Our reformers have 5 springs – 3 red, 1 blue and 1 white.
Red is the heaviest (100%), blue is the middle (50%) and white is very light (25%). For many exercises, more springs = heavier/more resistance. For example, footwork on 3 red will be heavier/harder than footwork on two reds and a blue. Heavier, however, is not always harder and sometimes heavier can be counter productive. For example, planking is always harder on the reformer when there is LESS tension on the machine. For planking, the goal of the exercise is to strengthen the core and shoulder muscles, as well as promote proper form. If a spring is too heavy, then the exercise goes into the wrong muscles. Planking on a red and a blue would work all the work into the shoulders and defeat the purpose of the exercise.
As always, our instructors cue the springs for each exercise in class. We often give options to make things harder/easier and we explain where you should feel the exercise. If you ever have questions about the springs we use in Pilates class, just ask and we’re glad to help!