Focus On: Core40

Hi! How’s the day going? So happy to see that you’re excited about the Juil giveaway! Get ready for tomorrow’s.. it’s a prize valued at $700. Crazypants!

You guys. My legs. My abs. It’s been two days and the intense soreness has officially set in.  


Sunday was my first time taking Core40, and I was really excited to try it for a couple of reasons:

1) I hadn’t taken a Lagree fitness class (and my friend Nicole teaches and loves the method).

2) There are SO many cool studios here, and while I love life in my Orangetheory and teaching cave, I really want to get out and explore some new things.

When I walked into the studio, I instantly felt like I was in NYC. It was upstairs in a warehouse building, and had the chic open and clean vibe of some of my favorite East coast studios. 

Core40 1

One thing that couldn’t be missed: these Megaformer M3s. They appropriately look like torture devices.

I signed in, and briefly talked with Mabel, the Regional Studio Director for San Diego. She gave me (and another first-timer) a quick introduction to the machines before class started. They have multiple pieces; the resistance can easily be adjusted, and while they look intimidating, I felt much more comfortable using it after her intro.

I’m not sure why I thought the Megaformers were only used in the supine position (on your back), because there is SO much you can do on them, especially standing or in a plank position. We started off class in a series of lunges, with one foot on the front of the device, and the back part on the moveable carriage. It was very much like gliding disc movements: you slide your foot back to get set up for your lunge, sink down to lunge, and squeeze to bring the carriage (using all of the muscles in your leg) back to center. I LOVE movements like this because they challenge difference muscles than the standard lunge (especially the inner thighs; mine are KILLING me today). We also did a series of squats (facing sideways) with inner thigh pulses, planks, pushups and lunge series on the opposite side. 

After lower body, we did an intense core workout using plank, small pulses and pikes (by moving the carriage in and lifting our hips). After that, we went to the back of the machine and grabbed the resistance bands for lat work, biceps, shoulders, and triceps dips. We finished off the workout with a 1 minute plank on the other side, so we had to activate our core to keep the carriage still.

The class was only 40 minutes, and I don’t think I could have gone a second longer! It was that challenging.. and I loved it.

A little bit about the Megaformer M3 (from this site):

Lagree Fitness™ is the most innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning. Moving effectively out of the borders of conditioned stimulus, this workout integrates the key elements of resistance and counter-resistance in a sequence that allows for periods of zero gravity at peak muscle contraction. The composition of this method is significant in that it encourages maximum exertion while allowing for low risk of injury. The Megaformer™ workout strengthens the body, tones and elongates the muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility and postural alignment, and restores the body’s natural balance. The client, at conclusion, is left with a lithe and powerful body, resistant to the everyday stresses of work and life.

Some pros, cons and tips for first-timers:


-You can go at your own pace. I loved that the exercises were slow, controlled, and focus on good form instead of speed. Mabel gave us an exercise, set us up with proper form and alignment, and each participant did the exercise at her own pace until that time block was complete and we moved onto something else.

-Easy to modify. Since you’re working on your own machine, it’s easy to switch the resistance to make the exercises easier or more challenging, and many of the movements could be modified. 

-Always something different. I’ve only taken one class, but from talking to a couple of ladies, I learned that the exercises and routines are constantly changing. This is fantastic because it keeps things exciting and also helps to prevent plateaus.

-Very low impact. The exercises we did were extremely challenging (and many increased my heart rate) without joint impact, making it a good option for those who are looking to minimize impact. 

-40 minutes!! For someone who always enjoys quick, yet effective, workout options, this was right up my alley. Class was from 8:40am – 9:20am and when I got home, the Pilot and Liv were just waking up! Perfect.


(They also had cute little snacks out, too! Love when studios add special touches like this.)


-Parking. It’s unique to this location, but even on a Sunday morning, I found parking kind of tricky. There is a paid lot in the building, but if I can find a spot where I don’t have to pay (or only need to pay a meter) I’ll usually go for that. I drove around a couple of times, and found a spot a couple of streets over.

-Low cardio. This is a strength and muscular endurance based workout, but they also offer spin/Core40 combo classes so you can get cardio and strength benefits in one. I’m excited to explore one of these in the future!

Tips for first-timers:

-Bring a water bottle, towel, and wearing comfortable athletic clothes you can move in. For class itself, it’s no shoes; you can do it barefoot or in sticky socks. 

-Let the instructor know that it’s your first time, so he/she can help get you set up and familiar with the machine.

-Be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to modify. You will likely have to modify some of the movements at first, but I anticipate that like anything, you’ll become stronger and more comfortable over time.

Have you take a Lagree Fitness class or Core40 before? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are there any studios or classes close to you that you’ve been wanting to try??



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  1. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on December 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    This sounds like a cool class! I just moved to Austin recently and I really want to get out and explore more local classes. It’s always good to mix it up!

    • jodie on December 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Welcome to Texas Lauren! Austin is great.

  2. jodie on December 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Very nice. I have not taken a class yet but it is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing, I really do enjoy the focus on posts.

  3. Linda @ the Fitty on December 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    You should do a focus on the TRX!!

  4. Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal on December 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I LOVE CORE40! I am still kind of sore from Saturday’s class. It forces me to work all the areas that I neglect. It’s very dynamic and the time just flies by!

