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October 19, 2017
My First Megaformer Class
Graffiti hearts now swallow the walls that used to house VHS tapes and DVDs. All that remains of 48 Hour Video is the return slot on the front door. Now on the corner of 4th and Brodhead is Barreform. A distant cry from a video store which boasts being stationary, Barreform looks to get you moving and make you stronger through unique and ever-changing fitness classes. As a standalone entity, the studio embraces the idea that each class can, and should, be unique.
I was on assignment to check out the studio. Upon inquiring which class would be the best to take, owner Nora Hendrycks suggested Megaformer.
Megaformer? I was already intimidated! Time to do some research.
As it turns out, the Megaformer is the machine you exclusively use in the workout (otherwise known as the Lagree Fitness Method). Upon first analysis, the machine looked like a monster. It was big, moved in a way I didn’t understand, and frankly scared me. It was invented by Sebastien Lagree in 2005. Sebastien was looking for a workout that combined Pilates with bodybuilding and worked with an engineering team to bring us the Megaformer, or as I like to call it, The Beast. The Beast is composed of two stationary platforms with a moving carriage in between along with handles and pullies at both ends.
Soon it was Saturday and I headed to the 11:30 am class.
The first thing I learned about a Megaformer workout was you can do it barefoot or with traction socks. Traction socks seemed to be the popular choice in my class. The studio sells these for your convenience.
The second thing I learned was that Barreform is the only local studio to offer Megaformer classes. They house ten machines in which nine are available to customers and one saved for the instructor. The smaller class size offers more attention and guidance from the instructor. My instructor was Doug Roth who was the perfect fit for my first class. More on that later!
Now, let’s talk about the Megaformer in action!
The versatility of the machine was mind-boggling! It worked every muscle – trust me when I say this as I am still sore three days after my first class! It was a low impact workout with a lot of cardio. You are working your muscles with repetitive motions against resistance from springs. The cardio comes into play as you run around the machine, changing the amount and type of springs that are engaged along with setting yourself up for the next sequence. Your balance, focus, and strength are brutally tested!
Let’s talk about the energy of the class.
This class had the energy of a spin class. It goes by quickly as each sequence is short and you transition so quickly! My instructor, Doug Roth, was charismatic, encouraging, and made you chuckle amidst the sweat pouring from places you didn’t know you could sweat!
Speaking of encouraging, each machine has a message under the carriage of a motivational quote. Nora switches these regularly to help boost morale. Mine read, “Shake it til you make it!”
Another unique feature of Barreform is their class pairings that complement one another in succession – an example of this being yoga following the Megaformer class. This is the perfect way to wind down and stretch the muscles you just maxed out. Also unique is Barreform’s version of the popular goat yoga. Owners Brett and Nora often have their pups, Hugo and Ike, in studio. These pups also boost morale as they offer sweet kisses to customers while working out. Hugo and Ike can be seen in Fig’s newest issue!
In sum, if you enjoy trying unique fitness classes and getting a full body workout – head to Barreform. The Megaformer class is definitely worth trying as it is a whole different animal from other fitness classes. I can confidently say the Megaformer kicked my butt and that I intend to limp back for seconds!
Megaformer – Saturdays @ 11:30 am with Doug Roth. Visit the website.