Dudes, We Love Ya!
We hear time and time again "are guys allowed to come to btone?..where are all the men? why don't more guys do this?" We are seeing more and more men getting into boutique fitness, but it's no shock that more women participate in these classes than men. Just go to any group fitness class and look around, it's mostly chics. But if I had to compare now to five years ago it is very different, and more and more men are partaking in group fitness classes. Knowledge is power, so we want to fill you in a bit in case you have any reservations before coming.
We hate to break it to you, but we are NOT pilates. This is Lagree Fitness, it was based on the principles of pilates but is NOT PILATES. We do not say that to slight pilates, as it is a great workout, it is just not what we do. Lagree Fitness was the brainchild of perhaps the manliest of all men on the planet, Sebastien Lagree. The Megaformer was designed to be more guy friendly, its larger and offers spring resistance of up to 250lbs.
First things first, what to wear:
Its best to wear shorts so you have a good grip against the machine, but it is recommended and appreciated if you wear tight shorts under those (I don't want to get into details of why, just trust me.) You will sweat, so a dry-fit shirt is always a good idea. Bring a towel for all those sweat beads too!
We do the workout barefoot or with grip socks. Regular socks are pretty useless and unsafe on the machine so start barefoot and if you find you lose grip due to sweat you can purchase a pair of grip socks at the studio.
Trust your instructor
Your instructor will show you how the machine works before class, but DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to outsmart your instructor when it comes to your spring load. Sometimes less is more, and often times when people are trying to make something harder, they in turn make it 100 times easier and vice versa. Talk to us, and let us know what you need once you have tried the recommended spring load. We do not always assume that because you are a male that you will need the harder option because often times your own bodyweight will be just what is needed. If you listen up we are constantly teaching you how to make a move more effective.
SLOW THE HECK DOWN!!!
This workout is hard, but it is only hard if you do it correctly. SLOWER IS BETTER. We have up to 250 lbs of spring loaded resistance available on the Megaformer. If you use too much momentum you are just cheating yourself from a really great workout. I you are using the straps and go too fast, you will most likely face-plant...but don't worry, it's padded! We recommend a SLOW 4 count in both directions. Don't forget our motto: Slow Movements, Fast Results.
This is a TOTAL BODY workout,with a strong focus on corework. Men tend to hyper focus on the upper body and equate working out with a weights only type approach. This workout is so well rounded and hits every muscle group in your body, not just in the whole workout but in almost every exercise. Every class is different, but we guarantee that in each 45 minute class every muscle group will be screaming at you. And the next day, and probably the day after that too.
You do not need to be flexible
But you will most definitely get more flexible. One of the biggest things I hear from men when they begin is "I can't do it, I'm not flexible." Flexibility is not a requirement to this workout, but you will most certainly become more flexible over time. The nature of the machine aides in stretching out your muscles at the same time that it is strengthening them. Over time your range of motion and flexibility increases in exercises that you felt impossible when you began.
Many of our exercises are done one side at a time, and it is sometimes surprising how uneven we are with our bodies. We challenge your balance in almost every exercise. At btone we take balance pretty literally and figuratively. There is never a huge focus on one thing, we balance out arm, ab and leg work in every class so that your body will be the well balanced powerhouse that you wantand need it to be.
Still not convinced? Here is what our Bro's who frequent btone have to say:
What is the biggest benefit you have seen from this workout?
"Overall strength increase and better posture due to core strength. Keeps my leg strong enough that I can easily run a 5k, although I don’t."
"The biggest benefit I have seen is the sense of "balance" and well-being that I have."
"I started Btone when I was trying to minimize heavy weight training b/c I was coming off an injury. Over time as returned to weight training I found that it was a great complimentary routine to support other training I was doing (cardio & weigh training.) The biggest benefit I have found was overall core strengthening which I found increased my overall strength and stamina in other workouts. Also helped me get leaner quicker. "
"It’s a great workout, probably the best you will ever get. It will kick your ass, but in a good way. Dude, the mom’s/wives that are regulars look pretty good in the spandex (you wanted honesty right). Actually the regulars rock the spandex! Not that I am perving. Tone & Torch doesn’t afford the opportunity to perv ;)"
"We feel that we have more definition now than when we started. I personally feel more flexible, though I have a long way to go. The row classes have helped with my cardio."
"I feel stronger, as expected. But it’s also improved my balance and overall sense of control of my body - this has paid off especially in things like scuba diving (which I just learned to do), I’ve learned to draw on the muscle control (particularly in my core)."
Favorite and most hated exercises:
Abs and obliques (my problem areas ;) I have a love hate relationship with all of them. Hate them when doing them, love them after. I actually love the workout and the challenge I get from it. Every so often, I can almost do an entire core-blast at the end of Tone and torch.
I go through phases of liking one exercise a bit more than the others and so when it comes up in a routine, I get as psyched as I possibly can about working out (which is to say, I grimace less). "Superman" with a lot of springs is one I like, since I'm working pretty much every muscle from my neck down (and I can whisper "I'm superman" to no one in particular as we're doing it). I also like any type of wheelbarrow, for similar reasons. I think that guys prefer to do the work that is sort of "shoulders to waist."
"Any of the core work is a favorite of mine. I need direction on core work in general and tend not to do it on my own. Least favorite: None, really. Any exercise that involves balance is challenging for me, but they seem important."
What would your advice be to someone else who is hesitant to try it out?
Just do it! You won’t regret it...
"I think all men like the idea of core work and training abs but usually don't dedicate the time (or proper supportive diet) or know proper way to train as part of regular weight training. Megaformer provides this."
"I think that someone who is new (male or female) is in the awkward position of not knowing what to do or expect. For a guy, "not knowing" is like death. So, I think the advice that I would give is to focus on the fact that you're using muscles that you don't usually get to in other exercises or gyms. I think that emphasizing that the classes are only 45 minutes, but that you get a full body workout would be a plus."
Click here to read up on this great article that was featured last year in Details Magazine about the Megaformer workout. http://www.details.com/body-health/gear/201306/pilates-exercises-using-megaformer-for-strength-and-muscles