The Brand – The MWH Method
With over 700k Instagram followers, you’d think Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is simply another chic, affluent, NYC influencer. But the reason the followers are really there (well, partially) is for her fitness program: The MWH Method.
The method uses slow, controlled movements, based on Pilates and yoga, to help users achieve those much-coveted long lean lines.
A certified yoga instructor, Pilates teacher and health coach, the former model developed the method after having a lightbulb moment: You shouldn’t have “push through the pain” in a workout to see (and feel) results. “We don’t have to kill ourselves in the gym,” says Wood-Tepperberg. “Even if you can prioritize 10 minutes a day, you’re going to feel better.” Her workouts embody that mind/body ethos.
Unlike other brands that have taken an in-studio approach for an at-home version, Wood-Tepperberg started in the digital realm and stayed firmly planted there. In 2015, the MWH website was launched, and a corresponding app was released at the end of 2019, just before the pandemic (translation: Good timing for digital workouts). And users are getting serious results (proof: Just search the tag #MWHtransformation on Insta).
And really, amid yet another lockdown (in the middle of winter no less), who doesn’t need an at-home workout regimen? So, when I got the chance to try out Joe Fresh’s new spring activewear line and this sweat session, I jumped.
The App – Melissa Wood Health
If I’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that time matters. The Melissa Wood Health app gives you a workout to do every day of the week (remember days of the week?). As someone who is basically tracking time by when podcast episodes come out, I see the value in having that shred of structure.
The workouts are short, so that motivates you to just start already (the hardest part of any workout). For instance, this week on the app, there’s a mix of under 25-minute workouts targeting abs, arms, and booty. There’s one 40-minute full-body workout, and two of the daily workouts are only about 10-minutes long.
She even offers live workouts through the app. Following along with a real-time workout – and the motivation provided by people sweating along with me – also takes on a new value to me, now that IRL gyms are off the table.
Some of her workouts require equipment, but it’s stuff you most likely have, like 1 lb weights (or as I like to call them “cans of beans”) and a chair/wall.
(FYI I’m saying app, but those of you who don’t prefer to watch that way, you can still access everything via her website.)
The Workout – A 25-Minute Full Body Workout
Like we mentioned, The MWH Method is essentially a hybrid of Pilates and yoga, plucking the effective parts of those exercises into short and simple workouts that can be done on your dining room floor.
The class the group was offered was a live 25-minute full-body workout that uses your own body weight and as well as her signature slow, controlled, low impact movements.
We Tried It
Since I have limited space in my tiny apartment and this was a busy day, the fact that set up is non-existent, save for rolling out a yoga mat, is an instant plus.
We start off with a quick stretch and some grounding exercises, but no time is wasted as we move into the juicier moves that take serious stabilizing muscles (like planks with opposite leg/arm reaches and scissor kicks).
The workout has the flow and cadence of yoga class, but is chock full of challenging Pilates moves. Wood-Tepperberg’s demos make it look easy, and the moves don’t last long enough that you get too bored or exhausted. By the time you’re cursing under your breath, you’re onto the next move. Her vibe is friendly…but also like a coach: Especially when you get to the point of muscle exhaustion but she has you add a few more tiny pulses or an isometric hold – that’s the sweet spot (or should I say sweat spot. OK, you can stop reading now).
The workout didn’t drag. In fact, I couldn’t believe it was even 25 minutes long. It must have been the flow of it that made it fly by.
Anyone who is a fan of Tracy Anderson or barre would probably enjoy this. It actually reminds me of Anderson’s classes, but without the complicated positions and moves (often in a Tracy Anderson workout, I’m like: “Form? IDK her.”)
This program doesn’t claim to be high-impact (in fact, that’s kind of its point), so it’s unsurprising that I wasn’t soaked in sweat like I am at the end of home workouts that include cardio circuits. Note: I did actually try to pause the video for a break, forgetting it was streaming live, so that speaks to its challenge. If you’re looking for a lot of intensity or caloric burn, I’d skip this one or add it into your running or cycling schedule.
I would do this again. This was the perfect level of workout if, like me, you’re trapped inside and need to get moving again. The videos are so short that they’re no-pressure but you still have a sense of structure. And you barely need equipment. The third check would be if it was free (which it isn’t). However, the program is still affordable — a month of workouts is easily justified by skipping just one UberEats order, which is another win for your #health.
MWH Method, melissawoodhealth.com. 2 new workouts uploaded every week, unlimited access to the extensive library of workouts (over 200 videos), pre-and-post-natal workouts, a treadmill series and meditations, $13 a month (7-day free trial); package pricing available ($135 per year); app downloads available at the App Store and Google Play.
Welcome to Class Action, FLEETSTREET’s workout review series. We get sweaty to give you the low-down on what the workouts are really like.