If you’ve been to The Haute Room or anywhere you can practice Lagree Fitness, you’re aware of The Springs (dun-dun-dunnnnn). That’s our intensity-building music, since the springs are the All-Powerful Force in Lagree fitness.
…Or are they? (dun-dun-dunnnnn)
Though you may be in the habit of instinctively adjusting the springs to make the resistance more or less challenging, it turns out you can intensify a move without touching the springs, AND you can even de-tensify a move (that is most likely not a word) without jumping ship and throwing off the springs.
In fact, the key to an effective Lagree class at The Haute Room is to remain on your Megaformer M3S throughout the entire class. You may feel like you’ll spontaneously combust if you don’t jump off and shake out your legs, but trust us – the most benefit comes from sticking out the full 50 minutes. Keeping the heart rate up and taking your muscles to failure are key elements of what makes Lagree so effective.
Believe it or not, sometimes less weight is harder on the Megaformer than more weight. And sometimes more weight is harder than less weight – it really depends upon the position.
So here are some helpful tips on how to make moves more or less intense, without adjusting your resistance on the Megaformer.
How to Make Moves Easier or Harder…Without Touching the Springs
1. Listen to your instructor.
You’ve likely heard the instructors call out modifications (which make the move easier) and variations (which can make the move harder). You’ve already been warned, and probably experienced it: your Haute instructors WILL push you to challenge yourself.
First things first is getting everyone set up in the proper position as quickly as possible; from there the instructor will offer the modification. You will notice the instructors at The Haute Room don’t start the move with the modification, but if they notice it is needed, they will offer it.
2. Position yourself properly.
This could be an extension of #1, because it too involves listening to your instructor. You will get several commands like these during class:
- Move forward
- Lean back
- Come closer
- Go further
- Go higher
- Go lower
- [This] will make it easier
- [This] will make it more challenging
Listen to your instructor and follow these directives, because the resistance can change dramatically by making the smallest position changes.
3. Keep the proper form.
Proper form is crucial to getting the most out of each move – it’s true in any sport. Focus on rising up to the highest peak in your Plank to Pike, holding that perfect squat in Skater, maintaining a gap of at least 4 inches from the front of the carriage to the platform so your working muscle stays engaged, dropping the red cables in Express Lunge, and so on.
Again, listen for modifications and variations from the instructor.
4. Slow it down.
Slow your count in each move – the slower you go the faster your body will see results and the more you will be challenged. It is much easier to go fast because it allows you to use momentum to carry you through the move.
The beginner’s rule of thumb is “4 seconds in, 4 seconds out”. This means a minimum of 4 seconds on your inhale and a minimum of 4 seconds out on your exhale.
5. Reduce/increase your free weight load.
Adding a set of free weights or picking up the red pole when doing a leg or core exercise can make a move more challenging. Listen to your body and if it’s ready for the challenge, go for it!
Talk to your instructor before or after class if you need extra help with certain moves and as always, listen to your body and don’t be afraid to push yourself – that’s where change happens!
Example: The Runner’s Lunge
Runner’s Lunge Starting Position is where their foot position should start. This is the moderate positioning level. The ball of the foot is pushing against the eyelet of the carriage.
Runner’s Lunge Modification is the easiest. Drop down to this if the starting position is too difficult. The ball of the foot is pushing against the S-strap on the carriage.
Runner’s Lunge Harder makes the move more challenging (the hardest) without adding on more springs. The ball of the foot is pushing against the front end of the carriage.