curse” working within 6 minutes from her house. However, she thoroughly enjoys being a part of the community that will host donation drives that will be “directly affecting my kids,” according to Wise.

“This is our community, and we couldn’t think of a better spot to open,” Wise said.

“We love our neighbors. A lot of the other small businesses in the Shops of Norterra are owned by (our neighbors), they live here too. It’s been a real joy getting to meet the other owners in the community in the shops.”