The Fitness Edge, 1751 Panorama Point Unit C, Lafayette, 303-588-3998,

Instructor: Scott Johnson, of Westminster, has been an athlete all his life. He's been a personal trainer since 2009. He opened The Fitness Edge a year and a half ago, to offer one-on-one training, group training and athlete training (soccer girls and boys, hockey, football, baseball, basketball).

What is the workout? A total-body workout to build muscle, lose fat and raise your metabolism, through functional movements that will help you in your daily life. Instead of machines, the class uses body weight and resistance in all planes of motion, plus plenty of aerobic movement.

The facility looks like a CrossFit when you walk in (in fact, it used to be one years ago), but it has a unique energy. We blasted '80s- '90s music (C+C Music Factory, oh yeah), and although the class was high intensity, the attitude was very relaxed, sincere and friendly.

The class was originally called a "boot camp," but as time went on he says he decided the class was a little more "engaging" than a traditional boot camp, with a wide variety of equipment (heavy bags, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX, heavy ropes, med balls, boxes -- just about everything).

Every class is different. My interval-focused class started with a warm-up, then went through 10 exercises three times. We finished with a two-minute bonus drill and stretching. My class had a strong abs focus, but all body parts got plenty of attention.

What's different: The classes have a strong emphasis on fun. Fridays are game days, where they roll dice or play cards as part of the workout.

Marisa Tucker performs burpies using a strap, one of the exercises in the GetFit routine.
Marisa Tucker performs burpies using a strap, one of the exercises in the GetFit routine. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

Plus, the facility is pretty well stocked with toys to play with, including padded turf on the cement floor, for training athletes.

"You don't come across a lot of gyms that have all of the stuff that we do," Johnson says.

He says many of his clients are former CrossFitters who wanted the same intensity and results but in a safer way. Regular clients won't learn power movements and Olympic weightlifting here -- although it may be incorporated into training for more advanced athletes.

"But not so much our classes. We think it's just as much of a workout using other elements," Johnson says. "Nothing against CrossFit, but I just feel that it takes years and years to master the movements that you do in CrossFit. To us, it's just too dangerous."

What does it cost? First week free. After that, you can buy different packages. A one-time drop-in is $15. Or you can get 10 punches for $130, and so on.

When: Check the website for the schedule.

Level: Everyone is welcome, but if you are new to exercise, Johnson recommends doing personal training first. Classes can be modified, but the workout is intense. All of the other nine participants in my class were in good shape and pretty tough.

On a 10-point intensity scale, Johnson aims for his classes to be a seven and up. I felt like my class was an eight to nine. I could barely complete the TRX burpies (yes, that's a thing), but I didn't barf in a bucket or cry, so it didn't hit a 10. However, you could easily push this class to your max edge. Hence, the name of the studio.

Johnson is correct when he says this class is as intense as CrossFit. And I didn't miss the power lifting one bit. In fact, I was kind of relieved to not have to mess with a bunch of big free weights and bars. We got in, got sweaty, got shaky and left, and I never felt lost, overwhelmed or out of place.

What to prepare: Regular workout clothes, shoes, water.

Muscles worked: All of them. I especially felt it in my chest (we did some crazy row exercise) and my lower back (from seated kettlebell twists).

What I loved: High-intensity interval training is effective -- but fun? Not often. This class was, though. The music was loud and radical. Johnson was personable and attentive, but didn't pressure me. I appreciated his positive feedback and natural ability to distract me with small talk when I needed it (granted, he was probably trying to make sure I was not going to die).

I worked out significantly harder than I typically do in a boot camp class, and that's because my brain was distracted by the quick intervals (with no rest time in between exercises or sets) and entertaining music. By the time my brain realized what I was doing to my body, I was done. Class went ridiculously fast.

I also liked that our intervals were not timed, so we could pace ourselves.

What I didn't like: I recognize that things are a little different when a reporter with a photographer comes to a studio, but I also think every instructor should ask all new participants if they have any current injuries or limitations. Not many instructors do this when I come to their classes (probably assuming if I do workout reviews every week, I don't have a torn ligament in my knee or something), but hey, why not just ask?

How I felt after the class: Energized beyond belief. Pleasantly surprised. Strong and proud. I left the studio feeling connected and satisfied. And scared of how sore I'm going to be tomorrow.

-- Reported by Aimee Heckel.

Know of any interesting workouts? Tell us about them so we can check them out: or 303-473-1359.