This is a part of our ongoing ‘We Tried it’ series where we test out weird and wonderful things to do, eat or see in Colorado. Go here to see what else we’ve tried. Comment below and let us know what we should do next.
Incorporating a “ladder” into your workout may be just what you need to spice up your New Year’s fitness routine. Let’s be real, sometimes the same old workout can start to get boring after a month. Fitwall is a brand new concept that has only five locations across the United States, and we are lucky enough to have one of them right here in the Lower Highlands area. With the new year, we decided to give the brand new work out a go and see if it’s worth putting your resolutions to a test.
Fitwall was initially invented by a man in Wyoming. The ladder concept came about because it works out the body as a whole and burns more calories because you have to support your body weight more than if you’re just standing on the floor. The workouts are 50 minutes long, Monday through Sunday. Each day has a specific theme though. Mondays and Tuesdays are power days, Wednesdays and Thursdays are power- and cardio-focused, Fridays and Saturdays are cardio, and Sundays are focused on flexibility. The workouts change every three weeks so you have time to learn the workout and then by the time you’ve mastered it, you will be on to the next.
Fitwall is not just a “ladder” but it also has weight bands on the side of it and TRX straps. So you are not only just using the Fitwall itself for exercise, but you are also incorporating other techniques as well. There are dumbbells located at the side of it, and each dumbbell is a different weight. For instance, when we were doing one-legged leg raises while standing up, one hand would have an 8-pound dumbbell and the other would have a 10 pound, that way it can incorporate different muscle groups.
When you walk into the studio it is very clean and they have lockers, bathrooms and showers located towards the back. You are equipped with a heart rate monitor (only $10 to buy the strap) that shows up on the screen in class and on your iPad on top of your Fitwall. The heart rate monitor will show up in three different colors: orange, red and blue. When you are in the red zone you should be in a sprint, when you are in the orange zone you should just be moving around, and when you are in the blue zone you should be in the recovery stage and focused on getting your heart rate down. There are 15 spaces in the room, but the room doesn’t feel overcrowded at all. When you go to your space, you have your Fitwall in front of you as well as the TRX straps, weight bands, and dumbbells on the side.
What I enjoyed most is that you have your own iPad located directly on top of your Fitwall. I think this is a huge plus to the workout since it shows a video of people doing the workout, so when you are doing that movement, you can double check if you are doing it right instead of staring at the person next to you.
The class begins with a five-minute warm up and then you then start your first rotation — you have three rotations total. Each rotation is about eight minutes long and you do each rotation twice. At the end of the rotation, you end with a sprint. At one point of the workout, we were doing side planks while pulling the weight straps attached to the bottom of the Fitwall. Another time we were doing pushups that involved putting both elbows on the ground and then pushing yourself back up. I would say before your sprint at each rotation, these are really do-able given that the timing is only a minute for each move you are doing. So since it switches so quickly, you don’t really run out of energy or feel like you have to take a break. The music also changes with each new exercise which is nice especially if you aren’t feeling a song.
When it comes to the sprints at each rotation, those were especially hard. All of them involved the Fitwall, and some of them involved jumping up and down it. What I mean by this is that you would have both arms holding on to one section of the Fitwall and then you would “jump” with your feet to go from one section of the Fitwall up to the other, and then back down. It was almost like your doing a jump directly up but you catch yourself by putting your feet on the next step up. I found this very challenging because every time I did a jump up I was more worried about falling and was very focused on if my feet would 100 percent land on the next step up or down. The teacher warned me that with time people become more comfortable with it, but I was kind of disappointed since I didn’t feel like I got much out of the sprint’s like I should’ve.
At the end of the class, we did about a five-minute stretch and then ended on the note of everyone giving each other high-fives. We are were also greeted with some fancy cucumber water and cold towels (a definite plus).
Being that I am a huge cardio girl, I would’ve preferred to have more cardio in it because I didn’t sweat as much as I wanted too. I would go back either on a Friday or Saturday probably to try one of their other classes. However, it was nice how quickly the time passed. I also like that they add flexibility in on Sunday’s because it definitely seems like you get your bang for your buck with your membership since they offer a wide variety of classes. The teacher was also very attentive and great with instruction (she would tell me when I was doing certain moves wrong, which I like because I’d rather be doing the move right rather than wrong the whole time).
Your first class with Fitwall is free, and they do have membership options starting at $99, as well as your own personal training in the studio as well.
Fitwall is located at 2795 N Speer Boulevard, Suite 2, Denver, Colorado. For more information on Fitwall, go here. All photos courtesy of Fitwall.