The other night I had the chance to visit Studio Novo, a Lagree fitness company with locations in West Meade and Cool Springs. My friend Heidi tagged along, too!Studio Novo is the only licensed Lagree fitness in the area, making it a pretty special place. Lagree fitness is kind of like the “next level” of reformer Pilates, and I suppose you could say that reformer Pilates is one level up from regular Pilates. So basically this was Pilates to the third power — so much so, that the studio owners don’t even refer to the workout as “Pilates” at all because it’s so different.
This was my second time trying Lagree fitness — I think I finally recovered from the first session I did more than two years ago at DC’s Solidcore (which is apparently no longer associated with Lagree fitness and is in some legal battle #fitnessdrama).
To this day (and 20+ different studio reviews later), that’s still the hardest workout I’ve ever done! Studio Novo might be a close second, though. Here’s why!So, the Lagree fitness machine is intense. It’s made up of three main parts, and the middle “carriage” slides forwards and backwards because it’s attached to the front and back sections by springs. You can adjust the tension between the sections by modifying the amount and type of springs you use. And then there are a bunch of other
torture devices attachments to the machine that allow you to do hundreds of different exercises — everything from upper body to legs!
And of course, your core. I don’t think there’s a single movement we did that didn’t burn my back, stomach, or sides. I attended the 6:30 class on Wednesday, which was led by studio co-owner Santi Tefel. Santi was super energetic, professional, and patient with Heidi and I as we learned the ropes. Other than us newbies, the small studio (which can host ten people) was full of what seemed like very regular attendees — this workout must be addicting!
Class started right on time and was broken up as follows: warm-up (a bunch of core-crushing planks), legs (lots of squats, lunges, and donkey kicks), arms (push-ups, bicep curls, and triceps extensions), core (more planks, OMG), and cool-down/stretch. I’m sure the structure changes each day and we never did the same movement for more than a few minutes. The pace of the class made the hour fly by!
I had guessed that this was going to be a tough workout, and it was — my body started trembling after the 3rd minute of our warm-up planks :). I suppose that’s why one of the studio’s mottos is “embrace the shake” ? I usually consider myself a pretty fit person, but isometric strength training reminds me that I have some very weak spots. This workout is so very different than a cardio-focused boot camp or high-intensity CrossFit class. The only workout I can say is slightly similar to Lagree fitness is barre — but between the two, Lagree fitness/reformer Pilates is a lot tougher.After doing fitness studio reviews for nearly four years (!), I can say that the two Lagree fitness classes I’ve been to are some of the most creative and unique workouts I’ve had. You simply can’t find these crazy machines inside a gym or at your typical fitness studio, which means that you can’t do things like this, which I’m calling the “floating-body-core-crushing tricep extension”:
So, yeah: Studio Novo was tough but awesome, just as I had expected. Although the movements we did were similar to the ones I did at Solidcore, the atmosphere of the class was a lot more laid-back and less intimidating. I spoke with a couple of students before and after class, and they told me how much the workout had changed their lives — and I can see why! If I did this workout a few times a week I’d have rock solid abs in no time :).
Would I recommend Studio Novo? As a studio, it checks all of the boxes: Clean, welcoming, good instructors, and even parking! FYI: I don’t think there are showers, though.As a workout, I’d recommend it depending on what you’re looking for. Studio Novo is challenging, fun, and definitely effective in terms of developing strength, flexibility, and core stability. Plus it’s very low impact — making it perfect for people battling injuries, joint pain, etc.
And though my Polar heart rate monitor only said I burned 140 calories at the end of class (a far cry from the 700-calorie burn estimation noted in this StyleBlueprint feature), I’m confident that my “after-burn” was given the strength intensity of the workout. Furthermore, had I been an experienced class member (and also wasn’t shooting photos during class) I probably could have pushed myself a little harder on those holds — resulting in an even tougher workout and higher caloric burn.
All that being said, here are my final scores for Studio Novo!
|Studio Novo – West Meade|
|Class times||6 am – 6:30 pm|
|Class days||7 days a week|
|Locker rooms | showers||Cubbies | no|
|Price||$9-$23 per class depending on membership (see pricing) (note there is a new member special this month, too)|
|Class duration||50 minutes|
|Music||Yes. Kind of dance club like, very intense. Sometimes hard to hear the instructor over the music.|
|Vibe||Fun and a little intense|
|Classes I tried||Wednesday 6:30 pm|
|Weights-focused||8 (body weight!)|
And the final final measure of success: Was I sore the next day? Yes.
Thanks for having me, Studio Novo! Nashvillians, if you’re looking for a low-impact, fun way to boost your strength, flexibility, or core power this year I think this studio is the perfect place to make that resolution a reality. Check it out!
- Ever tried Lagree fitness?
- What’s the most unique/creative workout you’ve ever tried?
- What’s the most important feature of a workout for you?