Pilates on Crack could very well be the instatement of the century. I’ve taken about every different new exercise fad under the sun. I hit the barre, when ballet came to town, I have done Barry’s Bootcamp, I even tried that vibrating Pilates machine at one point till my brain started feeling fuzzy. I felt like I had done it all, so when I read this article about a new form of Pilates on crack, I didn’t really think much of it. How hard and intense could it really be?
However walking into Brooklyn Body Burn, my heart suddenly hit my throat. Everyone had this intense energy about them, like the beginning of a school race. I was the new guy in the room, and although I felt welcomed, I suddenly felt like I was a rookie in the middle of a boxing ring against the champ.
The class began, and one slip, tuck and crunch on the ‘megaformer’, for what seemed like the most intense stomach exercise of my life, sweat dripping and thinking I couldn’t possibly tolerate any more, I glanced at the clock and realized it was only five minutes into the class.
This is not something you can really explain, but something you experience – and I highly recommend EVERYONE does. It is not one of those fads that you do once and walk away trying to figure out how to stop the pain, its an addictive feeling that your body will thank you for. The classes, sadly enough do not get any easier, but you begin to know what to expect and I think that might soften the blow, or at least I keep telling myself that. I had one of my contributors dig a little deeper and write in depth for us about the ins and outs of this thing they are calling the exercise crack.
And you know what they say, once you try crack, you never go back.
By Naima Karp
Spx, a California workout trend started by Sebastian Lagree, is referred to as “Pilates on Crack.” the exercise employs a method called SPX, which combines the benefits of strength training, Pilates training, and cardio. This gives you faster, more chiseled and toned results than the classic Pilates method, which modestly blushes in comparison. Lagree introduced the world to this technique in 2001 with the opening of his first SPX studio, but just recently, the trend has been catching on quick, and making its way all the way from California to New York, culminating in the birth of Brooklyn Body Burn.
Brooklyn Body Burn just recently opened in Williamsburg this february, and is already catching on fast. The studio is in a ground-level basement area, and has an industrial but cozy look to it. The walls are unique, appearing to be clear from the inside, but cleverly appears as brick to outsiders, shielding you from some awkward, sweaty eye contact with passing pedestrians.
Tracy Karlinsky is the owner of the studio, and is a classically trained ballet dancer. She was born in new york, but lived between NYC and LA, cycling through the fitness fads of each coast. But one from the west stuck with her, and she knew she had to bring the workout back to new york. Other instructors include Keisha Saddler, who’s also a dancer and has been teaching fitness classes for over 10 years. There’s also hope for guys that want to jump in. Will Molinar practiced wrestling, cross country, and track when he was younger, eventually moving on to professional bodybuilding. The instructors often attend each other’s classes, which is a testament to their passionate dedication and constant desire to learn more from one another, giving you the best classes they can.
What makes it unique
Pilates is a mainly core-based exercise moderated based on very small movements, which affect the core, ultimately lengthening and aligning us. SPX, on the other hand, intensifies this method, evolving the art into more of a boot camp of sorts. This method is interesting because of its ability to isolate muscles due to the level of control involved. Spot reduction is no longer a myth – it just involves some pretty sore muscles and a certain level of focus and dedication. At Brooklyn Body Burn, the instructor’s pump you up using microphones and upbeat playlists, making them quickly addictive and getting you results in as little as two weeks.
These beasts of machines are referred to as Megaformers, with extra handles and more heavily weighted springs, bungee cords and handlebars, along with front and back platforms for more diversity. The method and the machine were founded by Sebastian Lagree, who notes that the main difference between Pilates and his method would be that classically, the feeling of exhaustion would be avoided. However, because of the fast and efficient results that SPX provides, no one leaves class without shaking muscles.
A peek at some moves
The moves are intense and unexpected. For instance, in a move called the french twist, you might have your two hands on the back handlebars with your feet stacked almost like a standing plank. While your legs slide the platform back and forth, it’s actually the core that’s doing all the work in this move. Another toughie, scrambled eggs, involves you lying on your side with your foot in a strap, connected to the weighted springs, kicking forwards towards your face and then backwards towards your back. While it looks like the thighs and calves are being worked, it’s actually your glutes that are doing all the work, making sitting down the next day a little more difficult than usual.
The classes are slightly more expensive than your average Pilates session, but this is economically just, as the results change your body almost twice as fast as an average Pilates class. Some bonus perks would be the area by the front desk that sells cute and functional splits 59yoga gear and Gaiam socks, which have helpful grips on the soles that prevent slippage and are more hygienic than going barefoot.