Zen Brighton Infrared Sauna Review
The time you spend in the gym pushing your body beyond its current limits are one part of the equation... most guys have this under control.
But when we flip the coin and look at recovery, the other crucial component there seems to be a disconnect.
If you want to maximize your performance you must also maximize your recovery.
That's why instead of paying to use a sauna a couple of times a week I decided to buy my own.
Being low on space the Zen Brighton infrared sauna was the model of choice for me, fitting perfectly into the corner of a spare room.
There are very few reviews or comments about this particular model online so creating this article was a must (I wish there was a comprehensive written review before I bought mine, I took a gamble!).
- LIFETIME warranty on carbon heaters | 12 months general warranty
- Product Weight 75 kg
- Product Dimensions W 90cm x D 65cm x H 185cm
- Wattage 960w
- Voltage 220v
- CE Certified
- Interior: Canadian Hemlock
- Exterior: MDF Surface on Hemlock
Building & Build Quality
For the price I wasn't sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised.
The instructions, pre-drilled holes, quality of parts and ease of assembly were all slightly above my expectations.
Being stubborn I assembled the sauna by myself in an hour - however I don't recommend doing it on your own as holding and joining the sides together at the same time is a hell of a stretch.
When assembling it goes without saying to ensure you don't end up with any panel gaps - carefully check each side after you've screwed it down to the base - otherwise you'll find you're losing heat and the maximum temperature of your sauna will be significantly reduced.
Using The Zen Brighton Infrared Sauna
The Zen Brighton infrared sauna takes roughly 20 - 25 minutes to reach it's maximum temperature of around 60 degrees from an ambient room temperature of around 17 - as such as soon as I get home from the gym I start heating up the sauna. Should you forget to turn it off or have to leave in an emergency the sauna has a maximum timer of 60 minutes so there's no big concern about leaving it on indefinitely.
I rarely find myself adjusting the timing as 30 - 35 minutes in the sauna once its maximum temperature has been reached is perfect.
The first 10 or 15 minutes you'll be skeptical as your body starts to warm up a bit, the following 15 minutes are nothing other than a pool of sweat!
Using your sauna before bed? Add a few drops of lavender essential oil into sauna before you get in - the combination of the lavender oil and the relaxing heat from the infrared sauna guarantees a great sleep.
Want some extra focus and energy? Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil into your sauna before you get in.
5 Infrared Sauna Benefits I've Noticed
1 - Detoxification
Our body eliminates toxins by sweating. The advantage of a infrared sauna over a traditional sauna in this regard is that a regular sauna only heats the air within the sauna. Meanwhile, an infrared sauna heats your body directly causing a rise in temperature without the internal heat of the sauna room itself being as high.
The result – an intense detoxifying sweat at a cellular level.
Here’s a study noting the core temperature of an individual in a infrared sauna vs. that of a traditional sauna.
During my research on the detoxification benefits from infrared saunas many experts report detoxification results are up to seven times (!) greater in a infrared sauna vs. a traditional sauna.
2- Stress Relief
Heat is fantastic for stress relief and relaxation, so it comes as no surprise that the infrared sauna is one of the most affective means of stress relief and relaxation that I’ve personally come across.
As I’ve discussed before, a high level of stress is a result of increased cortisol levels which is responsible for that ‘fight or flight’ reaction we get under times of immense tension.
While in an infrared sauna cortisol levels remain relatively stable, however upon finishing off your session in the infrared sauna cortisol levels generally drop quite drastically – resulting in reduced blood pressure, lower heart rate, efficient burning of calories.
The infrared sauna heats your body directly as opposed to a traditional sauna which is a lot more of a harsh and intense experience to sit through for anywhere above 20 minutes, making the experience itself more relaxing and the tangible benefits more noticeable afterwards too!
3 - Improved (Circulation) Recovery From Heavy Workouts
I eat well, supplement smartly and perform active recovery throughout the week, however performing heavy compound exercises such as the squat, bench press, overhead press etc. do all take their toll on the body – especially when working in the 4 – 6 rep range.
Tight muscles, aches and pro-longed delayed onset muscle soreness have all become quite common for me.
Regular use an infrared sauna has drastically improved my recovery time between workouts and overall feeling of my joints and muscles.
You can thank the heat penetrating your body from the infrared sauna increasing circulation and speeding up oxygen flow for these recovery benefits.
4 -Weight Loss (reduced water retention)
Here’s where many bloggers and infrared sauna advocates lose all credibility.
A infrared sauna will NOT cause you to drop three pants sizes or unlock six pack abs without doing any exercise. That’s not how it works at all and it never will – don’t by into these marketing ploys targeting your lethargic nature.
Many fighters and bodybuilders will use infrared saunas in order to cut weight in the form of water weight several days out from their fight/competition/weigh in. It’s very important that we differentiate that we’re taking about weight in the form of fluid (water retention) we’re not talking about fat loss.
Spending time in an infrared sauna will leave you looking ‘dryer’ and leaner provided your body fat is already relatively low – however this weight can easily be put back on by avoiding the sauna and increasing your fluid intake.
Prior to a photoshoot or event which I want to look my leanest for, a week or two beforehand I increase my water intake, supplement with dandelion root extract and use a combination of Epsom salt baths and infrared sauna sessions. When you’re 10% body fat or below implementing these few techniques at the last minute can take your physique from good to great or great to jaw dropping depending on how much fluid you’re currently retaining.
5 - Clarity Of Mind
This ties in with the stress reduction mentioned previously.
One area I need to work on is allowing myself more time to relax and unwind – constantly working on a combination of my online businesses, training, coaching and assisting others to reach their goals I have a very limited amount of time to take a step back, clear my mind and re-assess any trials or tribulations that I’m facing.
40 minutes in a quiet sauna is a fantastic time to achieve this clarity.
Reading a book, meditating, listening to relaxing music or journaling are the 4 go-to options for clearing my mind and relaxing in the infrared sauna – it’s a matter of finding what works best for you.