Whenever I think of pilates, I'm 100 percent guilty of envisioning a room filled with Lululemon-clad soccer moms monotonously working to sculpt their pelvic floors for an hour straight. I've been hesitant to really give those micro-movement exercises a try, but honestly, Meghan Markle's workout might just have me reconsidering.
Let's be real, the world is basically obsessed with everything Meghan Markle does right now, so when she revealed one of her go-to workout routines, we all couldn't help but vigorously take notes on the tips she, and the trainers she works with, have to offer.
While Markle has said she loves running as a form of meditation, and she'll never say no to a quality hot yoga class, the 36-year-old actress's ultimate workout challenge involves a fancy-sounding machine called the Megaformer.
Since you're probably wondering what the hell a Megaformer is, you'll be happy to hear it's actually not as complex as it sounds.
Though the name sounds like some kind of high tech, intimidating Transformer, it's actually just a workout machine created by Sebastien Lagree, the founder of the Lagree Fitness Studio. Lagree's goal, he told PopSugar, is to turn pilates into a more challenging form of fitness by "merging" it with a "more rigorous approach," like bodybuilding.
The Megaformer basically combines all of the key tenets of any good fitness plan: cardio, strength, endurance, body composition, and flexibility. Sounds like Lagree has all his bases covered, right?
Since using the Megaformer doesn't require you to do any "explosive" movements, like burpees or box jumps, and you're not necessarily lifting any sort of heavy weights either, you might think that using this machine wouldn't really feel like much of a workout at all. However, according to InStyle, Markle is all about using this machine, and she's obsessed with the low-intensity exercises that the Megaformer challenges her body to move through.
Markle's favorite studio is Pilates Platinum in Los Angeles, which is where she frequently goes to work out on the Megaformer and sweat it out with some unique, pilates-like exercises. The workouts are super low-impact, and the smooth, subtle movements don't put unnecessary pressure or strain on your joints, like other HIIT exercises often do.
The Megaformer works by placing constant tension on your muscles, which is why pilates-based workouts done on the machine are much more effective, in a shorter amount of time.
This unique method behind the Megaformer is why celebrities everywhere, including Markle, are so obsessed with it. It's a different approach to something more mainstream like pilates, and it's an awesome way to keep things interesting. Plus, it's been said to not really "feel" like a workout, even though your post-Megaformer soreness would likely tell you otherwise.
Lagree told InStyle that each time he creates a new and upgraded version of his OG Megaformer, his goal is to make the workout more effective in a shorter amount of time. That sounds just about perfect for Markle's quickly growing to-do list of royal duties, and TBH, it could be ideal for anyone who doesn't have much time to squeeze in a long sweat sesh each day.
Movements atop the Megaformer are meant to be done super slowly, which causes your slow-twitch muscle fibers to activate, gets your heart pumping, and leaves you feeling the burn for days after the fact.
Bottom line: Even if you can't find a Megaformer near you to use, take a cue from Markle and Lagree during your next workout, and opt for some tightened micro-movements in lieu of your usual burpee combos and HIIT circuits. Sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race.