When it comes to working out, it’s pretty hard to create moves that are truly original—after all, there are only so many ways to do a crunch or a plank, and most of the ways to move your body have been pretty well established for decades.
But today Sebastien Lagree, the man who invented the hurts-so-good Megaformer, has proven that it’s still possible to truly innovate, having just been granted a patent for the exercise method performed on his new Supraformer—the inclining, tilting mind-controlled machine that’s vaguely reminiscent of a Pilates reformer (but with way more bells and whistles).
To be clear, patenting a new piece of exercise equipment isn’t that remarkable—everything from the Supraformer and its predecessor, the Megaformer, to the regular Pilates reformer and the various bikes created by Peloton, SoulCycle, and Mad Dogg Athletics (Spinning) all have patents of their own.
But it’s much harder to prove that you’re creating totally new movements on that piece of equipment—for instance, your body is basically doing the same thing whether you’re on a Spinning bike or in a Flywheel class.
“Method patents are not easily granted, but in the case of the Supra, the equipment is so unique that it was clear from the start that this method has never been done before,” says Lagree. “The individual exercises themselves are not patented—it’s the way the exercises are performed on the Supra.”
It was clear from the start that this method has never been done before.
Say what? Lagree describes it like this: “You cannot patent a lunge, but you can patent a way that a lunge is performed on a machine; I patented the way a lunge is performed using a multi-axis system, at different angles against gravity. On the Supra, the lunge will hit different areas of the thigh that cannot be hit if the lunge is performed traditionally on the floor.”
Got it—so what does this mean for you, and Lagree Method fans like Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, and Karlie Kloss? Essentially, you’ll only ever be able to find the 25-minute Lagree Fitness Method workout in Lagree Fitness studios (like the one that opened recently in West Hollywood or the forthcoming locations in Westwood and Beverly Hills)—or at select partner studios (several have reportedly placed orders, though their names are still TBA).
It also means you should pay close attention to Lagree’s next moves, since it’s clear the guy is a serious groundbreaker in the fitness space. “You can expect more innovations like the Supra in the near future,” he cryptically tells me—I’m counting down the minutes.
For other workouts that are changing the game (and making us wonder ‘Why didn’t we think of that?’), check out Peloton’s virtual cycling classes, the new “immersive fitness” craze, and this video game-style HIIT class.