The Megaformer gives a heart-pounding workout.
Celebrities like Sofia Vergara and Kim Kardashian have been toning and tightening their bods on a Megaformer, the latest contraption to push your fitness to a whole new level. Nicknamed “Pilates on crack,” this 10-foot-long, 250-pound machine is designed to hit muscles from a variety of angles, targeting the core, legs and arms even deeper than traditional Pilates. The development of the machine came about while Sebastien Lagree, a personal trainer and former bodybuilder, saw a need to combine Pilates with a cardio workout.
According to Lagree’s website, Ben Stiller and Nicole Kidman are fans of his method that strengthens the body, tones and elongates the muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility and postural alignment, and restores the body’s natural balance. Vergara has been quoted as saying that “In one hour, you feel like you do everything.”
Its popularity is on the rise with an estimated 500 locations to feature Lagree’s method by 2016. (Lagree licenses his method and sells the Megaformer machines to licensees.)
It’s low-impact and safe on the joints (even those with injuries can get a hard-core cardio workout), but don’t let the “low-impact” fool you. It’s a heart-pounding, intense workout that can burn up to 800 calories in a single class. You move all over the machine—sitting, standing, kneeling, laying--shifting seamlessly from one position to another. “The Megaformer attacks each and every muscle in a very concentrated and focused manner to sculpt strong, powerful and lean bodies in a safe and measured way,” says Lisa Hirsch, owner of The Studio (MDR), a Megaformer studio in Marina Del Rey, California Hirsch says you are getting the best aspects of multiple types of workouts in one.
Although the Megaformer is a derivative of a Pilates reformer, the workout feels much more supercharged. “Classical Pilates rehabilitates muscles and makes you lean; circuit training burns fat and plyometrics gives an explosive workout,” according to Hirsch, who says they combine all of it at The Studio MDR. She adds “The pace of the 50-minute, 10-person class is fast and intense, so boredom is never a factor.”
Be warned: This workout is not for the faint of heart.