By Tina Salvucci, NLC
With Lagree Fitness studios popping up all over the world—from SLT in New York City to Solidcore in Washington DC to Lagree Fitness Studio in Los Angeles—the Megaformer workout is becoming increasingly popular and available almost everywhere.
But what the heck is it?
Lagree Fitness is a low-impact, high-intensity workout on a machine called a Megaformer. The machine looks similar to a Pilates reformer, with a moving carriage, handle bars, platforms, and cables (oh, my!), but this is not your Grandma’s Pilates class. In fact, the method has been called “Pilates on crack.”
It’s a tough, effective workout because the Megaformer uses springs to create resistance. Exercises are performed using slow, controlled movements to fire up slow-twitch fat-burning muscle fibers. The slower you go, the better! Each and every class will engage your core, increase cardiovascular endurance, and build balance and flexibility. (No wonder clients sweat so much!)
Class times vary depending on the studio. For example, SLT in NYC and Solidcore in DC provide 50-minute sweat sessions, while Lagree Fitness Studio in LA will get you mega-sweaty in just 25 minutes on the advanced version of the Megaformer called the Supra. This state of the art machine is the only machine in the world that tilts and inclines. Sounds like a roller coaster, right?
Here’s what you need to know before exercising your sense of adventure by trying a class.
5 Tips for Your First Megaformer Class
1.Don’t be tardy to the party.
Arrive 15 minutes early to get familiar with the studio, know where the bathroom is located, and where to put your stuff. It never feels good rushing to the studio when trying a workout for the first time.
2. Don’t be a stranger.
Introduce yourself to the instructor. Let her know you are new, and she will give you a quick demo of the machine. You don’t want to start class not knowing the difference between the front platform and the back or the red handles from the black ones. When it’s a totally new piece of equipment, you’ve got to familiarize yourself.
3. Set yourself up for success.
Ask the instructor to put you next to an experienced client. Classes move quickly, and when the instructor transitions the class into Catfish or Super Lunge, you can peek over at your neighbor rather than flailing around.
4. Don’t slip up.
Most studios require clients to wear socks with grips on the bottom. Grip socks will help you stay safe on the machine (and also give you some leverage) and keep things clean.
5. Modify if you need to.
You don’t have to be a seasoned athlete or a supermodel to take a Megaformer class. (Although both have been spotted in classes in LA and NYC!) Each class is designed for all fitness levels. There are ways to modify every exercise if you need a bit less intensity or add variations when a challenge is needed. Instructors are encouraging and will help you make it all the way to the end of class without falling off the Mega, I promise.
(Photo: Lagree Fitness)
Tina Salvucci is Nutritious Life Certified and is a Level 2-certified Lagree Fitness Instructor and a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer based in Newport Beach, California. She continually strives towards her life goal of living to 100 years. Tina’s life motto: Leave someone happier than you found them. Follow her on Instagram at @tina_livingto100.