Megaformers Hosted By Body R+D

What to Wear: Form fitting clothing – something that is easy to move around in.

Level of Difficulty:  Great for everyone who needs to strengthen, lengthen and sweat!

Areas Worked:  Arms, Shoulders, Core, Legs

How to Train: 99% of the population would do just fine in a Megaformers class with little or no experience with Pilates or Strength Training. A good instructor will provide modifications to the newer students and will continue to teach a more difficult class to the seasoned ones. It may feel extremely difficult in the beginning, but a consistent program will create the foundation for strength, endurance and flexibility in the body. In time, you will begin to feel the benefits of feeling stronger in the core and along the spine, more long and lean in your muscles and will endure better balance and coordination.


Maggie’s Review

First Impression: The machines were simple yet intimidating. Megaformers look similar to Pilates reformers in structure, only twice the size and serve a completely different function. I did not know first-hand what that function was, but from what I understood it was to obtain complete muscle exhaustion. Looking at the ten Megaformers that lie dormant before me, I had a feeling the simplicity was deceiving. This was not a Pilates reformer, we were not in Kansas anymore and the owner of Body R+D, Harry Shelley was going to be our wizard. Harry took us around and explained everything to us. He also gave us socks with grips to wear and showed us the basic functions of the Megaformer. He showed us how it moved in multiple directions, where the grips were and how to adjust the tension on the machines. He also explained to us that it was okay to come out of something if it was too much. Although I was hoping that this would not be an issue, I did mentally file it away as an option. In fact, I briefly thought about asking his policy on “safe words” but decided against it as I didn’t want to be the only one in our group asking for one.

What I liked the Most: That burning deep down in my muscles that I never even knew could exist as well as the stretching at the end of the session. The stretching felt so good!

What I liked the Least: Holding positions for any extended period of time. This is a catch 22 because it was holding positions that accomplished the burn. Just as with any progress, I had a great love hate relationship with the Megaformer.

That kicked my ass: I will probably not be able to move tomorrow.

Will I ever do it again? Absolutely!

Overall I think: It was an amazing full body workout! Luckily, I did not need a safe word but I might suggest he incorporate this option for an extra fee. The Megaformer is more of a strength and conditioning machine than anything else. Being a runner, I also noticed that the Megaformer workout incorporated a lot of great running poses and would be an especially great workout for running enthusiasts looking to cross train and improve performance. I can honestly say that my quads have never been worked so intensely. If you are looking for a casual exercise that you can sit around and chat with your friends during, then this is not the workout for you. However, if you are looking to get the most out of your workout and are willing to try something unconventional then Megaformers is it. Whether you are in the beginning stages of working out or an elite athlete you will appreciate the results of a Megaformer workout. I lift weights five days a week and the Megaformer still introduced me to muscles I didn’t even know existed. Overall I think it was an excellent workout and if you are in or near a city with Megaformers, you should take advantage of it!

Sara’s Review

First Impression: I walked into megaformers with little to no background on what it was or what it involved…so I wasn’t sure what to think about what looked like a line of mid-evil torture devices but just the look of them made me sure it would be a hard workout.

What I Most Liked: First – I’ve never felt trendier while working out than I did at Body R&D…Great location and super friendly folks!  You also definitely know you are working out when your muscles start screaming, you’re shaking, and you’re begging to hear “only 5 seconds left!”

What I Least Liked: You hold each position or do each movement for between a minute or two depending on the body part being worked – and I know that’s necessary…but isometric exercises tend to be one of my least favorite…although, if you are going to do them, you should be doing them on a cool machine.

It was… Not nearly as intimidating to use the machines as they seemed when you first see them.

 That kicked my ass: I won’t feel it tomorrow, but probably the day after…

Will I ever do it again?  Maybe, maybe not…I hate to commit

Overall I think: I could take it or leave it



Kory’s Review

First Impression:  I was told that this class was referred to as “Pilates on Crack” so as I walked in and saw these wicked looking machines called Megaformers, I was a very intrigued! These machines consist of a sliding platform, springs, resistance bands and other moving parts which create a very-effective amped up Pilates workout, along with cardio and strength training. The workout was 50 minutes long, was set to energetic music, and totally kicked my ass. I can use more of that in my life!

What I liked the Most: The thing is, I rarely do small range of motion exercises and I typically don’t do them until my muscles are burning to the point of total fatigue. We lunged, we planked, we pulsed, we paused, and I could feel the urge to want to give in and to rest for just a second. But I stayed with the exercises and after the class was over, I could feel the deep burn in muscles that are neglected and need some serious attention. Being a runner, I have tight and week hip flexors, amongst other issues that come along with putting in the miles each week. The class was a challenge for me, and although it was small (only 10 machines total), I enjoyed the energy of the music and the knowledge and instruction of Harry who has a good thing going in Chicago.

That kicked my ass: I had to stop and put out the fire in my thighs a few times! Wheww!

Will I ever do it again? This class tops my list in the “favorites” category and I would love to have this in KC. If you live in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles, check it out. Megaformers rock!



Guest Review – Eric Dale

First Impression: When I was first asked to try Megaformers I pictured myself working out with free weights next to large guys who could crush me with ease. When I arrived at the studio, I instead found a machine that looked more suited for a sci-fi move than a workout. Although slightly cumbersome at first, the instructor’s guidance made the machine easy to use.
What I liked the Most: I liked the fact that I was able to work different muscle groups than in my usual routine. Based on how I felt the day after,I think my core and other stabilizer muscles received a great workout. I also liked the fact that the machine allowed for different levels of resistance and that the instructor was able to give advice based on a participant’s level of fitness.
What I liked the Least: Unlike the rest of the group, my least favorite was the stretching at the end. Even after I realized that I had made a mistake by setting the resistance too high, I still did not feel as comfortable during the stretch. Specifically, I didn’t like that your body has to stay mobile on the sled while you are stretching your hamstrings and I would have preferred to have the sled locked during it.
That kicked my ass: I’m probably not going to be able to move tomorrow.
Will I ever do it again? Maybe, maybe not… I hate to commit.
Overall I think: I’m not in love, but I loved it. Going into it, I had heard that it was “like Pilates but tougher”; however, having no experience with Pilates, I had no idea what that meant. What I can say about my experience is that I worked muscles that I didn’t even know existed, which has inspired me to continue to do this in my usual workout routine. The large machine presents a significant barrier to entry for this type of workout, but if people have access to it I would definitely recommend trying it.