Dancer, teacher, lawyer, salesperson. These were the titles held by Functional Strength Pilates’s staff before they ditched their day jobs to pursue their passion for the more-than-80-year-old practice. Out of two Denver–area locations they teach traditional Pilates, which shows students how to breathe mindfully while aligning their spines to strengthen their cores. Continued practice can help students to decompress their joints so they can move more fluidly than the Vitruvian man doing the backstroke. The exercise also integrates well with rehabilitation regimens, which explains why the staff works closely with area physical therapists, orthopedic doctors, and chiropractors and their patients. Each of the two studios bolsters the Pilates curriculum with different supplemental practices—personal training at the Lone Tree location and yoga classes in Castle Rock.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.
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.
Some athletes want to focus on endurance. Others want to unlock their competitive spirit. Still others hope to get their chakra energy flowing. At CycleBar, there's a indoor cycling class for all those goals and more, each with its own light show and music. It's not just any music, either. Class playlists are high-octane, carefully-curated mixes of top 40 hits and indie tracks, starring artists from Iggy Azalea to Phantogram.
Regardless of theme and tunes, all sessions have one key thing in common: high-tech stationary bikes, which the CycleBar team dubs "intelligent." While not quite self-aware enough to be vain about their handlebars' symmetry, the cycles do store each athlete's workout stats, allowing for long-term fitness tracking.
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.
If you've never stepped onto a yoga mat before, Yoga Trigo may be the best place to start. The beginner-friendly studio offers a Trigo Foundations workshop that introduces newbies to basic yoga poses and breathing exercises—and even covers topics such as what to wear, which props to use, and how loud you should bark when performing downward-facing dog. Experienced yogis, meanwhile, have their pick of Yoga Trigo's large variety of classes, all performed in a studio heated to a comfortable room temperature. Vinyasa power classes, for example, allow students to practice advanced balancing postures and inversions, whereas Yoga Fusion classes focus on proper alignment as students learn to sync breath and movement.