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Blog Spotlight Interview: Michelle Laframboise

03rd June 2019 by Katerina Liapis, MSPT
Michelle Lafromboise

Introduction:

Michelle Laframboise is a Pilates instructor and a master trainer for Booty Barre, based in North Carolina. She works out of her home studio space, offering sessions to private clients. In addition to her live training, she has started a new online endeavor focused on women’s health called Spark Viva. For more information, check out her website www.burnandfirmpilates.com and follow her on instagram @burnandfirmpilates.

Q: Good morning, Michelle. Thanks for joining me today. I’d love to hear more about your background in the fitness industry. How long have you been a Pilates instructor and what interested you in this area?

A: I have been in the fitness industry for most of my life. Before I can even remember, I had skates on my feet. In this little town where I grew up in Canada, there was a world class figure skating facility nearby. That was a normal way of life for me. My mom was a big role model – she did body building in her 30s through her early 40s, so she inspired me.

Q: Who or what inspires you to maintain such a high level of commitment to health and fitness?

A: I went to nursing school in Canada. I was a gym rat at that time. I became exposed to Pilates to manage neck pain which I had experienced after having my first child. I fell in love with it and found out where to take the training, which I did when I was pregnant with my second child – that was about 13 years ago. I worked in three different commercial studios and eventually transitioned to a home studio. I’m back into a smaller boutique home studio model now and I’m working on a new online endeavor pertaining to women’s health.

Q: What makes your approach unique compared to the average Pilates class or instructor?

A: Every Pilates instructor is unique in terms of what they bring to the table from their own life experiences. For me, I really love forming deep connections with my clients. We’ve really grown together. I love helping people, what really lights me up is working with someone over a long period of time to really help them improve their life – it’s more than just the physical aspect of Pilates. Learning that discipline, realizing on such a deep fundamental level how much better their body can feel is so valuable. We call it ‘thera-lates’. You can actually have a deep emotional release at times – we tackle so much more than physical training. That’s where you witness the holistic part of something as special as Pilates take effect.

Q: Do you focus on implementing a certain philosophy when you work with your clients that you believe helps to promote successful outcomes?

A: There’s always a modification and always a way of working around your limitations. When people are feeling down about certain health issues or injuries, I help them to realize their capabilities. There are so many things that are going on in people’s lives and I feel that Pilates offers them a way to access their strength when they feel that they are losing their health.

Q: You’ve developed quite a large following on Instagram – how long did it take for this to grow?

A: It took a few years. When I first got on, it was a very natural evolution – I didn’t know much about Instagram. Bigger sites would start to repost my videos and I started to get followers from other people in the community. The feedback that I’ve gotten about my page is that I’m vulnerable and authentic – I share what is really going on under the surface. I find humor in everything – people just want to know what life is really like. Generally, there’s just too much perfectionism and it’s not reality.

Q: Do you use specific Pilates equipment in your training?

A: I’m a very fusion kind of person – I love coming up with movements. I will do circuit training beyond the Reformer – using the magic circle or bands. I really love to mix it up using all different pieces of equipment. That’s why the Hypervibe has been such a beautiful addition.
One of my clients calls it the ‘Calgon’ machine – ‘Take me away’! He told me that this is the best part of his day.

Q: On the topic of whole body vibration, this mode of exercise is still new to many people. How did you first hear about it?

A: I had seen a number of Pilates instructors starting to post about whole body vibration. Hypervibe was the first company that I noticed a tidal wave of presence on social media. We had a Vibe studio in my town – but I don’t think that people really knew what it was and I had never learned much about it. I started to be come interested in learning more about it and eventually that compelled me to take the training course.

Q: What were your thoughts when you first became aware of Hypervibe?

A: I had never had the opportunity to try a whole body vibration platform before. Before I read any of the scientific research on it, I had the sense that it would increase the efficacy of a workout. You can read everything that you want to read and it’s great information, but as soon as you step on a Hypervibe, you think “I get it now.” You have to get on one – you have to feel it. When I got my Hypervibe, I was excited about it and as soon as I started using it, I thought, wow.

Q: Would you mind sharing the experience that you had attending the Hypervibe Foundation Training course in NYC?

A: It was more than I could have ever expected. Everyone who was involved so exceeded my expectations. Rockell is a force of nature – she is living and breathing it. Everyone is putting such amazing passion into it. The training was in depth and informative. You discover so many things about your own body and what you can do. I felt happy being there. It was a wonderful, nourishing weekend. It wasn’t the type of training where you feel exhausted and overwhelmed – I couldn’t wait to get home and try the different applications with my clients. It was very invigorating.

Q: What did you learn about whole body vibration that you didn’t know before you took the course?

A: Pretty much everything. The research – I love reading about measurable changes with bone density, with neurological issues, with balance. With my nursing background, I am always interested to read about subsets of patient populations that have experienced clinical improvements. The information that really blew me away was the aspects that pertain to the rehabilitation opportunities.

Q: In what ways has the Hypervibe contributed to your practice? How have your clients responded?

A: My clients are loving it. They really appreciate the stress relief – they line up just to destress before their sessions. I have several clients who love it to elevate their workouts.

Q: Do you have a primary use for the Hypervibe in your personal fitness routine?

A: I remember the first time I got it, I started laughing – I felt a rush of good hormones the moment I stood on it. I’ll often use it briefly if I have time between clients – I don’t need to do anything but stand on it and I let those good hormones flood my system. I tend to be someone whose neurological system is always in a very ‘sympathetic’ mode – it really helps me come down into that state of rest. Stress management is the foundation of healing for so many conditions. Over the past few years, my gut issues took a toll on my muscles – it’s been very frustrating dealing with this condition, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). I lost strength, I felt weak and tired. Hypervibe has helped me build up my strength again in a very short amount of time. It’s been great for my digestion – I really have noticed a difference with that. I also use it to get a great burn and great workout.

Q: What do you feel is the single most important factor to keep people motivated when it comes to sticking with a fitness routine?

A: You have to see and feel tangible changes. People can get stuck in a rut when doing the same things all the time. With whole body vibration, every time you step on the Hypervibe, it can be a different experience. You might use it for stress relief, lying down with your legs on it. The next day, you might use it for a very deep workout. There are so many different applications for it that you can never get bored. You might use it one day when you are really tired and needing to do something low key and you might use it differently the next day. It really is the most versatile piece of equipment.

Q: Do you envision that Hypervibe could be used in other settings?

A: Absolutely. It can definitely be used in a hospital based fitness program. As a former nurse, I really appreciate the potential applications of the Hypervibe in rehabilitation settings. It can help so many people achieve movement, strength, relaxation, etc. I think that it could really help many individuals improve their quality of life.

Thank you so much, Michelle. We look forward to hearing about all of your new endeavors and we are proud to have you on our team as a Hypervibe Ambassador. #teamhypervibe.

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