UFC Gym’s four fight-centric Denver-area gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
After 700 hours of training, the instructors of Bikram's Yoga College at Westminster and Longmont each received their certification from Bikram Yoga's founder, Bikram Choudhury. The team's collective expertise ensures students can safely execute Bikram's 26 circulation-boosting poses and two breathing exercises. During group or private classes, they'll help each student to transition from one stance to another as the studio's heating system incites greater flexibility and a detoxifying sweat. They cultivate a judgment-free atmosphere, welcoming participation from those with no prior yoga or volcano-spelunking experience.
The two Colorado studios host their sessions beneath 10- and 11.5-foot ceilings to foster a spaciously steamy setting. An onsite retail store equips patrons with gear, and a board-certified massage therapist ousts any lingering limb tension with a massage.
PlanetSwim founder and owner Stephan's life is a timeline of aquatic achievements, containing awards that he won as a competitive swimmer as well as several teaching titles—lifeguard trainer and Red Cross–certified swim instructor among them. At PlanetSwim, Stephan holds his staff to similar standards. Each teacher has a minimum of five years of swim-instruction experience and has also been Red Cross–certified. Together, the team channels its knack for tutelage into swim lessons for children and adults of all ages in indoor, heated pools, including the one in Louisville, which is filled with warm water to encourage students to get in.
PlanetSwim's philosophy centers around personal attention, an element that demands small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere. Whether they are leading a 10-minute lesson for a water-shy toddler or an intermediate course on different strokes, the instructors monitor their pupils closely to ensure both comfort and development of technique.
Licensed aestheticians Lynda Young and Monique Mannino split their time between administering spa treatments at Rock Creek Medi Spa and educating students at its adjoining Esthetics Institute. The aestheticians helm a staff of technicians and valedictorian lasers who restore balance and radiance to skin. In addition to addressing epidermal concerns, staff members use non-invasive treatments to contour curves, reduce fine lines, and zap away unwanted hair.
B Fitness's owner Mike Byrne writes that he created B Fitness to be a community within a community—a claim that is backed by a wealth of evidence. He and wife Sandy, a local teacher, have been involved in the surrounding community for more than three decades through activities such as the Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA. B Fitness has also hosted a fitness challenge for Westminster's police and fire departments.
The gym itself, which is stacked with strength-training and cardio equipment as well as group fitness, cycling, and CrossFit classes, provides a home away from home for exercisers. A café quenches thirst with nutritious smoothies and refuels hungry patrons with healthy snacks. The child-care center offers video monitoring for parents on their treadmill's personal TV while a Wii, puppet theater, and bounce house entertain children. Kids can expend extra energy during fitness classes such as rock climbing, yoga, and dodgeball.
The Westminster branch of Fitness 19 boasts a long line of cardio machines perched in front of TVs. Free weights and weight machines stand opposite of the treadmills, and guests can workout at their own pace or under the guiding eye of a personal trainer who customizes workout routines to suit each guests’ goals.