It’s been a long, hard struggle since my injury. But if there’s one thing the stress fracture has taught me, it’s to make sure my body is in good condition. Which means doing other things alongside running such as Yoga, Barre classes, Spinning, Reformer Pilates, Boxing and one of my favourite classes in London Megaformer Pilates at Studio Lagree.
Hang on a sec. Megaformer? Isn’t that just another way of saying Reformer Pilates?
No. While I love Reformer Pilates, Studio Lagree is about 10 times tougher. Seriously…You will wonder why you are pushing your muscles through 55 minutes on what can only be described as a torture machine. BUT once it’s over, you’ll want more. Here’s why:
You’ll want to master that Megaformer
Imagine a Reformer used in Pilates then make it move between either end of the machine. Add a bungee strap, foot straps on the body and platforms plus lines which indicate where you should place your hands and feet.
Then attach the “Bungee” strap to a leg lift while kneeling on the platform or pike plank into a press-up.
If you’re concerned about placements, the Megaformer helps you get it right thanks to numbers which indicate where you should place your hands, knees and feet.
It’s dynamic, strength-building and damn hard work to get it all correct at the same time. But as with any challenge, you’ll want to master it. And your body will thank you for it.
And the range of moves
From ‘Elevator’ and ‘Escalator lunges’ where one foot stays stationary and the other uses the moving platform to test your balance on one side to ‘Dancing Bear’ and the ‘Teaser’, each Studio Lagree move is a challenge. Attempt “Giant Catfish”, “Scrambled Eggs” and a multitude of moves that will make you grit your teeth and bear it.
You may get to know them and even have your favourites but they never become ‘easy’. These moves can always be made harder. By say hovering your knees above the moving platform as you attempt to shift the weighted strap back with one leg. Or adding a press-up during an exercise for the core. Or rotating your body during a mermaid sit-up. There are so many variations that you’ll always be challenged and become stronger.
No rest (for the wicked and dedicated)
Commit to it, that’s the whole 55-minute session, and you’ll benefit more. This means spending as little time as possible on transitions between moves and maximising the time spent on the moves. There is no room for rest, which makes it even more gruelling.
The instructors will push you
The instructors are always there to motivate and help you. They always ensure you are in the right position so you do not injure yourself. And they make it interesting. No one class is ever the same and they always spur you on to push that little bit harder. There’s also something to be said for an instructor who can get you moving in the right way first thing on a Monday morning. The instructors really are top-notch.
And the results speak for themselves
As they say, the proof is in the pudding. After just one class, you will ache in places you never thought possible. Studio Lagree is an all-over body workout that conditions and strengthens your body. Studio Lagree suggest you go three times a week but as I combine it with other things, I think once weekly is enough for me (and my bank balance). I do feel the benefits as a runner in terms of strength and stability, which is why I go back for more.
It’s not light on the wallet
Studio Lagree is fantastic but it does come at a high price. You can join the three-week challenge: £160 for 3 classes per week for 3 weeks. Studio Lagree is also available via ClassPass, which is how I book my classes. Or you could sign up for several different packages, including a £200 monthly unlimited class pass. However you work it, you will probably not get much change from £20 per class but it is (and I hate to say it as I’m such a tight arse) totally worth it.
More coming soon…
With one studio next to the Barbican and recent announcements that Studio Lagree is opening a new studio at a location yet to be confirmed, you may find it even easier to try one of these fantastic classes. I have a few gripes with the Barbican Studio such as there’s often no conditioner, the air con in the changing room is not often all that pleasant and the water temperature sometimes has a mind of its own. All in all, the classes make up for this minor blip in terms of facilities.