The workout that helped get Meghan Markle in shape for her wedding day
All eyes will be on the bride Saturday when actress Meghan Markle is set to marry Britain’s Prince Harry.
And while there’s been much speculation about what the dress will look like, what color it will be, and who designed it, we know this much: Markle will be one fit bride.
Markle is a well-known fitness fanatic. Since her fairy-tale engagement came to light, everything about her — her hair, makeup, clothing and yes, fitness — has been making headlines because fans want the look.
Admittedly, many of us will fall short. But we can all adopt her approach to fitness. She was quoted as saying: “My health, my state of mind, the feeling you have after a workout; all of these things drive me to step onto my mat or go to the gym. Sometimes the idea of working out sounds absolutely dreadful, but I always remind myself of how good it will feel afterward. Euphoric, almost!’”
Markle opts for yoga, meditation, running and — gasp — strength workouts. That’s because she knows that strength workouts, done correctly, lead to a toned and tighter silhouette, not a bulky one, said fitness trainer Sebastien Lagree.
He is the inventor of the jet-black apparatus called the Megaformer. It looks a bit like a mix between a Pilates reformer and a horizontal squat machine. You use the machine and its cables, springs and handles to push, pull, shake and sweat your way through a 45-minute or so workout. Markle is said to be a fan, reportedly attending classes at Pilates Platinum in Santa Monica, which uses the Megaformer, and saying it’s “hands down the best thing you could do for your body … your body changes immediately … give it two classes and you will see a difference.”
If you look closely, you’ll see numbers on the carriage bed. An instructor uses them to help cue students through a workout that, Lagree says, delivers an intense workout to every part of the body — butt, thighs, calves, core, back, arms and chest, tightening and toning along the way. (Lagree licenses the machines to fitness boutiques around the world, over 300 in all. He has a newer version of the machine, called the Supra, which does everything that a Megaformer does but it also tilts up to 12-degrees at the press of the instructor’s button. Translation: You’re hanging on for dear life, getting even more of a calorie burn.)
Lagree’s class is different for another reason too: He says there’s no need for the traditional “warm-up, work, cool-down” format of the typical fitness class. He said people are as warmed up as they need to be at the start of class, so it’s time to get to work: “Back-to- back [moves] without transition, without resting. You work the same muscles over and over for a long time… Sustained intenstity,” he says.
However, the body doesn’t sustain the same wear and tear. Your muscles may be sore the next day or two, he says, but not your joints, tendons and ligaments.
The approach is gaining in popularity, Lagree says, because it manages to be low impact while still delivering a major cardio burn. He says that many devotees are former followers of other fitness systems who have suffered injuries, and are looking for away to get an intense workout that downside. (Other celebrities who have sampled his approach include Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Sofia Vergara.)
Lagree said he found out that Markle was a fan through the media, and was thrilled of course. “I’m very happy she loves the workout.”
He said he will watch the royal nuptials, but already knows what he will see when the bride takes center stage: “She looks amazing.”
Where: Locations in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Brentwood and Venice Beach
Cost: Introductory class is $10. After that, classes are $30 each, with discounts available on bulk packages.