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.
Setting aside experience and fitness level, Lone Tree CrossFit's coaches strive to create an environment where motivated individuals of all body types can work together, find support, and improve their physical well-being. The CrossFit program combines elements of weightlfting, gymnastics, and calisthenics to create a workout regimen based around simple, functional movements, which bolster strength and stamina over time. Most importantly, every attendee has the ability to scale the intensity of the exercises while still pushing themselves to the next level. Safety remains a priority for the trainers, so they lead specialized introductory sessions that help visitors master the fundamental techniques and learn the nicknames of each dumbbell.
With more than 30 years of experience in the fitness industry, Sharon Smith knows what it takes to get in shape. During her personal-training sessions, clients use everything from free weights, machines, and kettlebells to exercise balls and bands. Sharon works with clients one-on-one and in small groups, and while she trains clients of all ages, her specialty lies in people over 40. To help patrons obtain their ultimate fitness goals, MPowerU Personal Training also offers nutritional assistance and guidance.
A common sight at boot camp is a red-faced instructor shouting intimidating commands to participants straining with pain. At Davis Training, the trainers aim to erase this stereotype by creating an encouraging and supportive environment in which they never force their members to do military-style drills. Each session is geared toward virtually any fitness level and is different from the previous, and this variety helps foster full-body conditioning instead of just building muscles in the arms, legs, or toes.
Lance Farrell drew from his extensive background in tae kwon do to take down opponents in the ring for many years before he realized he could use his powers to help others combat obesity and health issues. He developed Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping to provide patrons of all fitness levels with a comfortable place in which to undergo a mental and physical transformation, much like a crushed-velvet cocoon. He stripped away the sparring and contact drills from his fighter training, leaving just the components that burn fat and build muscle.
When students sign up for a program, they're grouped into teams of peers who encourage one another through moments of weakness and provide a sense of accountability. The instructors and coaches guide these teams toward fitness on a 10-week quest based on four pillars—cardiovascular exercise to burn fat, strength training to build muscle, nutrition coaching to map out a healthy diet, and enthusiastic trainers to provide motivation. At the end of each session, each of Farrell's locations rewards a student with a $1,000 prize—or a year’s worth of high-fives—congratulating them on their dramatic physical transformation. Students who stick around and strive to get healthy over the course of a year get a shot at the $10,000 prize, though winners have reported that leading a healthier life is a greater reward than the money.
CrossFit has always been about functional movement. While most people don't have much call for lifting massive tires, heaving weighted ropes, and leaping onto raised platforms outside of the CrossFit studio, the exercises help folks avoid injury and conserve energy during mundane tasks, such as toting around heavy groceries or competing on Double Dare.
But folks cannot live on CrossFit alone. That's why Fit Society of Colorado?originally founded as a CrossFit gym?quickly expanded its reach to offer a whole spectrum of services devoted to wellness. After a characteristically intense and varied CrossFit workout, members might wind down with a Swedish or sports massage; if something seems off down the road, they can book an appointment with an acupuncturist, chiropractor, nutritional consultant, or life coach.
The breadth of Fit Society's offerings is partly a reflection of its head coach and cofounder, Adam Lauber: the CrossFit expert is also a personal trainer, massage therapist, and consultant with athletic-performance specialists Athlete Cell. To help fill in what little gaps remain, his fellow trainers lead boot camps, dance fitness, and yoga sessions, making the center so well-rounded that staff have to take turns keeping it from rolling down the hill.