Lagree Pilates in NYC!
Hola mis amigos! I’ve got loads to tell you, and limited time because my mom and I have a Skype date tonight — we’re carving pumpkins!!! 😀 In the spirit of Halloween, I really want to share stories from my trip to Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure last weekend, but I’ll save that silliness for another entry, because I have to keep my promise from a couple of posts ago and tell the tale of my experience taking a Lagree Pilates class in NYC!
I’ve been having a pretty serious love affair with Pilates for nearly six years, so I thought I was well-educated about it. Well, a month or so ago, I fell down an internet hole and stumbled on an article talking about the Lagree Pilates method. Saywhaaaat? Deemed “Pilates on crack,” it combines resistance training with isometric exercises, all done on a weird re-vamped pilates reformer machine called a “Megaformer”. Naturally, I was intrigued and NEEDED to try it. The method is only taught in certain cities, but I happened to be going to Manhattan that same weekend, so I found SLT in Midtown and booked a class– why not, right?
Saturday morning arrived, and I ventured out to the studio feeling curious and a little nervous. I walked in and was greeted by blaring pop music, an instructor trying to scream directions over Katy Perry’s 110 decibel crooning, and 12 sweaty women of all body types and ability levels doing squats on top of these crazy moving platforms. Someone is definitely going to faceplant or break an ankle, I thought to myself.
The receptionist at the door was extremely friendly and welcoming, and after filling out some paperwork, she invited me to sit down on a plush white bench while I waited for the other class to finish. I wasn’t feeling too excited at that moment because I am anti-motivated by instructors that yell, but I figured it would be a new experience either way. I watched as the people in front of me bent down into lunges, simultaneously performing biceps curls with resistance bands that pulled their platforms forward. Well, this is interesting. 15 minutes later, class ended and the dulcet tones of Nicki Minaj finally quieted; everyone looked relieved.
Once the previous class cleared out, it was time to get started. After snagging a machine toward the left side of the room, the instructor (a different, much calmer individual than the previous class had) came over to talk me through the basics of the Megaformer. It wasn’t *too* complicated, but it had a variety of springs, levers and other movable pieces to keep track of. Fortunately, the instructors go around and adjust things for participants during the class so I didn’t have to worry about it too much. Music pumped through the speakers at a reasonable volume this time, and we were off.
We did some basic things like single-leg squats, rows, planks, bird-dogs, etc. all using resistance bands that attached to the machine. And we did a lot of non-basic things that I’m not even sure how to describe. At one point, I was holding side plank with one foot kicked out to the side, and one hand in a resistance band pulling myself forward on this rolling platform thing– can you visualize that? Probably not. IDFK, guys. It was weird.
I’ll admit, at the beginning, I was all “I totes got this, no problem,” because it felt easy. But by the end, I was sweating EVERYWHERE. And I mean, eeeeverrryyywherrree. The instructor came over to adjust something, and I watched, horrified, as sweat dripped off my forehead in a steady stream onto her hand, and there was NOTHING I COULD DO ABOUT IT because my appendages were busy trying to keep me from falling on my face. She took it like a champ though, subtly wiping her sullied hand on her pants, without outwardly grimacing, as she strolled to the other side of the room. Woof.
After 50 minutes of contorting my body in all sorts of bizarre ways on a machine that I assume was built by people who hate happiness, class was over. I thanked the instructor and gave my machine a thorough wipe-down before loading my drowned-rat self into the elevator with a group of girls who looked like powder-fresh ballerinas. Of course.
So, what’s the final verdict? While I’m glad I did it, and it was pretty fun getting to try something new, it’s definitely not worth the hefty $40 per class price tag (Note: I paid $20 cause it was my first time). More than that, it’s so far removed from traditional pilates that I don’t think the two should really be compared. While I moved my body differently than I ever have (or will probably ever need to), I was not sore from it, and I honestly feel that lifting weights and doing PiYo are a better use of time. I guess I feel like, while it was a cool thing to try, it’s unnecessarily complicated. You don’t need a crazy machine to get a good workout. You don’t need to do dangerous things like squatting on one leg on a moving platform to get results. Still, it’s interesting, and it’s worth trying to see if you like it.
And since I couldn’t take pics in the studio without being a major creeper, here’s a clip of me riding a *special* bike at a museum that RP and I went to. Bonus points if you know where we are in this 🙂
And as always, Remember to breathe.