The Body Building offers first cryotherapy chamber and infrared sauna in Central Valley

From left to right: The Body Building owner Kasey Kahl and general manager David Boutte. (Photo by Valerie Shelton/Clovis Roundup)

For some, going to the gym can be a challenge—where do you start, why does everyone there seem to be fit and know what they’re doing? But, The Body Building, a new full body management facility that opened July 14 across from Buchanan High School, is so much more than a gym.

While clients can certainly work out and get advice from a personal trainer at The Body Building, the facility also offers a handful of amenities, from massage therapy to chiropractic care to a full juice bar. Also unique to The Body Building are the Central Valley’s first cryotherapy chamber and infrared sauna.

Dubbed the “Big Daddy” by owner Kasey Kahl, the cryotherapy chamber cleanses the body of toxins by tricking the body into hypothermic mode, which kills bad cells and causes good blood cells to surge to vital organs.

“The chamber takes down your body to minus 300 degrees and makes your body think that it’s in hypothermia shock, so what happens is as your body is trying to survive all your good and nutrient rich blood cells go straight to your vitals,” Kahl said. “That is why you huddle your arms near your chest when you are cold because all your good blood is rushing to protect you. Well at minus 300 degrees as your bad deoxygenated blood is going through you trying to catch up, it is being depleted by the freezing cold temperature, taking away all the toxins. It just depletes the bad cells and when your body returns to homeostasis, it just goes ‘whoosh’ and all your good, nutrient rich blood cells rush throughout your body.”

The quick, cold process burns 800 calories a minute and Kahl said it works wonders for those who are sore from working out or those who suffer from arthritis, chronic pain and other aches and pains.

“It’s an incredible machine,” he said.

Arguably equally as incredible is the infrared sauna which works in the opposite way, using heat to make you sweat. Many local gyms have a regular sauna which offers the same sweating benefits, but the added infrared element makes The Body Building’s sauna one-of-kind, as its light rays enter your body and encourage toxins to move out, so the sweat produced is not simply sweat, it’s all the toxins in your body seeping out.

The best part about the infrared sauna, Kahl said, is it’s good for the mind as well as the body, calming those with anxiety disorders and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“What a regular sauna does is cause you to have a topical sweat; you sweat from the top out and you’re sweating body weight, water weight, fat, which is great,” Kahl said. “With the infrared, what happens is the infrared goes all the way down into your bone and pushes the toxins out and excretes everything that you’ve had your entire life. It detoxes your entire body. That light is not for aesthetics. That light is a chromotherapeutic device for medical purposes. It has 18 different stigmatic lights so think of the sun, you absorb nutrients and vitamins from the sun when your body is receptive to it. Your body’s pores are open and the infrared is pushing all the toxins out and those lights are calculated so if you have stress or are trying to lose weight or have anxiety or PTSD, it can be targeted to help with that.”

While those with muscle aches and pains find relief in the cryotherapy chamber and those with stress and anxiety sweat their worries away in the infrared sauna, post-op cancer patients can also get their groove back with specialized one-on-one yoga sessions.

“What most people don’t understand is after you have surgery for cancer you have to get your blood flowing and be mobile and start moving and you can’t do that without specific training so we are going to have a registered nurse come in here and do the training specifically restorative yoga for post-op cancer patients, Kahl said. “We’ll also have other yoga sessions, some aerial yoga and all kinds of sessions that are one-on-one, personal and private.”

Kahl said he and his wife Amanda strived to bring something unique to the City of Clovis—something he said its citizens desperately need that will benefit athletes and those wanting to lose weight and get in shape alike.

“My wife wanted to be a trainer because she has her kinesiology degree from Fresno State and I said ‘OK, we can get you a facility to train and get you some weights and a nice little system and go from there.’ Then I saw this location,” Kahl said. “We drove here on Jan. 3, six months ago, after a bottle of wine from New Years. We were just trying to relax and enjoy ourselves and we came and looked inside and there was nothing here. It was completely stripped. No insulation. No electrical. Nothing.

“We literally built this up from nothing and put everything we have in this—our hearts, souls, all of our finances—we put it all in because we know it’s going to be a really good thing for the community and it’s different. I already have a bunch of things I want to do for kids, for vets and anything that this can help people with as far as rehabilitation recovery, athletics sport enhancement, strength training, anything you can think of, we have it all here.”

Kahl has also handed over the reins to his best friend, trainer David Boutte, who is serving as general manager.

Boutte, who is in his 40s, has an athletic background and worked as a firefighter for 10 years. He has been training in some form or another for two decades, but said now that is older he has a deeper understanding of his clients.

“I’ve always been in shape so I couldn’t relate to everyone but as life happens, you get older, and I do have good genetics but life put me in a direction where I didn’t have an active job, I was busy all the time and I had stress and all these things that all these clients have always told me about but I could never really understand,” Boutte said. “I knew how to get them out of it but I’d never experienced it. Now I have a different perspective and am more empathetic. I’m smarter about this now than I was 15 years ago just because of life.”

Boutte’s experience and perspective combined with the atmosphere at The Body Building makes the facility a welcoming place for those training for the first time.

“We feel we have one of the best athlete farms in the state of California, which is one of the best states in the country, so we want to target that,” Boutte said. “But we also want to help people that aren’t comfortable walking into a gym, who aren’t comfortable in my own skin, and I told Kasey that I’m going to get these people in and out because they are going to get their mojo back and then they will leave. Birds will fly away, but it’s OK because they will have three friends behind them in the same situation who saw them go through the experience. In this profession, you want to keep people forever but if you do a good job they are going to go out there on their own.”

There are no memberships at The Body Building. Kahl said trainers will be able to charge their own prices, but people who already have a trainer or gym are welcome to come to The Body Building just to check out the juice bar, use the sauna or cryotherapy chamber or get a massage. Prices vary—the sauna, for example, is $19 a session. There are also package deals. The Beginner Body Cleanse, for instance, is $199 and includes a three-day juice cleanse, three infrared sauna sessions and one cryotherapy session.