September is the new January.
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The Megawhat? No, it’s not a Transformer—it’s the latest fitness contraption everyone is talking about. With Michelle Obama, Calvin Harris, Kim Kardashian, and even the princess-to-be Meghan Markle obsessed, we decided it was time to learn more about the machine behind this innovative workout.
Developed by fitness guru Sebastien Lagree, the Lagree Fitness Method was born from the need to merge Pilates with the more intense approach of bodybuilding. Incorporating all five elements of cardio, strength, endurance, body composition, and flexibility, Legree’s workout paired with the Megaformer stimulates the body’s adaptive changes, elevates heart rate, and engages your core.
We sat down with Bekah, Studio Director and trainer at Elevate Training in San Diego, CA, to chat about what to expect in a Megaformer class, transforming the body and where our limits lie.
“Elevate Training is not Pilates. Our studio is very, very different in the fact that it combines all five elements of fitness to give you strength training, cardio, balance & flexibility, endurance, and toning—all in one place in a 40-minute workout,” says Bekah. “Keeping constant tension, we use a Megaformer, not a Pilates reformer, which works for a wide range of clients for a personalized workout.”
“It takes roughly 3-4 classes for someone to feel comfortable on the machine just because it’s so different than any other workout,” says Bekah. “We like to tell new clients, ‘Don’t expect a lot, we will get you through class safely. You’re going to feel the burn, but it is going to be a little overwhelming. Anticipate that going into it and don’t compare or expect to keep up with everybody who’s been doing it for nine years next to you.’
It really helps them enter in with an open mind, not expecting anything but really allowing them to get an overall experience for what the workout is.”
“There are so many and it’s always changing, but right now I would say we have this core move on the back and it’s just killer. It’s called the Reverse Kneeling Crunch,” says Bekah. “Essentially, you’re crunching upside down with your elbows and knees on the floor. It’s almost as if you’re expanding the springs of the Megaformer with the strength of your core! The heavier they get, the harder it is on your abs. It’s definitely a six-pack shaper.”
“It’s a love-hate relationship. As educators and trainers, we try to let clients know what shaking is and why it’s happening in your body. Being a good instructor and keeping your clients engaged, learning what’s going on is so crucial. For example, instead of just telling them to ‘keep going, hold that position,’ we explain why it’s’ important,” says Bekah.
The talented trainers at Elevate tout the mantra, “tension over time.” Why? When we find ourselves sweatin’ it up and shaking like crazy during an intense workout, that means slow twitch fibers are reaching the point of effective muscle stimulation.
“It’s crucial to stay there because that’s where transformational fitness comes in. That’s why it’s so effective to sculpt and tone your body—to build lean muscle mass. There are even some moves where your butt is shaking so bad, it looks like you’re twerking!”
“The mindset behind it is the same with a diet. It has to be a shift in lifestyle. It's not just a resolution or a year-long goal, but rather the consistency and the health behind it,” says Bekah. “Whether it’s to live a happier, healthier lifestyle or to look great on that date–know your reason. Develop healthy habits, but be realistic with your expectations.”
Train like a champion while you learn the healthy way to push your body to the limit? Sounds like a good idea to us.