I’ll never forget my first megareformer workout. I had been doing barre and Pilates classes for months and when I heard about this “core-intensive” strength class I was confident that I would be able to kill it. I was so wrong.
My challenge: Stellar Bodies lunchtime workout. 50 minutes of me and this machine that surely wouldn’t be that bad. Right?
Oh, so very wrong.
While the rest of the class mustered to the “back” of the machine, I tried to blend in and followed the person next to me. We added some resistance and stood on the machine. The instructor told us to plant one foot and use the other to move into a side lunge. Easy enough? Not so much. My left leg immediately started twitching, so much so that the instructor had to come and *sit on my machine* because I was shaking so much that I couldn’t hold myself. After 25 minutes of 20 different moves, I was so disappointed in my abs failing me, that I was ready to quit. That’s when the instructor had us switch to the other side so we can do it ALL OVER AGAIN. Awesome.
SO, WHAT IS IT?
50 minutes of full-body controlled resistance training on a megareformer machine looks super intimidating. (But don’t worry, it’s not!) In fact, at first you will think it’s super easy and you got this. Within 5 minutes into class you will immediately regret not having a stronger core and realize that making it look easy is part of the game. This ish is hard.
HOW’S IT SET UP?
The Megaformer has a stable platform on each end with a sliding carriage in between, which can be spring-loaded with 0 to 180 pounds of resistance depending on the color of the springs. (Don’t worry this will make sense in class). You’ll also find handlebars and cable pulleys for your hands and feet on each side of the machine.
Related: Why I Started BBG
WHAT’S THE TRICK?
The megareformer is easy. Just slow down. Whatever speed you are at, slow down. The recommendation is 4 (Mississippi) seconds in and 4 (Mississippi) seconds out for each move. Yes, it’s much harder – but the workout is more effective that way.
Slower movements create more tension, which requires you to recruit a greater number of muscle fibers in each movement. That also means fewer injuries and a safer workout on the resistance-based machine when compared with just knocking out a bunch of quick reps on a traditional weight machine.
WHERE CAN I FIND A MEGAREFORMER CLASS & HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Depending on the studio, megareformer classes can range from $20-$35 dollars each. Ouch! Yes, these classes are expensive, so you are better off finding a studio they love and purchasing a class pack for a better rate. You can also use congregate platforms like MindBody or Classpass. (Read more about my Classpass experience here or try it for yourself!)
The Megareformer may be tough, but you can’t get another core workout like it. It definitely gets easier with time. Remember that beginner style classes generally have you doing moves at the front of the machine while more advanced classes will have you move to the back of the machines for added resistance. Megaformer workouts can improve flexibility, endurance, and strength so I highly recommend trying it out!