Brooklyn Bodyburn

Brooklyn Bodyburn

Megaformer workouts are all the rage right now – picture a Pilates reformer machine but 10x more intense. The Lagree Fitness method, based around these megaformers, basically kicks Pilates up a notch and fatigues individual muscle groups while adding in cardio elements like mountain climber, walking planks, etc.

Despite their popularity, there actually aren’t many Lagree Fitness studios in the NYC area. The main Lagree Fitness chain, SLT, sadly isn’t on classpass, and the only other Lagree studio, Brooklyn Bodyburn, is all the way in Williamsburg, which is a hike for an Upper East Side gal like myself. That said, it’s still a very popular studio that rarely has open spots on classpass…so when I saw an open class, I knew I had to jump on it.

The Studio

Brooklyn Bodyburn has two locations, Williamsburg and Cobble Hill. For my first visit, I went to the Williamsburg studio, which is off the Bedford L stop (only one stop from Manhattan! Until the L shuts down, anyway…) and about a block from the water. Since classes are expensive and it’s in the super-ritzy part of Williamsburg, I expected a big, gorgeous studio, but it turns out that the Williamsburg studio is just one room. This was a bit awkward when I arrived early and could watch and listen to the class before me finishing their workout. Aside from the main workout area with the megaformers, the studio has a couch where you can wait for class, self-locking lockers, a retail shelf, and a restroom, but not much else – no showers here.

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The Williamsburg studio, like most other high-end spots in Williamsburg, tries hard to have a slightly industrial feel–think unfinished floors  and regular walls with painted-on brick. And it worked! I did, in fact, leave class pretending I’m Jessa from Girls. 

The Cobble Hill studio has a similar “one classroom” vibe, though the waiting area is separated a bit more from the class, which was nice. I loved the location of this studio and it made me realize I need to visit Cobble Hill more–it’s right near a market, bookstores, clothing stores, other stores (probably), and coffee shops. I’m into it.

The Instructor

I took my first class with Hannah, who helped explain the megaformer and tried to point out where I did well during class even though there weren’t many options to choose from. She made jokes throughout class and overall had a great sense of humor; 10/10 would get coffee with after class.

My second class was with Katie, and she was fantastic. She talked to students like they’re old friends, rather than a bunch of people who don’t know how the hell to use a megaformer (more accurate). Her cueing was helpful and on-point, she made lots of adjustments, and had great energy.

In both classes, I found some of the instruction a bit unclear at times, which was frustrating as a newcomer, especially in the “Back to Basics” class. However, I also understand that teachers can’t give new students individual attention throughout the entire class.

The Workout

I’ll be upfront – I suck at this workout. Pilates reformers in general freak me out because I’m always afraid I’m going to fall off the machine, snap a cord, etc. But, the extra balance test is what makes this workout so hard, especially on your core. During my regular class, we started off with an abs series of mostly planks and plank variations and to be honest, 10 minutes into class I was ready to call it quits. We then moved into some leg and glute exercises which were a bit easier but still very challenging – lots of slow, large movements, and then small pulses within the movement. From there, we moved on to a bit of arms and finished off with more abs. The Back to Basics class operates in a similar structure, but the instructor spends more time breaking down the setup of each position. Don’t be fooled by the name–this class is still a workout! I actually left the Back to Basics class sweatier than I left my first, regular class–probably because I had a better idea of how to correctly execute the moves.

With both classes, I definitely felt sore the next day, which was awesome–I do a lot of similar movements already in barre class, so it’s great to see AND feel that the reformer really intensifies these moves.

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The Vibe

As noted above, this place has a Williamsburg-y feel to it in that it’s manufactured to feel unmanufactured. It is a nice studio, though, despite not being particularly large. As for the clientele, they were a bit older than I’d expected (late 20’s and 30’s) and seemed to be regulars (see: the guy next to me who knew how to do every move perfectly and probably thought I was creepy for staring but I just want to learn the moves, dammit). The Cobble Hill studio had similar vibes.

The Damage

Your first class is $18 but then drop-ins jump to $35. This actually isn’t as bad as I thought it would be – SLT classes are $40, and even classes at Solidcore, Washington DC’s megaformer chain, are more than this.

Their 30-day unlimited package is $349, which brings it down to only about $11 per class if you go everyday (but I can’t imagine how someone could do this every day and still walk).

Brooklyn Bodyburn is also on classpass, but FYI the spots are never open. If you want a good time slot, you’re probably better off just buying the intro offer*

*this is both factual and also will help me get into the coveted classpass spots