Have you heard of the Megaformer? Before last week I thought it was a superhero or Transformer character, so I understand if you’re confused.
Over spring break I became well-aquainted with this little contraption and took three classes at a local studio in Tampa called Mantra. We have a family friend who raves about it so my mom and I wanted to try it for ourselves.
From Mantra’s website: “The state of the art Megaformer™ provides constant resistance and infinitely more exercise options than a traditional reformer; it allows the body to shift smoothly and quickly from one exercise to another to get the blood pumping and maintain increased heart rate. All muscle groups, from big to small, are strengthened in a non-aggressive, no-impact manner making this workout as good for your muscles as it is for your joints. Your spine stays protected, your mind engaged, and your body pushed to its limits.”
Going into the class I expected to have a similar experience as I did when I tried a barre class. I didn’t find barre to be a workout and I felt silly during the class (just my opinion). However, the Megaformer surprised me. Big time.
Yes, I guess it is a “girly” workout and you’ll probably see mostly women at the studios, but it’s effective.
The Megaformer incorporates elements of Pilates with cardio segments for a full-body workout. The focus is on slow and controlled movements with fast transitions in between exercises. The names of the exercises are kind of confusing (ex: Mermaid Twist, Elevator Lunge, Spoon) but the instructor explains them well and corrects form.
What adds resistance to every exercise are the springs at the front of the Megaformer. There are two blue springs and four yellow springs. The blue springs provide the most resistance but for most exercises we used two yellow springs. The instructor will cue when to change them and you can always adjust if needed.
Every class is different. We did some of the same moves each time but there are endless variations. Plus, the instructor switches the order of the exercises and spring resistance so it’s not the same workout every time.
Both ends of the Megaformer have straps that can be used for upper body moves and core. You stand, sit, kneel and lie on the Megaformer depending on the exercise. That part feels silly. The middle platform is what moves (slides back and forth with effort).
The class is 50 minutes and is broken up into four segments: core, obliques, legs and upper body. Each movement in the segment is done for 30 seconds to 1 minute before switching. The time FLEW by. Both my mom and I commented that it was the fastest 50 minute workout we’ve ever done.
Here is an example of a core movement:
Keeping a straight spine I used my core to move the platform forward and backward.
It’s a small movement but I was sore the next day. I said to my mom (who was sore too), “I’ve never had my stomach hurt and it not be a stomach ache but instead sore abs.” That’s a feeling I’d much rather have! My abs NEVER get sore.
Overall, my inner thighs and hamstrings were probably the most sore. The upper body movements didn’t do much for me.
Other things to note:
-It’s expensive. There’s no getting around that. My mom and I each bought a Living Social for 3 classes for $39, but otherwise it’s $30 a class. They have membership options but it’s still pricey.
-You have to buy grip socks. They were $20 at the studio but you can probably find them cheaper elsewhere. I’m going to try to use them for yoga to get my money’s worth.
-The website claims you burn 500 calories per class, but I have a hard time believing that as I barely sweat and I didn’t really get my heart rate up. My mom is going to wear a heart rate monitor next time to test out that theory.
I won’t be going to a studio near me unless I can find another Groupon/Living Social package because, like Soul Cycle, it’s way out of my college student budget. But I really enjoyed the class and the results. Give it a try at a studio near you!
*Linking up with the Fit Dish today! Thanks, Jill and Jessica*
Courtney Giardina says
This is a very interesting piece of equipment. I’ve never heard of it before, but am very intrigued! I too never get sore abs no matter how much I work them, so this is definitely something I’d like to look into!
I was so sad when the soreness went away because it never happens! Definitely check it out. Look on Groupon or Living Social for deals.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I feel silly with Barre too! (It is NOT a workout) hahahaha!
This looks cool to try though! I do hate how these specialty studio classes are so expensive :/ Bummer.
