Written By: Melissa Buzan

Ready for the workout of your life?

We’re continually looking for the next best thing. So, if finding a wicked fitness facility is on your search radar, then look no further… The best workout of your life is just a Megaformer away. Allow me to introduce, Lagree.

Opening it’s doors only a few months ago, Lagree is the most unique fitness studio to move into Calgary this year. Brought to YYC by power couple Kimberley Rothenberg and Leonard Seidman, this new form of getting sweaty is sparking curiosity in everyone lately, including me.

Before I get into my experience, here’s a bit of Lagree 101: Only created 15 years ago, this full body exercise is often described as “pilates on crack”. The practice would not be possible without Sebastien Lagree; creator of The Lagree Fitness Method.  Within this model, Sebastien crafted a unique version of a pilates reformer called The Megaformer. At first glance, I’ll admit, the thing resembles a weird torture device. However, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know it’s not. It consists of two platforms, a carriage in between with multiple resistance levels, adjustable handles, and straps. It sounds and looks complicated, but once you give it a try it’s anything but – I swear.  With The Megaformer, The Lagree Method allows you to target muscles at uncommon angles that you’d normally need multiple machines for. That’s the great thing about Lagree – you can get a full body workout using only The Megaformer. This fact left a lasting impression on Kimberley.

Kim discovered The Lagree Method during a visit to New York – a visit aimed to finding new fitness techniques for her clients in Calgary. She was a personal trainer looking to take her practice to the next level. After trying out many different fitness facilities, Kim knew Calgary needed to be introduced to The Lagree Method. With the help and support of her husband, Leonard and Kim have opened up a keepsake in YYC, and I got the pleasure of trying it out.

I’ll admit I was nervous, even a bit scared. Clearly, I did not have a good poker face because Leonard gave me some words of encouragement. “Don’t even worry about it, you’re going to do great, I promise”.  This place is so nice for first-timers because the staff are very welcoming and in no way snobby about what they do. I say this because I feel other fitness places tend to intimidate newbies, making them feel like you should know how to do everything perfectly. Lagree is not like that at all – Which I love! They are there to help you with your health and fitness – the intent is clear. I was shown around the studio and given a breakdown on how the Megaformer works by Kim, who’s also an instructor at Lagree. The woman next to me was really excited it was my first time, “Oh you’re going to love it! I’ve been coming since they opened and I can’t stop. I’m still learning.” Her excitement mixed with the smiles on everyones faces helped me ease into this new experience. Before Kim started the class I had a look around and was very impressed by the studio design. Floor to ceiling windows, wide open concept, beautiful lights, very clean, inspirational messages on the walls… these all contributed to the Lagree experience.

As for the workout itself, it’s hard. BUT, and I say this genuinely – the good kind of “hard”.  The workout is unique with the use of the Megaformer, and in the movements. Everything is done at a slow and steady pace, allowing your muscles to recruit more fibers. Positions we’re usually held for 60 seconds at a time, which can seem like eons in fitness time. The great thing about having Kim as an instructor, is she makes time move quickly, seriously. She would tell us to hold our position and we had 59 seconds left. My legs or arms would be shaking, ready to crumble but then she would start to explain the next position to us and talk through the time. Focusing on her commentary took my mind off of my exhaustion – next thing I knew, the time was up – mind over matter. As I’ve never done Lagree before, everything was new to me. Kim’s explanations were clear and helpful, making my first time stressless. She was great at walking around offering encouragement and corrections if needed. In less than an hour she worked every part of my body. I was pleasantly exhausted and surprised by the tingling in muscles I didn’t even know I had. I’ve felt the after-workout sore many times, but something was extra satisfying about this one. It could have had something to do with the many people saying how ripped I looked after class 😉 But it was probably from the science behind Lagree training. The Lagree Method has become famous for being the only fitness method that can effectively combine these foundations in each move:

7 basic foundations:

CARDIORESPIRATORY ENDURANCE

MUSCULAR STRENGTH

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE

BODY COMPOSITION

FLEXIBILITY

CORE STRENGTH AND BALANCE

MENTAL HEALTH

All foundations are achieved through 5 key elements:

Effective Resistance 

Effective Range of Motion 

Effective Angles

Effective Tempo

Effective Duration

I would recommend Lagree to everyone – not only for a killer workout, but because of the Lagree YYC philosophy. Leonard explained the main thing he wanted people to know about Lagree – is it’s not meant to replace your usual fitness routine but it can enhance it. Even before he told me that I could tell this place had a “no pressure” attitude. Of course they want you to return, but Kim and Leonard understand everyone has to find what works best for them and their body. They started Lagree to help people with their health and give Calgarians a meaningful experience. This approach is thoughtful and refreshing.

If you agree to Lagree, check out the website here and book a class. Just don’t forget those grippy socks ( you can get some there! )

Lagree YYC

Britannia Crossing
5123 Elbow Drive SW
Calgary, AB T2V 1H2
403.719.9111

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