How It Works – Beyond Pilates

The core principles of Lagree Fitness training are:

  1. Progressive Overloading
  2. Slow and Controlled Movement
  3. Constant Tension, and
  4. Multiple Muscle Group Recruitment to Muscle Failure.

Simply put – a muscle will develop a stimulus to grow and strengthen when it is forced to operate beyond its comfort zone. Lagree Fitness exercises accomplish this by having the muscles contract slowly, without momentum through the entire range of motion and remain with some tension throughout the set. This results in recruiting all the muscle fibers (fast and slow twitch) progressively. Rapidly contracting muscles against a load makes them prone to tearing. The slow, controlled nature of this training is what prevents injury. The unique design of the sessions work each muscle group to failure and this is the main stimulus to the muscle to signal it to improve.

Pilates originally was created to be mat exercises, but eventually evolved into using a machine with springs to increase the resistance. The reformer machine is the basic tool used by traditional Pilates instructors. One of the main advantages of Lagree Fitness over traditional Pilates is that it uses a modified form of this machine, the ‘Megaformer’ developed by its creator, Sebastien Lagree.

lagree fitness - science

Like the traditional machine, it has a moveable carriage, straps and pulleys, and adjusted with springs of different tension. However, the ‘Megaformer™’, now in its third generation (named the M3), has a longer stride attached to its carriage, and bars off both the front and back. The long carriage travel modification, makes it more versatile for standing exercises, and allows both a push and pull effect for muscular training. It is also the key aspect of training balance, as you are forced to balance the weight of the entire body while standing on, and moving the carriage. The use of these special springs is the key to the safety and efficiency of these workouts. Sebastien continues to improve and advance the machine.

Compared to a traditional Pilates reformer, the M3 is like a ‘Ferrari’. His attention to its constant evolution will ensure the best platform possible to maximize fitness potential. Interestingly, Lagree Fitness does not focus on flexibility training. If you are looking specifically to increase flexibility, I would think more about hot yoga, as the Lagree Fitness certified instructors work muscular strength as the focus. Given that the training is moving muscles both a positive and negative direction, elongating the muscle, you will see increased movement around your joints.

The instructors do not focus on actual stretching, so you should stretch on your own, before and after class. The classes are 50 minutes long, and have a very short warm up, with no breaks. The instructors most times will set up the machine for the next exercise while you are finishing the previous one, keeping your body in constant motion. A typical Lagree Fitness workout at EVO Fitness will target the abs, obliques, legs, glutes, hips, arms and back.

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