Bye Allegro – It’s All Reformer

Posted on March 5, 2024

Why do we use the GRATZ Classical Reformer? It’s Simply the Best in the Business

The equipment couldn’t get any better at Flex Studio, with our premium GRATZ, Pilates Designs and Pilates Scandinavia Classical Reformers ensuring a superior work-out every time.

Flex Studio follows a fully Classical Pilates format, and long ago bid adieu to the contemporary Allegro machines we utilized in our Hong Kong group classes for many years.

Following the lineage of Mr. Joseph Pilates’ original method and equipment, Flex offers smaller group sessions on Classical Reformers, known as Reformer Quartets.

In our stunning new Singapore studio, the sleek aluminium Reformers are as beautiful to look at as they are to use. Simultaneously (and deliberately) easier and more challenging for practitioners, the equipment functions quite differently from  Classical Allegros.   They are original to Mr. Pilates’ specs for the first reformers he used with clients nearly 100 years ago!   Akin to appreciating the irreplaceable quality sound of vinyl records, Classical reformers fine tune the body like no other.

So what’s so special about them?

“At Flex, we say it’s about how the Classical Reformer feels and “reforms” the body,” says Flex Founder Heather Thomas. “There’s the weight of the springs, the raised upholstery that offers more support, the tension of the leather straps and metal handles  – all working together to offer assistance as well as resistance. This is in line with the equipment Joseph Pilates built all those years ago.

“Most importantly, with regular use, these quintessential Pilates Reformers ensure you really tap into how best to move your body, so are adept at ensuring you will feel and see the difference.”

Furthermore, beginners, intermediates and experienced clients alike work-out on these Reformers, in smaller groups of four people,  who follow the Classical sequence of exercises developed by Joseph Pilates.

“The Reformer Group Quartets offer a smaller class setting so each participant will get more attention from the instructor,” Heather adds.

Here, certified trainers Sofia Bosque and Mirei Lim tell us all about the amazing Classical Reformer Quartet class format:

What can we expect from the Reformer Group Quartets? 

Sofia: Joseph Pilates developed the exercises on the specific Classical Reformers that we use in our quartets. In my experience, you cannot get the same results on a different Reformer, because the movements and apparatus work together and are integrated.

Each class follows the same sequence of exercises to create flow and seamless transitions over time. Pilates is essentially a way to condition the mind and body. We are not able to do that if the movements are random.

Mirei: The Allegro is a contemporary version of the Reformer and is widely used in group class settings. Classical Reformers, like those we have in Flex, are normally used for privates or semi-privates. Because of their better build quality, I personally feel way more settled when working on a Classical Reformer, and at the same time, feel challenged to work harder.

In terms of what we do in class, Allegro classes are free-style ones based on what the instructors feel like teaching. Our Reformer Group Quartets follow the Classical Pilates system with set sequences for different levels of clients. Working with set sequences allows clients to maintain a consistent practice to familiarise themselves with the exercises involved. It also makes it easier for clients to assess their progress. Set sequences also help practitioners to develop a better sense of safety, because they can learn the proper transitions to move in and out of the exercises properly.

Which type of clients should join the Reformer Group Quartets? 

Sofia: All clients that want to strengthen their bodies by moving from their powerhouse or core. The reformer is the best exercise for general conditioning, aligning and lengthening of the body. If clients are patient and learn a practice themselves, they get much better results.

Mirei: Our Reformer Group Quartets are for everyone. Beginners including those with no previous Pilates experience can certainly join our beginner-level quartets. We also run Intermediate Reformer Group Quartets for those who want to start practicing or fine-tuning their intermediate-level Reformer exercises. So, everybody is welcome.

What kind of progress can clients expect to see by joining these classes?

Sofia: Mobility will increase and stability will improve as you learn to move from the powerhouse. Improved focus and endurance. If clients are patient and learn to flow without stopping for instructions, it ends up being a great cardiovascular workout.

Mirei: All in all, Pilates is a system and Reformer is an integral part of it. Therefore, getting the hang of Reformer exercises will certainly help clients to manage different and similar exercises on other Pilates apparatuses. In the end, their Pilates practice will become more challenging and rewarding.

What do you say to your clients not familiar with Classical Reformer Group Quartets? 

Sofia: Clients are getting better results in the quartets. By learning the classical sequence of exercises, you can become in tune with your own body rather than just following an instructor. I think this is much more valuable than what they can get from a larger class.

Mirei: Clients who used to do the Allegro classes should definitely come join our Classical Reformer Group Quartets to take their Pilates practice to the next level. It’s the best way to continue their Pilates practice and, at the same time, upgrade and update themselves with the Classical Pilates system.

With their previous experience from the Allegro classes, there shouldn’t be too much of a steep learning curve. They will understand the Pilates system better, enjoy their practice more, and in turn get better results.

What’s the best thing about teaching the Reformer Group Quartets? Why would you recommend them? 

Sofia: The best thing is that I can teach each client and give specific feedback. Seeing people improve is much more satisfying . It isn’t boring to repeat the same exercises because there are so many layers to learn that it takes years and years to master.

Mirei: The best thing about Reformer Group Quartets is that we get to spend the whole 55 minutes of the class working on the Reformer. That allows me to better explain and decode the exercises so that clients can better understand what they are doing. My goal is for clients to feel the exercises, so they can do the work by engaging the right parts of the body. There’s a quote that goes: “Pilates is easy unless you do it right.” So if you want to do it right, come join our Reformer Group Quartets and have a good workout!

Get 40% off for Mat or Reformer Classes and 25% off for Classical Group Trios

Use Promo codes TRIAL40 and TRIAL25

Interested? Book your session now

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