Trying out new exercise classes in town has been a part of StyleBlueprint from the beginning, because finding innovative classes to report on is definitely a passion of ours. There are great classes in our city with enough variety to really find the one that works for you. Today, we introduce you to one of Nashville’s newest workouts, located on White Bridge Rd, Studio NOVO.
The easiest (but perhaps not most informative) way to describe Studio NOVO is “Pilates to the extreme.” Studio NOVO utilizes The Legree Fitness Method, which was originally adapted from Pilates over a decade ago. All exercises center around the Megaformer, a souped-up version of the traditional Pilates reformer. This machine is daunting and slightly scary and may make you wonder if you need to wear leather and studs to try this out; but no, yoga pants and grippy socks are just fine.
I think the confusion over whether or not this can be compared to Pilates comes from Legree Fitness founder Sebastien Legree, who “emphasizes the importance that Lagree Fitness is not considered Pilates. It is a unique and perhaps the only workout that effectively combines strength training, cardio, endurance, balance, core and flexibility not only in 1 session but in each and every move. Lagree fitness allows for a maximum muscular effort while minimizing the stress on the joints, the connective tissues and the spine. He says: ‘Lagree Fitness is not revolutionary; it’s evolutionary!'” — Studio NOVO website.
When someone asks me to explain it, I still start with the term Pilates, as it’s familiar. So, yes, the class does give a nod to Pilates, but, it is a separate practice. For example, I have not encountered any movements with quick breathing techniques like I have in Pilates. And, like many on-trend workout classes, a workout with The Legree Fitness Method works muscles to the point of fatigue–as in shaky, jello-like fatigue.
The Megaformer uses springs and cables to create resistance and counter-resistance for a workout that keeps your heart rate up, while toning and stretching muscles. And, that part I mentioned before about working muscles to the point of fatigue? Believe me, when Anna Tefel (Studio NOVO owner) says, “Just 30 more seconds” I usually think, “There is just no way…” I’m hoping to be able to get through all exercises soon, but that is the joy: it fits all fitness levels. You can increase the springs’ resistance if you need more, and you simply do as much as you can if you can’t do it all. I have yet to be able to do it all. No judgement: do what you can do. And, some days you’ll be able to do more than other days. That’s okay. Bring what you have and be grateful to your body for what it can give.
My guess is that each person finds one part of class to be their most challenging. For me, it’s usually the first 5 minutes that slaps me in the face–you know, the kind that leaves a mark. By time the 50 minute class is over, I am more than ready for the deep stretches and I am always a little shaky. Classes have different routines and some classes prove more challenging than others, but none come anywhere close to “easy.” Studio NOVO guarantees results if you take just 5 classes over a 2.5 week time period.
During class, I have wondered “Is this a cardio workout? I’m not sure.” But, when I ask myself if I coulld carry on a conversation during the workout, to which I have to say an emphatic no, I realize I have my answer: it is a cardio workout, and I do get that “after workout glow” that carries me through the day, the same as other intense workouts. But, no, this is not a fast run where you are drenched in sweat (although I am definitely sweaty by the end). I’d go grocery shopping afterwards, no problem, but I wouldn’t head to a lunch meeting without a quick shower. Make sense?
For those wanting a hard class that promises a full-body workout without excessive stress on your joints or spine, that does amp your heart rate, this is your class. But, there is some stress on your wrists. I have joint problems and I have had no issues at Studio NOVO with my feet, knees, shoulders or back, but it’s hard on my wrists. That said, most group classes are hard on my wrists, so this is not a new challenge for me, but a warning to you if you are recovering from any wrist injuries.
In the evolution of exercise classes, this one is fun and time well spent. And, to show you how popular The Legree Fitness Method is in L.A. (the hotbed of options and expectations), there are over 40,000 registered members in this one city alone!
Right now, I’ve only seen women in the classes, but this is an equally hard workout for men, and I know in other areas of the country the ratio of men to women is more balanced. In Nashville, I expect it will be like barre, Pilates and yoga classes and always be more appealing to women. But, hey, if you are a guy wanting to try a great workout, come on!
Overall, I think this is an excellent workout and perfect for anyone looking to try something new or for inspiration after falling off the workout bandwagon. Your first class is free, so you can try it out for yourself. But, there are only 10 spots available in each class. We have word that more classes will be added in November, so if there is a time not currently offered that you wish were, email owner Anna Tefel and let her know. If one time is requested enough, she’ll probably add it!
Oh, one more tidbit, the class burns up to 700 calories in just 50 minutes. That got your attention, didn’t it? Yeah, now you get that this is not your ordinary workout class.
For more information, including pricing, see www.novonashville.com.