Megaformer: My New Exercise Obsession
Several things happened to me in the past 6 months. I discovered I weighed the most I’ve EVER WEIGHED IN MY LIFE and then I realized a possible cause; I was getting SO bored with my current exercise regimen that I was finding any excuse not to do it and having great success!
While I realized this weight thing was happening and while it was truly killing my self-esteem, I started to accept it as my new reality and a part of aging. I did very little to change the situation. But, it continued to eat at me EVERYDAY and every time I sat down and could feel a roll of fat over my jeans.
Then, one day before Christmas, I read a blurb in a local magazine about an exercise studio that had recently opened and I was intrigued enough to dog-ear the page. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks later when I was getting my hair cut that I learned the owner was trying this new exercise called Megaformer and loved it. That was the push I needed to check it out.
So, I contacted Catwalk Fitness and scheduled a private class with the owner, Cathy Wagner. You know why I chose the private…I was embarrassed I was too heavy, too afraid how I’d look in spandex, and afraid just maybe, I wouldn’t be able to do the class; all indications my self-esteem was pretty low at this point.
What I got was 50 minutes of FULL BODY resistance training in a hybrid blend of cardio, Pilates, and core-burning moves, all done on a Megaformer machine created by Sebastian Lagree. The machine consists of a carriage that slides back and forth between two stationary platforms. Added to that is a combo of muscle-quivering springs that control weight and resistance, pulleys, and hanging straps. One of the keys is doing quick transitions between moves so your heart rate stays elevated the whole class. Plus, it’s pretty much impossible to cheat.
Let me tell you, it’s the hardest exercise I’ve ever done and I haven’t been a slouch when it comes to working out. I used to be a runner and did hot yoga until I had to modify so many poses due to knee and shoulder injuries, I said forget it. But, here’s why I stopped doing privates and signed up for classes…
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE MEGAFORMER
- You seriously get a complete body workout in the 50 minute class. You get cardio and upper and lower body workouts – lots of passive resistance exercise. It strengthens, tones, and tightens the whole body. I sweat and I mean SWEAT!
- While it may be difficult, you can go at your own pace and do modifications. You can take a break at any time and if an exercise calls for you to be in a plank and your wrists or knees don’t want to cooperate, you can go down to your elbows and/or knees.
- One of the things I love the most is that it’s not competitive. While you’re in a room with a group of people on a machine, it’s really hard to look over at your neighbor or at them in the mirror, as you’re so focused on either maintaining your balance or getting through the pain. Very unlike yoga…don’t let anyone tell you yoga is not competitive. People do look across their mat to see who’s doing headstands, eagles, and crows.
- As I’m aging, stretching is becoming more important and you get a lot of stretching on this machine.
- They play great music which always makes exercising a little more fun.
- The 50 minutes literally fly by. I never look at the clock to see how much more time I have to suffer through like when I’m on the treadmill or lifting weights.
- The instructors have been nothing but supportive and inclusive. They will yell out encouragement as you’re just about ready to collapse, so you keep going instead.
- Okay, so I’m guessing I’m the oldest woman in the class as most look to be in their 30’s, maybe early 40’s, but I actually can keep up pretty well, so it makes me feel good about myself.
- You only need 2 – 3 classes a week to see changes in your physique, which is what I have been doing. I do, however, also walk fast an hour almost everyday as I have 2 large dogs that take me for a walk.
- I don’t know if I’ve actually lost pounds as I failed to weigh myself before I started the classes, but I’m going by the jeans’ test and mine have definitely gotten looser. I can’t wait to see how I keep progressing and what I can get my body to look like.
- And finally, I have a glow to my face for the rest of the day. Seriously, it gives me naturally rosy cheeks!
The only real downside is that all of this goodness doesn’t come cheap. Private lessons in my part of the country are over $100 per hour, but that’s common for most personal trainers. (My triathlete husband pays $120/hour for weight training instruction). It helps that Catwalk Fitness offers special deals for first timers, like $20 a class, and continues to offer package specials, so I’m sure most others across the country would, too.
My bottom line – if you can find a Megaformer studio in your area, seriously go check it out.
Photo credits belong to Cathy Wagner of Catwalk Fitness.