Mega Form For Mega Moves

What is a Megaformer?

“Book your megas and challenge yourself” is the common email subject line I receive waiting in my inbox. It’s a good reminder get my mind in a workout game and sweat in a mega way.

You may be wondering what the heck is a mega?! In short, ‘mega’ refers to a megaformer, which is a type of fitness equipment that is conducted in a group class setting by performing Pilates based exercises in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style. I’ve attended some wonderful megaformer classes and realized 3 things…

#1: Mega classes are quite expensive to do multiple sessions in a week.

#2: Although more mega studios are popping up, most of them are found in larger cities, which makes finding this equipment difficult if you don’t live close to one.

#3: The megaformer machine promotes movements that combine strength, cardio, pilates, and core activation all of which can be simulated on your Total Gym and in the comfort of your home.

Therefore, why not learn the concept and perform a megaformer workout, on your own, with your Total Gym?!

Pilates-Based Equipment Differences

Fitness equipment comes in all shapes, sizes, and has distinct characteristics that separate them apart. When comparing the differences between three Pilates-based pieces of equipment: the classic reformer, the Megaformer, and the Total Gym, all three have similar characteristics and functions. They all have a gliding carriage and utilize cables to strengthen your muscles while maintaining purposeful body alignment.

These three machines also have many differences, which are described below:

Reformer - The Pilates reformer challenges the body to promote length, strength, flexibility, balance, and improved posture while performing the Pilates method.
  • Exercises are performed by either pushing or pulling the straps to move the carriage or by holding the carriage steady during an exercise.
  • An adjustable foot bar is used for various exercises.
  • Resistance is mostly spring loading depending on the movement.

  • Megaformer - The Megaformer equipment and Lagree Method is designed by Sebastien Lagree. The method merges Pilates strength with cardio in a low-impact way.
  • The machine is quite large with many straps, springs, a platform on both ends with a sliding carriage in between.
  • The carriage is spring-loaded with variable resistance ranging from 0-180 lbs. making it a serious strength challenge.
  • It’s equipped with handlebars and cable pulleys for the extremities.

    Total Gym - The Total Gym is your one stop shop home fitness equipment that is so diverse to simulate any fitness method for strength, circuits, Pilates, yoga, flexibility, ‘megas’… you name it!
  • There are several attachments to achieve a multitude of exercises on just 1 machine!
  • There are NO springs attached, however, the resistance is uniquely produced by the assistance or resistance of gravity.
  • The incline level on the Total Gym determines the exercises intensity and delivers fast results.

    All of these amazing pieces of equipment focus on improving functional strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular health, flexibility, balance, and coordination.


    Understanding how to master the method on your Total Gym will make all the difference in the results of your workout. The glide board (aka; the carriage) makes low-impact exercises of a lunge or plank more challenging by adding instability along with the chosen incline of your Total Gym. Your tiny muscles will fire up to stabilize you in the process.


    There are a few points to cover in order to perform this type of workout correctly on your Total Gym. Before testing out the workouts, please review the video to fully understand how to implement these concepts on your Total Gym.

    1. Slow Tempo - Perform each exercise super slowly as if in slow motion.
    2. Static Hold - Hold a position without movement for a set period of time.
    3. Tuck Pelvis & Engage Core - Achieve a small pelvic tuck to bring your ribs towards your hip bones. This helps support the lower spine. Your abs power you through the exercises so make sure they are always engaged.
    4. Proper Shoulder Alignment in Planks - When in a plank position, be mindful that the shoulders are stacked on top of the wrists and the neck is positioned long without tucking the chin.
    5. Proper Knee Alignment in Lunges/ Squats - Be mindful of your knees when performing lunges and squats. Never lock them out and always have them track the toes when in motion to avoid strain on the joints.
    6. Intensity Levels: Incline vs Decline - Since the Total Gym utilize gravity for resistance, be mindful to adjust the incline to really challenge your muscles appropriately. The incline intensity will depend on the exercise.



    It’s time to transform your body by utilizing your Total Gym in a MEGA mode. I have created a special 6 part workout series of ‘Mega Moves’ that will rock your body right.

    It’s an ultimate exercise sequence that combines core, strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility all in one workout. It’s effective because the exercises combine all of these elements simultaneously, while the body has to move in all planes of motion.

    Here’s a glimpse of the workout series:

    Park 1: PROPER FORM (current blog)
    Part 2: MEGA LEG MOVES
    Part 4: MEGA ARMS

    I’ve categorized each workout to focus on a specific workout goal. Typically, a megaformer class is 30-45 minutes in duration. For this Mega Moves series, you will determine your workout time, then plan accordingly with the exercise duration and timed sets.

    The workouts will post separately, allowing you time to learn the exercises and perform them with good form. Practice them often to develop confidence and muscular strength. After receiving all 5 mega moves workouts, you can begin to mix & match them or perform all the moves in one big flow.

    So get ready to get your body in shape, train like a star, and be red carpet ready with this Mega Moves Series on your Total Gym.

  • Maria Sollon

    Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

    This Post Has 3 Comments

    1. Can’t wait to see all the other videos!

    2. I was looking for that kind of stuff because I want to increase my knowledge about workout techniques and this blog really helped me

    3. I am looking forward to doing this challenge. I love doing your challenges.

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