I went into Fierce45 expecting a tough, but relaxing Pilates Reformer class and came out feeling like a drill sergeant made me squat for an hour then injected me with glittery happy juice. While I’m not sure exactly what that means, it’s the only way to describe the endorphin rush and shakey muscles that I felt while leaving the studio.
The first thing to know about Fierce45 is that it is NOT Pilates, it is the “Lagree Fitness Method” that uses what’s called “Megaformer,” which is basically the Reformer on crack. (But also note, I absolutely love Pilates. This just isn’t Pilates.) Instead of one platforms there are two, it has swivel-able handles, there are “S” and “X” straps to hold your feet in. The Lagree Fitness Method, as the Fierce45 website describes it, is “a revolutionary style of full body workout that utilizes slow, controlled, continuous tension in order to improve endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.” So while most Pilates classes have you lying down the majority of the time, in a Fierce45 class you are literally required to run around the machine between the different platforms, switching springs and grabbing handles at breakneck speed. However while you’re actually performing the movements, everything is very slow, controlled, and low impact. But man does it burn. This is probably because this class is supposed to “stimulate both slow and fast twitch muscles fibers alike in order to recruit even the deepest muscle tissues,” developing long, lean muscles.
We hit every muscle group, starting with core in the form of a plank series, then digging into glutes, and from there moving on to upper body before heading back to a squat series that left my legs trembling. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to hold the Megaformer out while in a squat position after a bajillion sets of lunge-y things and spider-y leg presses! Most of the series hit each muscle group with several different changes in movement, with each change including slow, full-range movements as well as pulses at the bottom of the pose. For example, when doing tricept dips we did full range of motion dips, the paused at the bottom and pulsed, before returning to full range of motion dips again. And by full range of motion I mean allllmost full range because you’re supposed to stop at 95% to make sure you’re always engaging the muscle. I really felt like this approach got into all those little “accessory” muscles that I always forget I have.
Outside of the actual workout, the instructor was great (hi, Jen!). She offered a hearty dose of high-energy motivation with a side of super helpful adjustments. The music was bumping, the other ladies were hooting and hollering, and I can say with confidence that I was definitely given the extra oomph to push myself through the “LAST 10 SECONDS!” that I’m pretty sure weren’t really 10 seconds…
We were also encouraged to write our names on the chalkboard walls with a little something to motivate us (my wedding, duh). Definitely a cute touch. The studio space had a modern and clean aesthetic that I really liked, and I also noticed an adorable playroom for parents who bring their kiddos along.
The verdict: Fierce45 definitely lives up to its name! Not only did I get in a fierce workout in 45 minutes, I also left feeling a bit like Sasha Fierce myself. I’ll definitely be returning to get my booty kicked again!