And omg….I can NEVER get my abs sore! I do core work everyday though….I think my core is my strongest part of my body, so that’s why. Years of STRENGTH built.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Those Days You Can’t Forget
Haha I like to tell myself that I don’t get sore abs because my core is so strong, but I’m not sure that’s the case with me! I think if I varied my ab workouts instead of doing the basics I would feel something.
Sarah @pickyrunner says
I loved pilates last year when I did it at school because of the reformers so this is a workout I think id enjoy. It wouldn’t replace running/cardio, but it’s a great strength/toning workout! It looks like a fun studio and even better that you tried it with your mom :)
Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…23.
I think it’s a good complement to running because it strengthens so many of the muscles (little and big) in our legs. I love trying new fitness classes with my mom, we do it a lot!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
I’ve never taken a class like this before, but I’d totally be up for it! I’m all for challenging muscles in new (slightly weird :) ) ways!
I can never get my abs sore. Arms? Yep. Chest/back? Mhm. Legs/glutes? Absolutely. Never my abs, but I can’t figure out why.
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Hard Choices
I’m the same way! I could do 10 easy deadlifts and my hamstrings/legs would be sore for days. Weird how that happens. Maybe the new challenge hit small muscles that I don’t normally work so that caused the soreness?
[email protected] says
I’ve never seen this piece of equipment before, but it looks similar to something I’ve seen in a Pilates gym. That is definitely a bit pricey for those classes… I’m not sure if I would spend $30 a class.
It looks very similar to a Pilates machine! Groupon and Living Social might have good deals in your area.
These scare me, haha. It would be fun to try a few classes but definitely don’t think I could sustain taking them with that price tag!
Lauren recently posted…2015 KELLY Shamrock 5K Race Recap
I thought I was going to fall off the machine! It’s a lot more stable than it looks.
Kathy Maloy says
come in and try a class! The studio offers class pack pricing and monthly memberships that average $18/class. Last documented customer heart rate monitored registered over 700 calories burned in one class. Cardio, Core, and Strength Training packed into 1 class and all on one MEGA Machine!
Can’t wait to come back next time I’m in Tampa :)
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I just learned about megaformers over the past few months so it was great to read more about it and see your perspective on it. I definitely want to try it out, so hopefully there is a place nearby that will offer it. I think it would be a great workout to do on days I want low impact or just to tone.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Fit For Life Progress
It’s a great paired with running because it works so many muscles in the butt/hamstring/leg!
Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch says
What?! This is completely new to me, so thanks for introducing it. I always love trying something new. I have been curious about Barre, but after what you said, I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be the right fit for me, since HIIT, Insanity and intervals runs are my faves. Oh, and Soul Cycle…amazing! Thanks for the inspiration to step out of my box! Great work. : )
Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch recently posted…How To Be More Present. Top 5 Tips.
I love trying new workouts so going to this class was a perfect spring break treat! Even though this isn’t high intensity I think it’s great for a low-impact strength workout.
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes says
I just did a class on the mega reformer and had the opposite experience. My heart was pounding very quickly and the sweat dripping! Hardest class I’ve ever done!
My mom told me she went to a class after I left and she was sweating more too. Maybe I wasn’t working hard enough?! It’s definitely an awesome workout and I felt it for days.
jill conyers says
First, love the name. I would love to try it. I don’t think there is a studio or gym that has megaformer locally but maybe one will open.
jill conyers recently posted…Learning To Live In the Present
This studio opened in the last month or so. I think it’s a growing trend!
Georgie Morley says
When I read “Megaformer” I totally thought of a transformer but this class looks really cool!
I love trying new types of group classes to add variety to my normal routine. I definitely get into grooves, doing similar moves on my own, so it’s great to try something new. It’s crazy how some smaller movements can pack a powerful punch!
I couldn’t remember if Megaformer was a character in The Incredibles or not, but I was convinced it was some type of action figure. I think part of the reason I was so sore was because it was different from my normal routine. I never work those little muscles in my butt and core so I felt it big time!