The premise Headquartered in Cherry Creek, Pure Barre is an athletic approach to Pilates and ballet, which consists of barely perceptible, concentrated movements—less motion than even a crunch—designed to work muscles almost to failure. Yes, there's a studio bar involved—as well as a rubber ball, resistance band, and free weights—but no slippers or pirouettes.
Why it works The emphasis on "in and up" gravity-defying core movements pulls muscles into a leaner, longer shape.
What we like The music. Founder and CEO Carrie Rezabek personally creates—and choreographs to—four energy-filled playlists a month.
What we love The "Pure Barre ledge:" A term coined by the staff members, who can tell by a woman's derriere if she does the Pure Barre workout. Usage: "Those jeans look so hot on her—she definitely has a Pure Barre ledge."
Try it 720-276-1493, 201 University Blvd., Suite 107, www.purebarre.com
The premise Three hours of hard-core, large-group fitness sessions that punish every muscle in the body. Think stair-cardio (4,416 steps!) and incline push-ups—at Red Rocks.
Why it works Class leader Joe Hendricks—the fittest man alive, we're convinced—is constantly devising new moves to prevent boredom and truly exhaust you by the end of class.
What we like It's free. And more people joining (175 in a session) means less intimidation. Sort of.
What we love The setting. Who else in the world gets to work out in such an inspiring place?
Try it Sat.-Sun. 8-11 a.m., Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison; Wed. 6-9 p.m., Denver Millennium Bridge, 16th and Little Raven streets. www.itburns-joefitness.com
The premise A holistic approach to fitness that combines intense training (circuit, interval, or bodybuilding) with before-and-after therapeutic sports massage.
Why it works Massage softens and stretches the muscles that have unnecessarily contracted during training. The two-pronged approach, personally delivered by owner/personal trainer/massage therapist Felix Jovel, provides overall body conditioning and helps burn more calories, according to some studies.
What we like The hip studio space at the burgeoning Taxi development means a post-workout snack (healthy, of course) at Taxi's Fuel Cafe is always a possibility.
What we love The ingenious motivation factor. What better way to urge you through an intense workout than to promise a full-body rubdown at the end?
Try it 303-588-8438, 3457 Ringsby Court, www.drive-fitness.com