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Meet the Megaformer

15.06.2018. Le Sirenuse

Le Sirenuse has become the first Italian outpost of the Megaformer, a workout system developed by Lagree Fitness in Los Angeles that has been dubbed ‘Pilates on steroids’. Since the method took off in around 2013, fitness enthusiasts, including a host of celebrities we are too classy to namecheck, have been falling over each others’ finely-tuned abs and glutes to sign up for courses in the States, Australia and the few other territories where Megaformer-equipped gyms currently exist.

The mantra of Lagree Fitness founder Sebastien Lagree is: “If it’s not shaking, it’s not working”. And he’s not talking about shaking one’s booty in a Zumba routine. Lagree is referring to the tremor that comes when you maintain the tension on a muscle group way beyond the point of comfort. It’s not for nothing that the New York Times called Lagree “torturer to the stars” in a 2014 feature on the former actor and the company he built in Burbank, California.

Megaformer 02

The Megaformer is basically a Pilates reformer with extra oomph – because it is designed to blend the balance, flexibility and body-tone benefits of Pilates with cardio, strength and endurance training. It has a fixed front platform and a moving carriage, plus a series of grip bars, straps and pulleys that are used in a a non-stop sequence of exercises targeting one muscle group after another. You work each one to the point of exhaustion (“the shake”) before moving on to the next. But these are all slow, measured movements, developed to activate the slow-twitch fat-burning muscle fibers – and also to be easy on the joints and spine.

Le Sirenuse’s resident personal trainer and Megaformer expert Francesca Capoccia is a huge fan of the new method and the machine that delivers it. “I see so many people doing long, boring treadmill workouts”, she explains, “or spending ages lifting weights in a static way, without leaving much time, if any, for stretching. For me, what’s revolutionary about the Megaformer is the fact that it allows anyone to aim for a healthy, well-toned, sculpted body with just three hours’ gym work a week”. It’s also, she points out, a variable system whose loads and angles “can be adjusted to suit people of all levels, not just the very fit”.

For more information, or to book a session with Francesca, please contact the Gym.



Photos © Roberto Salomone

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