While we’ve always aimed for a strong, sinewy Pilates body, we’ve long suspected that it may take some cardio to get it. But where to score all the heart-pumping, belly-flattening exercise necessary in 60 minutes or less?

At Studio Lagree in Lincoln Park, that’s where. In the spot’s signature 50-minute M3: Fusion class, we tried a method that uses the not-for-wimps M3 Megaformer machines, which blend Pilates, cardio and strength-training moves. (There's also a Highland Park location.) 

Not only were there zero breaks, there was music pumping and teachers who gave us towels--yes, we were dripping--and encouraged us to keep our minds off the pain.

We did curls, lunges, planks and moves with names like “Scrambled Eggs” (on all fours with your leg in a pulley moving front to back) and “Bear” (pulling your knees in under your hips from plank). Our instructor deftly clued us in to what was coming next and we gamely followed along, too sweaty to be bored.

By the end, we were tired, sore--and more than a little proud we didn’t quit.

$15 for intro class, $160 for 10; Studio Lagree, 1123 W. Armitage Ave.; 847-433-8658 or studiolagree.com

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