Thursday, May 2, 2013

review: the studio empower class with sebastien lagree

Earlier this week I was given the opportunity to take a complimentary class at The Studio Empower with founder Sebastien Lagree. The studio is a lovely, bright space that's located in Newton Centre, Massachusetts.  They currently have eight machines, but soon will be increasing to ten. It's nice to have a small class - especially when there's somewhat complicated machinery involved. It means that the instructor can really look at each person and to make corrections. It means you get a better workout and are less likely to find yourself injured from improper form.

I had actually purchased a deal for five classes and, though I had taken one class, I didn't quite know what to expect. I was under the (incorrect) impression that it was just a Pilates reformer class. Luckily, after the class we had a chance to talk with Sebastien and he cleared up a lot of the misconceptions. According to the website:
"Lagree Fitness™ (formerly, SPX Fitness or best known as Pilates Plus) incorporates the basic principles of traditional Pilates but has transformed itself into a high intensity, low impact workout using strength training – allowing for all fitness levels to achieve sculpted and toned physiques quickly and safely.
Newton (MA) is the first Lagree fitness studio in the world to introduce clients to the Megaformer, M3 (the latest member of the Megaformer family – just released the end of January 2013!)"
Off the top of my head I remember doing front/rear lunges, squats, carriage kicks, ninja kicks, pushups.. and I could go on. You can do literally hundreds of different workouts and stretches on the M3. It's "designed to cater to both upper and lower body muscles, using a system of springs and pulleys to accommodate the resistance and counter-resistance of the workout".

y so serious?
Weight lifting alone simply targets individual muscles - but that's not how the body works. All of your muscles are connected and working on the Megaformer helps to build long, lean muscles. I really enjoyed the range of motion that I was able to get on the machine because I felt as though I was really able to sink into each exercise. Also as someone who has a bad knee, and who does a lot of high-impact cardio classes, I can appreciate the focus on slow, deliberate motions. The idea is to really focus on your form and to use control to bring the carriage in and out. And all of this is done with little-to-know impact on the joints.

Apparently there are people who do these classes every day, and I'm pretty sure that they are either brave, or very masochistic. Though, I'm sure people have said the same about me for running a marathon or climbing mountains. In my opinion, I think that classes at The Studio Empower would be great to use as a supplement to your main sport (in my case, that would be running and/or rock climbing). The machine does take a little getting used to but believe me, if my clumsy self can master it, so can you!

If you live in the Greater Boston area, I suggest making a visit to The Empower Studio - you will not regret it -- though you may not be able to sit without pain for a few days! And it's just like Sebastien says, "It's not how you start the workout, it's how you end it".

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