One of the most common questions I get asked is what is difference between Pilates and Yoga, I thought I’d have to answer this again recently but was surprised to be asked how Lagree is different.
What’s the difference between Pilates and Lagree? Pilates can be done without any equipment and focuses on improving core muscles and posture, while Lagree uses the Megaformer and places a large emphasis on circuit training and more intense cardio while working multiple muscle groups at once.
They do share similarities, both are designed to improve your strength, flexibility, and balance and while many will have a preference if you enjoy one you will likely also enjoy the other. Pilates is more established and accessible, let’s take a closer look at what Lagree has to offer.
What is Lagree?
Lagree is a fast growing workout combining resistance training and cardio training using a specialised piece of equipment commonly known as the “Megaformer”.
Originally known as Pilates Plus and SPX fitness it has been developed to combine:
Like Pilates it’s designed for men and women of all ages and abilities, using slow and controlled movements to challenge the body.
Unlike Pilates it can only be done using the purpose built Megareformer and smaller Microformer.
What is a Megareformer?
A Megaformer is a specialist piece of fitness equipment designed specifically for use with the Lagree fitness method.
It shares similarities with the Pilates Reformer, both are long devices with a carriage that glides between two fixed platforms.
If you thought a Reformer was large wait until you see a Megaformer! Check out this YouTube video to see the full size.
The carriage can be spring-loaded with 0 – to 180 pounds (ca. 82 kg) of resistance and there are dedicated bars and pulleys for your hands and feet.
Both Lagree and the Megaformer were invested by French fitness coach Sebastien Lagree, who, thanks to the development of the Megaformer, holds 97 patents related the machine.
The aim of the Megaformer is to provide you with a platform for challenging low-impact exercises such as lunges and various planks. It does this by introducing resistance and instability into the moves.
Thinking of buying a Megaformer? Prices for new equipment start at $10,000 and go as high as $22,900 depending on the model chosen. Restored equipment (i.e. second hand that have been restored to like new) reduce the cost to $5000 – $10,000.
Even the restored models are a lot more than a Pilates reformer, which cost $3,000 to $5,000 for high end models.
Unlike Pilates Lagree requires the use of specialist equipment, so unless you’ve got the cash to splash out and buy you’re own you’ll need to visit a studio for Lagree Megaformer classes.
You’ll be taking part in a group session, with each person using their own Megaformer. Check out this Lagree Fitness class promo video for a taste of what classes look like.
Class pricing will vary from studio to studio, with pricing structure similar to Pilates where you can pay drop in price or save money via a class pack. As a guide you can expect group sessions start from $15, private lessons start at $90, look on your chosen studios website or call them directly to confirm the prices and packs on offer.
If you’re unsure if either Lagree or Pilates is for you I recommend asking if there are any trial offers available, and if not just purchase a single drop in class to give it a try. Once you know which you want to commit to it’s better to buy a class pack as they’ve usually reduce the price you pay per class.
What is a Microformer?
The Megaformer is aptly named due to its size (and price!), great for studios, not so good for homes, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic most studios had closed, prevent people from taking advantage of the Lagree method.
While Pilates instructors were quickly able to adapt lessons from in person to online, Lagree had to adapt in a very different way and in May 2020 Lagree officially announced the availability of a Microformer, a smaller, cut down version for home use.
The Micro starts at $890, is roughly 50 pounds and six feet long allowing it to be stored under a bed. It still uses colour-coded cables in a spring-loaded system and there are additional accessories, such as arm handles and foot straps, to open up additional exercises.
The Micro pricing makes this a direct competitor to home Reformers, and like a Reformer you’re best seeking professional instruction on its use before investing in one for home use.
Pilates vs Lagree key differences
From the above you can likely tell that while there are similarities Lagree and Pilates are very different.
The use of very expensive equipment has meant Lagree isn’t as widely available as Pilates, it also restricts it to set locations whereas Pilates can be done anytime, anywhere as long as you have a little space.
Pricing varies for both depending on where you are and how many classes you commit to, due to the high price of the Megaformer you’ll find one to one Lagree classes command a premium compared to a one to one Pilates lesson.
When it comes to the workout there are a lot of differences, Sebastien Lagree once said:
“Comparing Lagree to Pilates is similar to comparing sprinting to crawling.”
In Pilates vs Lagree the key differences are:
- Lagree requires use of the Megaformer, Pilates can be done without any equipment
- The use of expensive equipment means Lagree classes tend to be studio based group classes
- For quick results Lagree emphasis time under tension (the amount of time a muscle is placed under load)
- Lagree incorporates isometric exercises which would usually only be possible to do using a wall or other immovable object
- Lagree places a greater emphasis on circuit training for strength and cardio building as well as a greater emphasis on creating strong, tight, toned muscles
- Pilates can increase strength up to a point, you can’t plateau using a Megaformer
Which should you try? Depends on what you’re looking for but and your budget, I’d recommending trying both for several sessions to decide which is working best for you.