What Is A Megaformer And How Does It Work?

Not all gym workout machines are created equal. Hot trends like the Peloton treadmill and bike are a fun way to exercise in a class setting with real instructors without having to leave the comfort of your own home. The Peloton instructors have the added benefit of having a direct pipeline to becoming an influencer. Peloton offers thousands of on-demand classes with everything from "low impact to intervals to climbs," per The New York Times

Then there are those popular machines at the gym that aren't doing as much as people think like the ab crunch machine and the hip abduction/adduction machine. Yep, there are a lot of options to choose from out there but there is one machine created in 2005 that Meghan Markle, Kim Kardashian, and Michelle Obama all swear by — the Megaformer, per Insider.

And if you're into Pilates and want to kick it up, you have to try the Megaformer. Here is what a Megaformer is and how it works.

The Megaformer is a customizable workout machine

The Megaformer combines Pilates and cardio into one low-impact machine with a large focus on your abs. This is called the "Lagree Method," per Self. The Megaformer is a spring-based system with wheels, making for a challenging workout. You can adjust the resistance up to 250 pounds to customize your difficulty. Lagree Fitness offers four different Megaformers, and you can try them out in one of their studios and never get bored because of the thousands of customization options, via Lagree Fitness.

Pilates instructor Christie Wang explains the thought behind Megaformer classes to Byrdie saying, "The workout builds muscle, strengthens your core, makes you sweat and shake, and focuses on slow, precise movements. Classes involve challenging big muscle groups plus the little stabilizing muscles through a combination of low-impact cardio, strength training, and some Pilates-inspired movements." 

The Megaformer has two sliding panels that are designed to bring some serious burn. This isn't your average Pilates reformer, per Self.

"It's the only workout that effectively combines strength, endurance, cardio, balance, core, and flexibility training, not only in one session but in each and every move," says gym founder Amanda Freeman, per Glamour.

The Lagree method can be challenging

While it may look like a medieval torture device, the Megaformer is here to help you get stronger. The benefits don't stop there.

The Megaformer offers almost unlimited low-impact exercises, making it a great option for recovery. It's much more versatile than a traditional Pilates reformer, via Reform Athletica. You can basically work out everything, plus cardio, in a single session. If you're looking for a way to cover all the bases in one class, a Megaformer provides the ideal workout.

One thing to keep in mind is that Megaformer workouts are not for the faint of heart. They're extremely challenging, even for the pros. Pilates instructor Nicole Byrnes shared her experience with Refinery29.

"Even as an instructor, I am constantly being challenged and humbled when taking class," said Byrnes.

Since we know what happens to your body when you do Pilates, it's safe to say there's a lot to love. However, you may want to work your way up to participating in a Megaformer class.