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Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:53 am
by Tiffany
Hi everybody,

I'm looking for to change my "old" reformers (balanced body allegro) and want to change them with more traditional ones. I'm investigating a lot but it is not easy...I think my favorites nowadays are Gratz, Balanced Body Contrology and Tecnopilates. I ask you if you have tried this reformers, wich one do you like most and wich of these is most close to the really original one...I know that you at Rotterdam Pilates have built it by yourself, but do you also produce them for other studios? I don't think to be able to build one by myself :? but I really am curious about how different does it feel to workout on it instead of a BB or Gratz.
So if you have some useful information for me, please, let me know...

Greetings and thanks

Re: Reformer

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:16 am
by Javier
Hello Tiffany,
While we all will have preferences we should avoid making absolute statements as far as equipment is concerned. No one brand produces a product like the originals. They all have changed the designs and they all copy each other like crazy. Even Joseph's original measurements are poor for many taller people. Remember Joseph was not very tall at all. All the brands lie but their products will suit some. Buy the one you like the best. As a rule I don't recommend or go against any brands unless I consider the product dangerous, like Gratz neck stretcher. I have some Gratz reformers that I have modified to return them to the original way that Gratz use to produce them or to the way Joseph created them. People should not tamper with the equipment unless they know what they are doing. Sorry, I can't help you much :| but as I said, try, and then get the one that you like the most. Most brands will work for many exercises but so far no brand will allow you to do all the exercises without adjustments.


Re: Reformer

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:37 pm
by Tiffany
Ok...Yes, I agree with you, I have to try them.....I found that Gratz produces a so called "archive reformer" and maybe is more similar to the original characteristics, and yes I find that the new balanced body contrology is a copy of that :lol: ...anyway... what kind of solutions do you adopt for taller people in your studio? Did you provide gears on your reformers , did you build longer ones?
Could you tell us your sensations, having a workout on the reformer you built by yourself, instead of for example on a Gratz reformer? I think it's a very interesting information to have!
About the Gratz neck stretcher, I just wanted to buy it ...why do you say it is dangerous? :shock:

Thank you very much

Re: Reformer

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:01 pm
by Javier
Hello there,
I wouldn't say that the Balance Body is a copy of the Gratz: their "archival" reformer was in the market way ahead of Gratz. In 2009 Gratz turn down my offer of giving them the original measurements with the following sentence: "we already produce the original".
As I said then, the "archival market" will explode -which it did- and everyone will come up with their own version of whatever...
A few years ago I gave a Wunda workshop in NY for the first time in the US including the exercises that use the box (in my studio we have been doing them for years) Now, out of the blue Gratz is producing the "Gratz archival wunda box" -with the wrong measurements too. And there was a very sad pictura of Cristina Gadar (I think that is her name) placing it under her feet, as a foot rest (wah???) and doing some weird variation of the Twist 1 without involving the legs: the whole set up is wrong but nevertheless she puts it up online. Lately is crazy: everyone wants to be in the race and they do the silliest things.

Just because some maker slaps the word "archival", "authentic" or "original" doesn't mean a thing. Take the little block for the Reformer: Gratz changed it into a cube with a pin -dangerous: I know a colleague in another studio who stepped on the damn thing: way to get a stigmata!!- now they change it back to the "archival" version:
1. They changed it, so replacing it is not a feat.
2. I cannot possibly be archival because it didn't exist at the time of Joe, even Romana refused to use it.

The spring in the Gratz neck stretcher is ridiculously hard and thus, dangerous for the neck.

THe feel of the original?? where to star?? The original reformers do NOT work for you or slide smoothly home. They are kind of wild the client really has to concentrate to move it exactly to where you want to move it. YOU decide where home is. No stopper either way: the carriage is home before it actually touches... and many other things. They are not really crowd pleasers. Nor are the safe. My colleagues had to get used to it -some still don't like it- and working on them totally changes the way you think about the method. Note: I am NOT talking about any of the "archival" reformers in the market.

I am currently building another one!!!
This time I am building it "a la Mr. Desio".
Also finishing more Spine correctors (To cover different versions from Joseph) and a spanking new Ladder Barrel with moving tray and table!
Carving New Gears-01-.jpg
Carving New Gears-01-.jpg (58.94 KiB) Viewed 943 times
Carving new gears at the router table.
New Reformer Frame-01-.jpg
New Reformer Frame-01-.jpg (52.32 KiB) Viewed 943 times
New Reformer frame.
New Ladder Barrel-01-.jpg
New Ladder Barrel-01-.jpg (47.27 KiB) Viewed 943 times
New Ladder Barrel

Re: Reformer

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:27 am
by Tiffany
Dear Javier,
first of all thanks again to share your knowledge
I'm realizing how much the 99% of Pilates teachers (me included) are so far away from knowing the method as Joseph intended it...after your last updatings I'm more and more convinced that you could be the reincarnation of Joseph old are you ? :P
It's a real pleasure to read wath you write and see wath you do...overall it's a pleasure to rediscover the practice
How much information about the original work, photos, exercises, videos, projects has been hidden to the bulk of teachers and is possessed by few persons or organisations....I'm really interested to read more about your story and your research and study of the method...
Have a nice time and work,