The original idea for the sauna suit came off a conversation with Kal Yafai back in 2017, when I was in camp with him as he was training to defend his WBA title against Sho Ishida.
He was using a sauna suit and I noticed all of the sweat was leaking out of the ankles and wrists, making a mess of the gym. He didn't seem phased by this, nor did Rob McCracken. It was something that everyone had just accepted as 'the way it had to be'.
To me it seemed illogical that so much sweat was able to escape from the sauna suit because that surely would mean that heat wasn't being trapped the way it should be. Moreover, the more boxers I spoke to, the more it became apparent that typically their sauna suit lasted 1-4 months before it needed to be replaced.
I did more research into sauna suits and remembered the shitty Lonsdale and Everlast sauna suits that I used to use in the amateur days and I actually found I sweated more when I just wore more layers when I was training.
The conclusion, like pretty much every conclusion I've come to since first conceptualising BOXRAW, was that boxing brands had gotten lazy and weren't actually trying to add value to the market.
The Why for the Hagler Sauna Suit was to create the ultimate heat-trapping tool to enable the body to enter a fat-burning zone faster than anything else on the market. To make weight-cutting more efficient, we started by developing a lightweight weave with a rubberised lining that would stop any air or moisture from leaving the suit.
While I wanted the fabric to be light so you could train in it, I didn't want it so light that it felt like you had nothing on. I developed arthritis in my wrists and knuckles aged 21 and had to stop boxing competitively, but it also meant that my 5am runs became quite painful over the winter months.
Sauna suits seemed like a logical solution for this, however, what I noticed in testing was that despite the heat-trapping ability, they didn't help deflect gushes of cold wind. It was clear there was a fine balance to be found between something that was light, so it allowed free range of motion, and then something that was thick enough to support those who had joint issues when training in the cold.
As I researched into the benefits of hot weather training, I found the results mind-blowing. I spent eight intense months going back and forth with our factory to finally end up with the fabric we use today.
While working on the fabric, we also started to test different ways to ensure heat wouldn't escape and it was obvious that the neck, wrists, waistbands and ankles were areas that needed to sit as tight as possible to the body without cutting off circulation.
So many sauna suits on the market were simply just bin bags with no thought as to how heat gets out. We simply added an elasticated neckline and ankle cuffs and adjustable elasticated waistbands and wrist cuffs.
Next was the fit, which proved a much harder job than I could have ever anticipated. Boxers throw shots from a variety of angles and the ability to be able to keep light on your feet is really what separates the good from the great.
After testing with approx. 20 boxers across a multitude of weight classes, the sauna suit became restrictive depending on who was wearing it and how they moved. We tested over 30 fits to finally get to the perfect fit, which didn't restrict motion, while not being overly baggy and ultimately allowing the boxer to move in any way they wanted.
The Hagler Sauna Suit has no doubt been pivotal to our growth and has become the world's most popular sauna suit. Over 20 world champions, that I know of, regularly use the Sauna Suit and it's great to see a wider audience now start to use it for other fitness or training goals.
If you have any feedback on how we could improve this, please don't hesitate to leave a comment or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Soon I'll be working on another Sauna Suit which is going to take the market by storm...
Founder & CEO.