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Elevate Training
Fitness
Published Monday Feb 12, 2018 by Erica Arvanitis

Bored with Your Workout? Meet the Megaformer!

Fitness
Cardio
Interval Training

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. 


What makes the Lagree Fitness Method so unique? 

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.”

 

Elevate Megaformer

What would you tell a new person who has never used the Megaformer before? 

“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.” 


What’s your go-to move on the Megaformer?

“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.”

 
What goes through your mind when your muscles start getting the "shakes" on the Megaformer?

“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!” 

 

Any advice or tips for people who are struggling to keep their New Year’s resolutions surrounding wellness or fitness? 

“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. 
 

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.