The Mile High City is bursting with ways to tone your tummy (and your thighs, and your biceps). Every month, new fitness studios open—all with methods sworn to revolutionize the way you work out. While they can’t all be the right fit for everyone, it’s worth giving them a try. (Plus, we can never have too many exercises in our repertoire, right?) We’ve decided to explore as many as we can, one by one, to help break down your options—and hopefully help our readers find the workouts that work for them. No more excuses: Your perfect fitness regimen is waiting for you.
Class: Games, also marketed as Recess for Adults
Sweat meter (1–10): 6
Instructor: Bodybuilder Sergio Cruz, whose muscles have muscles
Format: The class is split into teams, which compete against one another to finish a total of eight circuits first. Each circuit contains the same number of moves as there are members on your team; in the class I attended, there were three-person teams so one circuit might consist of jump roping, lunges with dumbbells, and skaters. The number of reps ranges from 10 to 100+ based on the circuit—but only one member of the team needs to complete the full number of reps for an exercise. Say Jane is jump roping, Bill is lunging, and Matt is skating, and the listed rep requirement for this circuit is 80. Once someone—anyone—gets to 80 reps, each team member rotates to a different exercise in the circuit until everyone has done each move and the team can start the next circuit. Usually there will be one move per circuit that will be the easiest to complete quickly, so you don’t have to go through the full reps for each exercise—which means you’re suffering (slightly) less at the end of the class than you expect.
What it’ll (allegedly) do: Build strength and endurance thanks to the combination of resistance exercises with light dumbbells and the occasional cardio moves like mountain climbers.
Why it works: The strength exercises are done in fewer reps so you’re not bulking up, but you’re still developing muscle. Plus, the competitive nature of the workout transforms its into more of a game (hence the name of the class), so time goes by quickly.
What you’ll need: Just you—any mats, dumbbells, medicine balls, or other apparatuses you need are supplied for you. My House Fitness even stocks the gym with disposable water bottles.
Where it’s offered: The Florida-based gym opened a location in Thornton a couple weeks ago, and will debut another in Parker in the coming months. Check the online schedule for specific class times as they change every week.
Price: $20 per class
Favorite moves: The beauty of this class is how many different moves it incorporates—so you’re never bored. If you’re looking to ease into circuit training but still get the most out of your workout, however, Cruz recommends doing 1) squats, 2) dumbbell shoulder presses, and 3) Russian twists.
Instructor insight: Cruz says My House Fitness’ intimate setup helps participants feel more comfortable in fitness classes (and I agree). “I know all of these people’s names,” he says, gesturing to the rest of my class. “And they know each other. That makes them want to come—and makes us different from other gyms.”
Doesn’t sound like the right fit? Check back as we explore other fitness classes in the Denver area.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.