I work out four to five times a week. I’ve run a half-marathon. I even had a six-pack once. In other words, I would consider myself to be in decently good shape. At least I did until I was mid-workout at the newest Fierce45 studio in Hilltop.
Holding a plank on a spring-loaded board designed to keep tension in your muscles, I looked down to see a sign with the saying “If not you, who? If not now, when?” I assessed my shaking muscles and started to wish “now” would be over—stat.
“Usually after their first class people will say, ‘Wow, that was so hard, but I love it,’ ” owner Torrey Newman tells me.
Newman opened the first Fierce45 studio in LoHi in 2015, followed by a spot in West Wash Park and now, with the Holly Street locale’s Feb. 1 debut, she’s kicking people’s behinds (including “The Bachelor” alums Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell), in three Denver studios. The Fierce45 gym’s one-of-a-kind workout: the Lagree method.
Designed as a high-intensity, low-impact routine, Lagree pairs very slow and controlled movements that constantly keep tension with quick transitions and a large range of motion to work smaller muscles past the point of failure and into building mode. “Your body goes into survival mode, and then is trying to find help, so is recruiting every other muscle in your body,” Newman says. “You work major muscle groups, too—because you have to.”
All the movements are done on the MegaFormer machine (a cross between a bench and row machine that’s large, with all moveable parts) and, thanks to that tension, one workout takes just 45 minutes. The result: 500-800 calories burned each session and significant, visible differences in your body within three classes (taken within seven days).
Having been a serious ballerina until she was 18 and then a yoga instructor at CorePower Yoga, Newman says she got hooked on Lagree after taking classes in New York and Dallas. “I was in Dallas with my sister who has four children and is in the best shape of her life after four kids, so I asked her, ‘What are you doing?’ ” she recalls. She came back to Denver looking for a Lagree studio and, when she couldn’t find one, decided to open a place of her own.
The largest class size ranges from 9 to 12 people, depending on the studio: Members can get personal attention, and newcomers don’t feel intimidated. Each class starts with a piece of chalk and Fierce45’s intention wall, where you write what you hope to get out of the day’s workout, from toning to having fun to feeling confident. You also can record your class count on the “Bad Ass” wall (or use the concept as motivation when you just don’t think you can do any more lunges). And that saying I mentioned earlier? Different adages are painted under each machine so that, when you’re in a position to see the floor, you’ll be reminded you can do this.
As for my first workout at Fierce45, I did finish it—albeit with a little cheating. With sore muscles and a surprising amount of energy, however, I found myself saying what most do: Let’s do that again.
Fierce45 is located at 527 E. Mississippi Ave., 1208 W. 38th Ave. and 335 Holly St. Autopay memberships range from $129-$199. Check the website for the class schedule.