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.
If you think Pilates is difficult, you should try Fierce45. New and upcoming trendy Pilates studios are starting to pop up all over Denver, and are becoming the new face of Pilates. It’s known as “Pilates on Steroids” since it’s more of an upbeat workout, with some modifications to the original Pilates machine. What’s also nice is that the workout is (thankfully) only 45 minutes.
Fierce 45 was created by Torrey Newman who was vice president in sales at an online company and decided to step down to teach yoga full time. Torrey tried her first “Pilates on steroids” class in Dallas and realized that there were no studios in Denver that offered this kind of Pilates, thus came Fierce 45. All classes are full body workouts. This includes legs, arms and core, but the order and specific moves vary from coach to coach and class to class. Each day is different and you will see consistency in class blocks and moves. There are currently three locations in Wash Park, LoHi, and Hilltop but are looking to expand into RiNo and downtown Littleton in the upcoming year.
Most of the class is spent on legs since legs are more powerful and have more muscle compared to arms and abs. How it’s broken down between each segment in the workout is about two minutes on legs, one minute on arms, and one minute on core, but certain positions do focus on more than one area. What else sets Fierce45 apart from other studios is that they use a spring-loaded resistance reformer machine. This machine allows heavy resistance to be added onto the machine while you are working out, in which you can choose to add more resistance if you feel comfortable with it.
Since it is a Pilates class, you are required to wear sticky socks. I went to the Wash Park location, which was easy to find parking for. The studio was clean and under each pilates machine were inspirational messages such as “Shaking = Change.” That specific phrase was under my machine, so you can imagine what I thought I was getting myself into. The instructor I had was Monica and she helped show me the ropes of how the machine worked before class. There are two bases — front and back — on the machine where you can stand on. The main part of the machine, that you are able to move between the front and the back, has the springs attached to it. These springs allow you to hook onto the resistance circles which are located at the front of the machine. These circles are colored with yellow and blue markers — blue has more resistance than the yellow circles. You can add or delete these based on what you are comfortable with. Everyone before class also fills out a little chalkboard square with what your goals are, I thought this was a cute idea since it gives you inspiration to why you are working out at that moment.
The class started with a little bit of a warm up (I do recommend getting there a little early so you can stretch on your own), and then got into the workout. Our first exercise involved planking from the baseboard onto the moving part of the machine. The first couple of segments were ab focused, and then we went more into focusing on the legs. We did a couple of lunges, which involved one foot on the base and one on the moving part. You can hold onto this long stick which they provide so you can keep your balance and not feel like you’re falling over. I would say about 90 percent of the segments we did involve a cou motion and then a pulse. The hardest part for me was the inner thigh workouts — like because I never know how to workout my inner thighs, but my legs were definitely violently shaking during that whole exercise. Each segment went by fairly quick with a lot of shaking on each one. But before I knew it we ended with child’s pose, which I was very relieved to finally rest my arms and legs.
It was hard to keep up with everyone, since you can tell that many were not beginners in this class. Luckily, the teacher pays close attention to you so she will correct you if you are mispositioned. However, this is definitely a class you need to try more than once in order to get the hang of things.
The good (or bad) part is that my legs were definitely left shaking for about an hour after the class. You can feel the burn the next day, but it’s not unbearable (my abs and legs were the main areas that were sore). It was nice with how short the workout was and it definitely felt good that the class focused on all the areas that I felt I needed to tone. It’s also great each teacher has a different style to teaching, so if you don’t like a certain instructor, you can go to a different studio or try a different time/day to see if you enjoy their flow more. Overall, I would definitely try this class again since I not only love this kind of Pilates, but it hits all the areas that I would like to work on.
Beware, it is hard to get into a class. Until they open new locations, you can expect to pre-plan your workout for about two weeks ahead to safely secure your spot.
Your first class at Fierce45 is free, regarding membership pricing- twice a week for a month is $159 and unlimited for a year is a $1,629. For more information on Fierce45 go here. All photo courtesy of Fierce 45.