5 Key Requirements to Achieve Physical Fitness:
Muscular Strength is the ability of the muscle to exert force during an activity. The key to making your muscles stronger is working them against resistance -- weights, gravity, springs.
Muscular Endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue.
Cardio-respiratory Endurance is the ability of the body's circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity.
Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. Good flexibility in the joints can help prevent injuries through all stages of life.
Body composition refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts of the body. A person's total body weight may not change over time; but his/her body composition might, resulting in a greater fat gain and greater muscle loss. The bathroom scale does not assess how much of that body weight is fat and how much is lean mass (muscle, bone, tendons, and ligaments). Your main goal will be to loose fat and build muscles.
The Science Behind the Workout
Key elements to Ultimate Pilates training program:
A muscle will only strengthen when forced to operate beyond its customary intensity. The load must be progressively increased in order to further adaptive responses as training develops, and the training stimulus is gradually raised. Progressive Overload is the foundation of muscle growth and strength gains.
Slow and Controlled Movement
The movements are taught to be performed slowly and with control. The lifting and lowering phases of each repetition is at least 4 seconds to eliminate any momentum. Lifting slowly and with control forces the muscles to stay contracted throughout the entire range of motion and this is a key factor in promoting strength. That "constant" tension recruits more muscle fibers and is a very efficient way to "wake" up muscles that have gotten used to traditional methods. Another advantage of slow and controlled movements is the smaller risk of injury compared to other methods of lifting; many joint injuries occur from lifting weights too fast.
Lagree Fitness keeps the muscle at maximum tension throughout the duration of the exercise. The muscles are not allowed to relax for even a fraction of a second during the rep: the moment the muscle is allowed to relax, the set loses its efficacy. This type of training is very effective for building strength and muscle definition.
Each set is designed to work the muscle to failure. Muscular "failure" is defined as when the muscle can no longer move or contract concentrically. During a session, each set allows you to progress through all 4 motor unit types. Your body will start by recruiting your slow twitch fibers first, as the set progresses and those fiber weakens, your body will recruit your fast intermediate muscles fibers (type 2a and 2b); finally for the last 2 to 20 seconds of the set, your body will recruit your fast twitch fibers. That progressive overloading seems to stimulate the biggest amount of muscle fibers and creates the greatest metabolic response.
Intensity is the amount of effort required or the amount of energy required to do the work. Lagree Fitness exercises are very intense but minimize the stress on the joints and the spine. In addition, it's very easy to increase the intensity on the Megaformer due to its counter resistance setting.
Lagree Fitness works multiple muscles at the same time. Some movements work over 600 muscles at once! Aside for being extremely time efficient; working multiple muscles at the same time burns more calories than isolation exercises; develops core strength faster; stimulates balance and body coordination better; keeps the heart rate up; and build strength quicker than isolation movements.
EPOC stands for Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Many studies show that the greater loss of fat happens AFTER the workout!
During EPOC the body is restoring itself to its pre-exercise state, and thus is consuming oxygen at an elevated rate. This means that energy is also being expended at an elevated rate (including an elevated consumption of fat). The EPOC effect is greatest soon after the exercise is completed and decays to a lesser level over time. Some studies found measurable effect existed up to 38 hour after the exercise! Lagree Fitness is designed to generate the greatest EPOC reaction.
Strengthening the intrinsic muscles is paramount to improved body composition as it relates to the effective support mechanism to the bigger/fat burning extrinsic muscles. You cannot grow the bigger muscles group without strengthening the muscles within.
Rest and Recovery
At last, It is only during the "resting" time that your body is actually getting stronger. During the rest and recovery time, your body is releasing all the hormones necessary for tissue repair and strengthening. This last principle is up to you though.