Spotlight on Megaformer Workout at CST50 Darien


Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Whew! This is a workout.

Do you think planks are hard? Try bear, teaser, and catfish on the Megaformer TM. About 5 minutes into the workout (hmm…I think we were still in the warm-up), my “I’m a fitness instructor, I am sure I can do this” confidence was changing too, “um, this is hard!” My obliques were feeling it! Perhaps telling them, I am a Pilates reformer instructor was a mistake. I can’t possibly take a break now, can I?

What is it?

I love a workout that’s efficient, effective, and fun, so when I read about CST50, a new studio minutes from my house that uses machines based on the Pilates Reformer called the Megaformer TM, I was intrigued! The machine uses moving platforms, pulleys, and springs for a high-intensity workout. LA-based fitness expert Sebastien Lagree created the workout when he saw that people were doing cardio AFTER Pilates. And wow, the intensity was so challenging that my heart rate was up, and I was feeling it!

My introduction

Mikella Bryant, our instructor, who is also a dancer, was energetic and motivating. “I hope you’re sweating,” she said, and I laughed out loud as we all noticed me sweating more than anyone else (what can I say? I glow when I work out!)  With music playing, we moved quickly from challenging exercise (with additional oh so tough variations) to challenging exercise, doing each one for time, focusing on abs, lot of legs and glutes, arms, and abs again without a break. Whew! The workout was 50 minutes, and I felt like I had really worked!

How it’s different from Pilates Reformer

The Pilates Reformer also uses a moving platform, pulleys, and springs, but more moving parts are on the Megaformer TM. If I had one word to describe Pilates Reformer, it would be “Mindful”; If I had one word to describe the Megaformer TM, it would be “intense.”   The workout focuses on working your muscles to exhaustion (and I felt it the next day!)

About CST50 Darien

Co-owners Annabel Marisca and Felice Marcy are Fairfield County moms (Annabel has two boys and a girl, and Felice has 2 has sons) who have always been dedicated to fitness; Felice is a longtime fitness instructor. They used to work in the finance industry in New York City and wanted to find a career that would be rewarding and still offer time to spend with their families. After discovering the Megaformer TM workout, they knew they wanted to bring it to Fairfield County and found their home in Darien, which has recently become a major hub of fitness activity with neighboring Flair Fitness, Joyride, Koko Fit Club, and Jade Activewear.

Classes are up to 10 people, and there is a lead instructor and an additional instructor to assist participants. I asked Annabel and Mikella about modifications for those not ready for that workout level. I was happy to hear that all different levels are welcome and that the machine can easily be adjusted for the person’s strength. In addition, they offer a fundamentals class.

The studio
The studio

 CST50 Darien is offering 1 of our readers a FREE class ($40 value!)  To be entered, all you have to do is comment on your favorite workouts in the comments section by Wed, July 24th!

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Elysa Cruse is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer and is the Manager of the Corporate Wellness Program for Pitney Bowes ( She moved to Fairfield County after college and has been enjoying great ways to be active and eat well in the area ever since, including teaching exercise classes such as Stroller Strides, Pilates and Boot Camp. She is mom to an adorable 3 year old boy and loves getting outdoors whether hiking, biking, or running (really anything as long as it's not weeding). Elysa is still working on the ultimate in work life balance and she's okay if she never quite finds it. Connect with Elysa on Twitter @ElysaCruseRD


  1. My current favorite workouts are ones I can do with my boys in tow–there’s something special about having them there watching & pushing you while cheering you on. We LOVE Stroller Strides & Stroller Barre. 🙂 But there’s also something to be said for family yoga. It’s one of our favorite “quiet time” activities while the babies are sleeping.

  2. Before baby I loved going to all types of classes ( spin, yoga, Pilates etc). I swam everyday of my pregnancy and loved that. It’s been a challenge fitting in “me time” to work out but my favorite activity has to be running on the beach 🙂

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