Core40’s Ramped Class Will Make You Cry, But in a Good Way

Image via Core40

Image via Core40

Core40’s marketing materials show perfectly-toned men and women on Lagree Megaformers with wind in their hair and smiles on their faces. As someone who is deeply in love with Core40, I want to disabuse you of that notion.

It’s hard. It hurts. No one ever has Beyoncé wind-machine hair. And you should absolutely try it.

I avoided Pilates for years based on my (incorrect) perception that it would be too easy. Core40 eventually caught my attention because the Megaformer contraption looked like a weird, modern torture device. It had to be worth my time.

While my reasoning about Pilates was wrong, my conclusion about Core40 was right.

Core40’s Megaformer workout uses slow movements to target slow twitch muscle fibers and resistance training to build muscle strength. A series of springs that run under the Megaformer’s central, moving platform provide continuous tension, which means you have to keep your core engaged, or risk feeling like you’ll fall on your face. (Disclaimer: I don’t know that you would actually fall. I’ve never seen anyone fall. That feeling could be in my head.)

This certainly isn’t the only Megaformer game in town, and I’ve tried top notch classes at other studios that I would also recommend. For me, what sets Core40 apart is the ramped technology at the Castro, Nob Hill, and SoMa studios.

The “ramped” Megaformers have a hydraulic lift, which the instructor controls through an app. In a ramped class, the instructor can surprise you in the middle of a lunge or a row or a crunch, and say, “We’re going to ramp up to level 2” and raise one end of the machine. When you’re ramped, you’re not only fighting against spring tension, but gravity too. (Don’t worry, you can opt out of ramping if you don’t want to try it.) 

I was a little nervous about my first ramped session, but the instructor, who knew me, assured me that I would be fine. Technically, she was right, but there were more than a few moments during the experience when I hated her very much and I wanted to hurl. In other words, it was a great workout. Even if it made me want to cry. And yes, I was sore AF the following day.

Core40 has five locations in San Francisco—SoMA, Nob Hill, Noe-Mission, Lower Pac Heights, and Castro—with a Hayes Valley studio coming in 2017. Classes are $35 per session; discounts available for multi-class packs. Also available on ClassPass.


fitnessRobyn Cainfitness, core40