The Megaformer workout hits Sarasota

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SARASOTA - It started on the west coast, in California, but now it has come to the west coast of Florida: an innovative way to improve your workout.

At first glance, it seems like a Pilates workout, but it is the next step in the evolution of Pilates; a more comprehensive workout. "I do a lot of different workouts, from horseback riding, to soccer, I pretty much play any sport, and I found that it’s helped me in anything that I do; just my balance, my core is better, and my strength is better," says Kathy Maloy, owner of Mantra SRQ.

The ramping up of Pilates was ushered in by Sebastien Legree in California. It was his introduction of the Megaformer that has given us this next link in the workout chain. "There's nothing like it. You can get your whole, entire workout done in about 45 minutes. That includes the cardio, the strength training, everything. The flexibility, everything that you would want in one workout in only 45 minutes,” says trainer Rachel Hautamaki.

The workout is for women and for men, and because it involves more cardiovascular work than standard Pilates, you can get a complete workout, cardio and muscle work, all in one. "It’s basically a redesigned, re-engineered Reformer. Sebastien Legree re-engineered the Pilates Reformer to fit his workout," says Maloy.

"They all are coming back and telling me, ‘I have never seen my obliques. My inner and outer thighs have never been so toned.’ And basically they’re toning that muscle and sucking those legs in and sucking those obliques in," says Hautamaki.

It began in California, but Maloy brought it to Sarasota. She opened Mantra SRQ specifically for the Megaformer workouts, and she has not been disappointed. Suncoast residents have really taken to the workout. "It is an addiction, truly, once you come and realize you can get a total body workout in just 50 minutes, and have such an effective workout. I've already lost inches," says client Michelle Burnett.

"I'm getting a lot of people that are just so happy to have something different that is so effective," says Maloy.

This Saturday at Mantra, the originator himself, Sebastien Lagree, will be on the Suncoast to teach some classes. He will be teaching 10:00, 11:00, and noon classes. The grand opening celebration is from 10am to 2pm at 3908 S. Tamiami Trail, right next to Sonny's Bar-B-Q.