Miten vahvoja Align-Pilatesin reformer-jouset ovat?

Strength and comparison.

Pilates is not like weightlifting, where the weight being lifted is key; in fact, in Pilates, less resistance is often more challenging, and the resistance needed from the springs is mainly about feel rather than kilograms! However, many customers want to know how strong Align-Pilates springs are so they can compare them to other brands they've worked with or to better understand the most effective way to add resistance to different exercises.

Background – The original Pilates springs
In the days of Joseph Pilates, reformers only had 4 springs, and they were originally all the same strength. Additionally, the springs were steel and did not advance linearly, so users felt a significant non-linear change in spring resistance as the spring expanded. After his death, Pilates scholars (those who had studied with Joe and Clara) discussed the need for a lighter spring, and the five-spring reformer was born. This led to different manufacturers starting to produce different strength springs to offer more variety and sophistication in resistance selection. Today, only a few specialized classical reformer manufacturers still use the spring that Joe used, but it is interesting to think how much choice Joe Pilates had in choosing his springs when his requirements were very small in terms of manufacturing, and springs of such sizes were not readily available, let alone different resistance options .

Anyway, in the 1990s, most Pilates manufacturers started color-coding their springs and naming them according to their resistance level, for example heavy/strong, medium, light, very light, etc. Most manufacturers equipped their reformers with 3 different strength springs as standard, either 3/1/1 or In a 1/2/2 layout. Some brands, notably Stott Pilates, chose to categorize their springs as a percentage of their strongest spring, i.e. proportionally, offering 100% / 50% and later 25% springs. This system seems more objective, although in reality (according to Merrithew's website) the actual proportionality of Stott's springs does not match the percentage names, it is actually more like 100% / 66% / 41% (equivalent to Align-Pilates' 100% / 60% / 40%). Anyway, regardless of the system, the concept is the same: adding a small add/delete to remove the lightest spring, the middle one for the bigger one (if there are 3 different ones) and the strongest one for the biggest one, and vice versa. The important thing is not the description, but the size of the resistance selection and possible additions, so that you get the right feeling for the exercise, regardless of who is using the reformer.

So what's the Align-Pilates spring setup like?
As with most brands, Align-Pilates also color-codes the springs and divides them according to resistance. Available springs are Extra Light (yellow), Light (blue), Medium (red) and Strong (green). Weight or resistance is not specified as it depends on the spring stretch, but the information is presented in the table below for those interested. Align-Pilates commercial reformers come with the following 1/2/2 setup as standard:

1 x Green (Strong). Full spring or 100% spring
2 x Red (Medium). approx. 60% 100% spring
2 x Blue (Light). approx. 40% 100% spring

This standard spring setup aims to achieve a wide range of resistance, from very light to very strong, for example 2.6kg at 25% stretch on the lightest spring and up to 133kg with all springs attached on a C-series reformer at maximum travel. In addition, the layout allows for small additions that correspond to half of the resistance of the weakest spring to more than half of the additions. The optimal progression is shown in the table below:

Since 2 x blue (light) is 20% more than 1 x red (medium) and 20% less than 1 x green, this layout allows for very good progression, and the math is easy for those who want that level of precision.

As for how many kilograms of resistance an Align-Pilates spring is equivalent to, the chart below shows how many kilograms of resistance each spring has at different levels of stretch. This is based on 25% / 50% / 75% and 100% maximum stretch in our sold C8-Pro and C2-Pro reformers. The chart is not particularly useful or relevant to the Pilates exercises themselves, but it serves as a useful tool for comparison with other manufacturers' springs.

All Align-Pilates strings are made from high-quality nickel-plated Korean music wire, which provides the best life and consistent linear resistance, so the resistance increases evenly and evenly as you stretch. The graph below shows the steady progression of resistance at different stretch levels.

How do Align-Pilates springs compare to other Pilates manufacturers?
Most leading brands provide spring resistance information in kg/cm or Lbs/Inch units, which makes comparison quite easy. In most cases, Align-Pilates' standard set-up offers just as low resistance as standard sets from other leading brands, even slightly higher resistance than most, so few need to switch from the standard set-up.

When identifying spring changes during emotion, users who are familiar with the full (100%), half (50%), and quarter (25%) styles can continue to do so, as proportionally the relative percentages of Align-Pilates springs are very similar to the actual % values ​​of other brands , as mentioned above, however, these terms and percentages are only approximate. Having said that, the use of color is a more intuitive way to mark spring adjustments in the Align-Pilates system from a student's point of view, since the colors are marked on the springs and spring nuts.

Other Align-Pilates arrangements
Some clinical Pilates or rehab Pilates clients may be interested in a lighter setting than the standard setting, and this can be achieved by changing the blue (light) or red (medium) spring to a yellow spring (which requires a specially supported spring cover); the choice depends on how low the resistance is to be achieved. Changing the blue to yellow for a 1/2/1/1 arrangement is the most common option - please contact your dealer if you would like to change the arrangement in your Align-Pilates reform.

Few need a heavier setting even in Fitness Pilates, but this can be achieved by swapping a red (medium) or a blue (light) for another green, or for a more refined addition, a blue (light) for another red (medium). Note that going from a 1/2/2 arrangement to a 3/1/1 arrangement marginally increases resistance repetitions and increases between changes, which is why Align-Pilates prefers the 1/2/2 arrangement.

Service life of springs
Note that like most other brands, Align-Pilates springs should be replaced every two years or 2,000 hours (whichever comes first). Pilates springs that show signs of wear, kinks or distortion should not be used and should be replaced immediately.