Cold as ice: ABQ gym mixes in cryotherapy - Albuquerque Journal

Cold as ice: ABQ gym mixes in cryotherapy

From left, Art Lucero, Jason Blotsky and Lou Garcia, co-owners of Absolute Fitness ABQ. (Courtesy of Absolute Fitness ABQ)

Albuquerque is about to get a little bit colder.

It’s not the start of fall, but the opening of a new gym at 6001 San Mateo NE, which offers cryotherapy — a treatment that uses subzero temperatures to reduce inflammation and boost circulation.

Absolute Fitness ABQ, a franchise of U.S. Cryotherapy, offers classes and personal training besides cryotherapy, and is the only Albuquerque distributor of 1st Phorm Fitness Supplements. Gym co-owner Lou Garcia describes the location as a “one-stop wellness center” that combines fitness and recovery.

“Recovery is just as important as training,” Garcia said. “If you haven’t recovered, you’re not going to be able to train as hard.”

Garcia started using cryotherapy four years ago for a neck injury that he’d gotten in a car crash in high school. He lost 20% of the mobility in his neck, and said he tried everything from acupuncture to surgery. Cryotherapy was the only thing that brought him relief.

“Within about the first 30 seconds, I was in disbelief that I could even move my neck,” Garcia said of his first time in the chilling temperatures. “… It was pretty unbelievable.”

He tried cryotherapy for the first time in Sacramento, and hasn’t seen similar treatments in Albuquerque.

“After I tried cryotherapy, I really wanted to bring that to Albuquerque because there was nothing like that in town,” Garcia said.

Absolute Fitness ABQ has a cryotherapy room filled with refrigerated air at a frigid minus 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Members have to gear up, covering their ears, hands and feet. Besides slippers, socks and gloves, however, people using cryotherapy generally wear little other clothing to maximize the treatment. At Absolute Fitness ABQ, members can only stand in the room for at most 3.5 minutes.

“Having that immediate relief, it was worth the cold,” Garcia said.

The gym had its grand opening Saturday.

“I think this is a center that’s really gonna bring a lot of great things to the community,” said gym co-owner Art Lucero.

“We’re kind of all the missing pieces that Albuquerque doesn’t really have right now,” Garcia added.

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