Aryan Rashed, one of the owners of JetSet Pilates, a new workout studio in Coral Gables and Miami Beach, loves the attention her studios’ Megaformer machines are getting in workout circles.
Megaformer sounds like one of the alien autobots in the Transformers series and if you worked out on the Megaformer regularly enough, you could probably take on a rampaging Transformer.
“The New York Times referred to it as ‘Pilates on crack.’ I’m more, PC. I don’t like to say that. Can we advertise, maybe, ‘Pilates on steroids?’ That’s the buzz,” says Rashed, 31, from the Coral Gables studio.
Names aside, Megaformer Pilates is an ever-changing class. “This is taking Pilates-inspired movements and incorporating them with strength training and cross training for a total body workout,” Rashed says.
Men and women of all ages and training levels can give it a go. “The machine doesn’t discriminate,” she says.
But it challenges.
The Megaformer incorporates a sliding platform, marked with red lines, adjustable handlebars and footbars that rotate 360 degrees. It also has a spring system for resistance training.
The lines, co-owner Tamara Galinsky says, are a point of reference for placing the balls of the feet and for the instructor to gauge whether a student is situated properly. A Los Angeles Pilates instructor, looking for a workout that was more challenging than the traditional Pilates reformer machine, developed the machine
Exercises include lunges, which incorporate the sliding platform to deepen the movement. Pliés, while clasping a long cane-like balance bar, work the thighs, arms and shoulders. For a good core-developer, Galinsky has her class stand on the platform with one leg crossed over the other while holding on to the front handlebars. Push the platform away, as you use your obliques to make the movement, and then pull it back to starting position.
This girl is on fire, Alicia Keys wails on the stereo and it’s a good bet your muscles might join in on the next chorus.
“I used to be a dancer and I feel I’m incorporating an aerobic activity and using my body in ways I can’t do in the gym. I feel I’m getting longer and leaner and stronger and it really tests my body,” says Britt-Angela Williams, 41, who lives in Miami Shores but takes JetSet classes in the Gables.
“I do bodybuilding and I found it gets rid of the abdominal work and cardio all at once and I hate cardio work,” says Yediel Kadosh, 27, who plans to graduate from University of Miami Law School this week. “I’ll try anything new and it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I brought another friend who just does weight lifting and he said it kicked his ass. Try it once and you’re hooked.”