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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.
“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.
I’m celebrating week 21 of pregnancy. Baby is the size of a banana or bell pepper. I don’t know why it’s so fun to compare a growing fetus to a fruit or veggie, but it gives me a much-needed laugh while I make note to avoid consuming bananas for the week. This is also ultrasound week. I’m no longer able to bring my husband and daughter to the appointment, but we understand that these restrictions are put in place to protect us. Like so many pregnant women and mothers across the world, I’m doing my best to adapt to the new norm and changes that COVID-19 has introduced to my already stressful life.
Pregnant women across various metro cities are beginning to face fears of delivering their baby without a birthing partner by their side for the duration of the hospital stay. Family members and friends may not be able to meet baby in-person for quite some time, so those special first meetings happen over FaceTime. New mommy groups switch to virtual meetups. I’m feeling the weight of it all (and I’m not referring to the extra weight I’ve gained from WFH snacking), the heaviness of the unknown that we all carry as we navigate through all of this change.
Tuning into nightly news or googling the latest COVID-19 death tolls is a surefire way to lose sleep, but we do it anyway because we want to stay informed as we wrap our heads around how much this pandemic will change our world. Maybe your anxiety and personal despair grow as you hear from a friend who recently lost their job or read about your favorite restaurant unable to keep its doors open. Canceled events, long-anticipated vacations, and temporarily closed fitness studios are not only inconvenient, but force us to reframe our attitudes.
I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to relax. She tells me that the baby can feel my stress, and that isn’t good for anyone. I begin to feel guilty about my inability to quiet the negative feelings and decide that something needs to change. We can’t change what the media reports, the pressure at work, or predict how long it will take for the economy to recover. But what if we reminded ourselves to do the best with what we have and keep moving forward—one day at a time. Amidst the chaos, we’re becoming a stronger, kinder community, and that is truly a beautiful thing to see.
The journey to my second trimester wasn’t an easy one. I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I made time for my body and mind to heal after the loss. Float tank sessions, meditation, vinyasa power flow, and frequent facials helped me connect with my body. I can’t say self-care alone healed my depression, but it certainly helped me discover the importance of self-love and repaired my self-confidence.
After many pregnancy tests and negative results, I was at peace with accepting that having another child may not be in the cards for me. Fast forward to age 37. I was shocked to see a + symbol on three pregnancy stick tests. Although I’m medically referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, my OB/Gyn said there was no reason for me to go into this pregnancy with a negative mindset. Eat healthy, stay active, and focus on being POSITIVE. Maybe the pursuit of happiness and path to personal wellness was really that simple.
On my 38th birthday, I celebrated my 20th week of pregnancy—I’ll refer to it as the “Pregnant in a Pandemic Party.” I blew out a candle on a warm chocolate chip cookie that my husband and daughter baked together. They were my only party guests, but I didn’t need a room full of people at a fancy restaurant to feel pure gratitude. People across the world continue to test positive for COVID-19. I was safe in my home with my family. I was right where I needed to be.
Although the past few weeks have brought a wide range of emotions for all of us, I’m choosing to use this extra time to self-reflect and bond with family. I’m mentally recording my five-year-old daughter as she whispers to my stomach and tells her baby sister that August couldn’t come soon enough. This is life. So perfectly imperfect at times, but beautiful in more ways than we know. We may be housebound, down to the last few rolls of toilet paper, and our hair hasn’t seen a salon in over a month. The loss of control and routine over our daily lives can make us feel like failures. Trust me; we’re not. We were never meant to get through this alone. Together, we will get through this—one day at a time.