Megaformer: Exploring the Pilates Machine Revolution

Megaformer: Exploring the Pilates Machine Revolution

Stepping into a fitness studio can be an overwhelming experience, especially when confronted with unfamiliar exercise machines you see at Powerhouse Gym. One machine that might catch your eye is the Megaformer, a prominent piece of equipment in Lagree-style and Pilates classes.

Created by Sebastien Lagree, trainer and CEO of Lagree Fitness, the Megaformer offers a unique and effective workout experience.  Lagree’s fitness method, known as the Lagree Method, focuses on a high-intensity, total-body workout with minimal impact on the joints.

The Megaformer consists of a sliding carriage that moves back and forth, supported by a system of springs and cables. It also features handlebars on both ends and two end platforms.

By utilizing slow and controlled movements, combined with the resistance provided by the springs, cables, and body weight, the Megaformer activates slow-twitch muscle fibers. These fibers are typically engaged during endurance activities rather than explosive movements.

Distinguishing the Megaformer from the Classic Pilates Reformer

At first glance, the Megaformer and the Pilates reformer might appear similar, but they have significant differences. The Pilates reformer consists of a sliding horizontal platform within a box-like frame, connected to a set of light springs via a simple pulley system.

In contrast, the Megaformer, as a modified version of the reformer, includes an additional platform, more springs, and various modifications. Moreover, the Megaformer is substantially larger than the Pilates reformer.

The dissimilarities extend beyond physical attributes. The original purpose of Pilates and the classic reformer, created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, was focused on physical rehabilitation rather than a comprehensive workout. Over time, Pilates instructors and studios have evolved the method to offer full-body challenges beyond the original intent.

In contrast, the Megaformer aims to break down muscle fibers, elevate heart rate, and transform body composition. The method emphasizes effective form, range of motion, tempo, duration, tension, sequencing, transition, and places of motion.

Unlike the classic reformer, the Megaformer facilitates a wider range of exercises in various positions, including standing, sitting, and lying down.

Unlocking the Benefits of the Megaformer

What makes the Megaformer an enticing workout option? Let’s recap the top three advantages:

Low impact on joints. As we age, joints can become stiffer and less flexible, resulting in pain and discomfort. The Megaformer’s use of resistance springs and slow movements ensures a low-impact workout that minimizes stress on joints and connective tissues. Unlike exercises involving jumping or lifting weights, the Megaformer keeps your feet grounded, reducing the strain on your joints.

Comprehensive core engagement. Every exercise on the Megaformer integrates core muscles, even when you think you’re solely working on specific body parts. The platform’s movement demands balance and stability, requiring your core muscles to work continuously. Unlike traditional weightlifting exercises that lack this constant engagement, the Megaformer activates your core throughout the entire workout, providing efficient core stabilization and coordination.

Muscular endurance development. Building muscular endurance is crucial for sustaining physical activities over an extended period. While other exercises focus on muscular strength, the Megaformer enhances muscular endurance through cardio-weight combinations.

What to Expect in a Megaformer Class

Typically, you’ll move through a series of exercises on the machine with varying spring loads in different planes of motion. These exercises can include planks, lunges, core movements, and upper and lower body exercises, among others. The class is usually led by a certified instructor who guides you through the movements and ensures proper form and alignment.

During a Megaformer workout, you can expect a challenging and intense experience. The slow and controlled movements, combined with the resistance provided by the springs, engage your muscles in a deep and effective way. The continuous tension throughout the exercises forces your muscles to work harder and stay engaged throughout the entire range of motion. This leads to muscle fatigue and ultimately helps to build strength, endurance, and muscle tone.

The class is typically designed to target all major muscle groups, including the core, arms, legs, and glutes. It often incorporates elements of cardio, strength training, and flexibility, offering a well-rounded full-body workout. The exercises are performed in a sequence with minimal rest between movements, keeping your heart rate elevated and maximizing calorie burn.

You can expect to work on improving your balance, stability, and flexibility. The moving carriage challenges your stability, requiring constant engagement of your core and other supporting muscles. The machine also allows for a wide range of motion, which helps to increase flexibility and improve joint mobility.

It’s important to note that Megaformer workouts are adaptable to various fitness levels. The resistance can be adjusted based on individual strength and abilities, allowing beginners and advanced participants to work at their own pace and gradually increase the intensity as they progress. The instructor will provide modifications and variations for different exercises to accommodate different fitness levels and any specific limitations or injuries.

Learn more about it here:

Category: Featured