1. SPX Fitness is NOT pilates. We know that at first glance there seems to be an uncanny amount of similarities from the design of the machine, to the selection of exercise, to the benefits that can be achieved. Although SPX Fitness has some roots in pilates, it has some VERY significant differences as well. The creator of the SPX system, Sebastien Lagree, understood the immense benefit of cross training very early on. However, he found it challenging to deliver intensive strength training, heart rate intensive circuit work, and serious core strengthening in an one hour session without having to travel all over a fitness facility. This became the goal of the original patented Proformer machine - to combine strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and core strengthening in a circuit format allowing for a high volume of work and very little rest. The exercises performed in our SPX Proformer class are done for a much longer duration of time than many are accustomed to in traditional personal training. In SPX we don't measure our workouts based on sets and reps rather we work on a timed format. For example, in a SPX class you will very likely find yourself doing sets of lunges for upwards of 2 minutes. Exercises are performed on a slow and controlled basis and your muscles will be under constant tension throughout the entire duration of work. This is often done in combination with other various exercises aimed at targeting similar muscle groups to achieve complete muscle failure.
2. The goal of SPX is muscle failure. The idea behind SPX is overload! If we are not consistently overloading muscles and providing adequate stress to the musculoskeletal system, we will not experience noticeable gains. When it comes to loading patterns, when you increase mechanical load (like traditional weightlifting), you run the risk of placing more stress on the joints and structures of the body and therefor potential injury risk increases as well. SPX addresses this by using spring loads to provide resistance so that you can induce more than optimal intensity without a heightened risk of injury.
SPX combines these substantial loading patterns with compound multi-joint movements and will focus 3 to 5 exercises per muscle group per side to ensure adequate muscular fatigue and failure. This accomplishes a few things. First, long duration high intensity training that induces extreme fatigue on muscle groups triggers an aggressive "lactate" response also known as "lactic acid". This is beneficial when training because lactate accumulation has a direct correlation to GH (growth hormone) response. Growth hormone is currently receiving a lot of attention for it's ability to trigger the body to burn more fat, give people a more youthful appearance, reverse osteopenia, and increase structural strength in the body. Secondly, extreme muscle failure creates a significant after burn effect when the workout is over known as "EPOC" (excess post exercise oxygen consumption). This means that the intensive training has triggered the central nervous system to increase metabolic function to recover and adapt to the training stimulus. During EPOC, the body increases oxygen consumption and energy utilization thereby raising resting metabolism and this is done AFTER your workout is over. So what you have is a two fold effect that includes output of hormones that are incredibly beneficial for fat loss and injury prevention as well as an elevated metabolism that may last 24-36 hours post workout.
3. SPX Fitness is great for fat loss but also for building strength & endurance as well. When someone wants to lose weight, the general thought is that they need to do a lot of cardio in order to achieve their desired weight loss. While cardio may help you lose "weight" it is not always quality FAT loss. SPX is great for fat loss because the long duration, slow strength approach guarantees that all energy systems will be challenged AND you will also achieve adequate muscle tone which is the real key to not just losing weight but losing fat.
I am a great example of how great SPX is for fat loss. A few years ago, I found myself in the corporate world and 30 pounds overweight (I have pictures to prove it!). I tried everything - going to the gym, yoga, cardio kickboxing, etc - and nothing seemed to work. It was not until I found a studio that did SPX that I really started to lose the extra weight. After 6 months of doing nothing but SPX 4-5 times a week, I dropped the weight - with no change to my diet. On top of this, I had a significant increase in strength, endurance, and muscular balance. Since my late teens, my right knee always bothered me after I worked out, whether it be running or lifting weights, and I just came to the conclusion that it was something I was just going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. However, one of the best side effects of SPX in addition to the weight loss, was that my knee pain became nonexistent. As a result, I'm able to take up running and heavier weight training in addition to SPX.
We don't offer SPX classes because we think its cool or a good "fad" workout. We offer it because I have seen first hand how effective SPX is and how it can really change one's fitness level. Most people look at me know and would never think that only a few years ago I was 30 pounds overweight and struggling to find an exercise routine that I enjoyed. But 3 years later, here I am - walking proof that SPX works so long as you are willing to put in the work. So for those of you who are a little weary of taking the SPX Proformer class, I hope after reading this blog post you will at least consider taking it. We look forward to seeing you in class.