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The Megawhat? No, it’s not a Transformer—it’s the latest fitness contraption everyone is talking about. With Michelle Obama, Calvin Harris, Kim Kardashian, and even the princess-to-be Meghan Markle obsessed, we decided it was time to learn more about the machine behind this innovative workout.
Developed by fitness guru Sebastien Lagree, the Lagree Fitness Method was born from the need to merge Pilates with the more intense approach of bodybuilding. Incorporating all five elements of cardio, strength, endurance, body composition, and flexibility, Legree’s workout paired with the Megaformer stimulates the body’s adaptive changes, elevates heart rate, and engages your core.
“Elevate Training is not Pilates. Our studio is very, very different in the fact that it combines all five elements of fitness to give you strength training, cardio, balance & flexibility, endurance, and toning—all in one place in a 40-minute workout,” says Bekah. “Keeping constant tension, we use a Megaformer, not a Pilates reformer, which works for a wide range of clients for a personalized workout.”
“It takes roughly 3-4 classes for someone to feel comfortable on the machine just because it’s so different than any other workout,” says Bekah. “We like to tell new clients, ‘Don’t expect a lot, we will get you through class safely. You’re going to feel the burn, but it is going to be a little overwhelming. Anticipate that going into it and don’t compare or expect to keep up with everybody who’s been doing it for nine years next to you.’
It really helps them enter in with an open mind, not expecting anything but really allowing them to get an overall experience for what the workout is.”
“There are so many and it’s always changing, but right now I would say we have this core move on the back and it’s just killer. It’s called the Reverse Kneeling Crunch,” says Bekah. “Essentially, you’re crunching upside down with your elbows and knees on the floor. It’s almost as if you’re expanding the springs of the Megaformer with the strength of your core! The heavier they get, the harder it is on your abs. It’s definitely a six-pack shaper.”
“It’s a love-hate relationship. As educators and trainers, we try to let clients know what shaking is and why it’s happening in your body. Being a good instructor and keeping your clients engaged, learning what’s going on is so crucial. For example, instead of just telling them to ‘keep going, hold that position,’ we explain why it’s’ important,” says Bekah.
The talented trainers at Elevate tout the mantra, “tension over time.” Why? When we find ourselves sweatin’ it up and shaking like crazy during an intense workout, that means slow twitch fibers are reaching the point of effective muscle stimulation.
“It’s crucial to stay there because that’s where transformational fitness comes in. That’s why it’s so effective to sculpt and tone your body—to build lean muscle mass. There are even some moves where your butt is shaking so bad, it looks like you’re twerking!”
“The mindset behind it is the same with a diet. It has to be a shift in lifestyle. It's not just a resolution or a year-long goal, but rather the consistency and the health behind it,” says Bekah. “Whether it’s to live a happier, healthier lifestyle or to look great on that date–know your reason. Develop healthy habits, but be realistic with your expectations.”
Train like a champion while you learn the healthy way to push your body to the limit? Sounds like a good idea to us.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.