  5. Emily on December 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    If you like the reformer you should try Wundabar Pilates. I went to the Pasadena, CA location, but one just opened up in San Diego. I don’t live in the area anymore and I really miss those classes and using the machine!

  6. Jen on December 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Sounds like a great class! Have you taken traditional Pilates reformer classes? I would be interested to know how they are similar/different.

  7. Alex @ get big, go to work on December 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve never tried a Core40 class or one of a similar nature, but this looks awesome. There seems to be so much variety in SD; I wish we had the same here.

  8. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on December 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I’m definitely interested in trying the Core40 near me, but haven’t yet. I’ve taken a reformer class before that had cardio via a springboard, but I too was impressed with how much we could do on it. And yes, who doesn’t love 40-minute workouts! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Michelle on December 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Oh man megaformers are insanity. I went to a few classes up here and loved them but they are pain train machine. Its sad, I ultimately stopped going cause the vibe of the studio was really terrible (really snotty and exclusionary and maybe no one but me sweat on the machines?) But it was such a good workout!

  10. Nicole @ Pumps & Iron on December 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Ah this makes me so happy! I remember after my first class, I couldn’t walk down stairs for three days haha 🙂

  11. Jacqueline on December 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I get the most injuries, along with Crossfit and people going nuts with plyo, with my patients who have done a Lagree class. I used to be obsessed with it too…until even I got injuries. I am strong.. I was on the national swim team and I teach yoga, regular Pilates reformer, etc. and I’m fairly strength symmetrical. I also understand the body, proper form, modifications, and compensations.. I have a CSCS, a kinesiology degree, and a masters of exercise physiology AND I’m in med school and yet I STILL got hurt. I’ve taken this class with all different instructors, still kept getting injured or strained. I think there is a problem with the programming and the instructors are not as knowledgable with that programming as maybe they could be especially in large classes, where it’s hard to moniter everyone. I find they focus on one muscle group all class..mostly aggravating hip flexors and adductors. I don’t think alot of people are ready for the overload of glute and anterior core work the class gives you. I also don’t think it’s really needed from a workout. Good sweat though and it’s hard as hell so, people love it.

  12. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on December 9, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I’ve never heard of Core 40. It sounds like something I should try.

  13. Nikki@will run for pizza on December 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I need this. I hope I can find a class around my neck of the woods!

  14. Cassie Vaughn on December 10, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Sounds Interesting!

  15. Rachelle on December 10, 2014 at 6:14 am

    When I was working in San Diego for a week this past summer I actually took a bunch of Core40 classes. I live in NYC and take Brooklyn Body Burn which is the same exact workout. My body is always shaking after class.

  16. Alyssa on December 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

    I just started going to SolidCore in Minneapolis, and am loving it! Any tips on incorporating lagree fitness into a well rounded routine? I’m always so sore!

    • Fitnessista on December 10, 2014 at 8:31 am

      it’s probably something i would add in once or twice per week. something like:
      core40 (or lagree class) + some easy cardio (optional)
      strength and hiit
      easy steady state
      strength (or another lagree class) + steady state

  17. Allison on December 10, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I am currently in training to be an instructor on the megaformer! I have been going to classes for about 7 months now, prior to which I didn’t do any group fitness. As someone with literally no fitness background, it is so strange that I am now training to coach people on this machine, but I am truly that passionate about it. For me it is just as mental as it is physical – as each class you push yourself to new limits, set new goals, and get all-around so much stronger!

  18. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on December 10, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I haven’t heard of this class before, but it sounds like a good one. I’m a mat Pilates instructor, but have never even taken a reformer class and I’m wondering how similar this is. It uses a reformer, but sounds like it’s more than Pilates.

    • Fitnessista on December 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

      i took mat pilates for a few years, and this is very different. i’ve done one reformer class, and this was also very different. it seemed more traditional strength than pilates if that makes sense?

  19. Anneka Leonard on December 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Oh wow..sounds great! Would love this in the UK!

  20. Amber on December 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I teach Megaformer classes (as well as spin/mega combo) and can honestly say this machine changed my body. Love it! So glad you had a great experience.

  21. Soledad on December 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Hey Gina!
    I´m a long time reader, but have never posted a comment before. Since you´ve done posts about pretty much every type of fitness option out there, could you do one about Crossfit? I don´t think you have done a post about it, and I´m really, really intrigued! I have heard it all, that it´s good, that it´s super bad, and everything in between; you seem like a really sensible fitness instructor,so I would love to hear your input regarding Crossfit.

  22. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on December 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

    sounds like an intense workout!! I love trying new classes!!

  23. Christie on December 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    SolidCore in D.C. uses the lagree method and I LOVE it, but unfortunately, at $35/per, it’s only a once-in-a-while treat for me (despite the fact that it’s in my office building)! I would definitely note that runners should approach their first few classes with caution. Once I got into 40+ miles a week, I felt a little vulnerable to injury in the class. I know that’s because I have muscle imbalances from running but still, lagree is probably not the way to work on that during training season.

  24. Jessie on December 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I never heard of this class. Sounds killer, in a good way! It’s nice to try something new and trick your body. I doubt they have this class where I live now. Too bad I never knew of it when I lived in SD:)

  25. kayla on December 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Ahhh the megaformer, my arch enemy! I adore SLT in NYC– pretty sure I woke up with a six pack the day after I took a class there.

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