I first gave Lagree Fitness a try in early 2014 after hearing my co-workers (at the time) from Lululemon consistently rave about the method. In Nashville, our local Lagree Fitness studio, Studio Novo, had opened in 2013, and I avoided trying it for about 8 months because I was under the impression it was a Pilates studio (more on that in a minute). Instead, I opted for the more high-intensity workouts such as HIIT training or classes similar to what I taught at Barry’s Bootcamp.
After my first Lagree class, I was hooked. The high-intensity nature of the workout filled my desire for an elevated heart rate and sweat dripping across my face. However, what really made me fall in love with this method was the low-impact nature of the workout. I had never come across a method that was both high-intensity and low-impact at the same time. Quite frankly, this was (and still is) is a revolutionary concept within the fitness industry. In fact, a common myth in the fitness world is that high-intensity workouts can only be accomplished within a certain age group due to the wear-and-tear on your body — not with Lagree Fitness. I realized early on that this method was a workout designed for longevity, and any age group could participate.
Back to Pilates: many people are confused on the similarities and differences between Pilates and Lagree, myself included when I first starting learning about both. The Lagree Fitness website has an incredible list explaining the differences between two, and it's important to know that one method is not better than the other; they are merely two distinct methods with different intentions and different results. In fact, in a future post, I'll be talking about how I realized the importance of mixing Classical Pilates with my own strength-training and HIIT workouts.
To highlight some of the main differences, in Lagree we work our muscles by TUT: Time Under Tension. From the Lagree website: Time Under Tension refers to the amount of time a muscle is placed under load or strained during a set. For a body builder, a set of 10 reps should take 15-25 seconds to complete depending on the speed of the lift. Lagree, however, calls for sets to be between 1-2 minutes. This lengthier amount of time demands more from the muscles for a longer amount of time, creating better and quicker results.
Another important difference between Lagree and Pilates is that Lagree requires slow controlled movements in order to prevent injury. Also from the Lagree website: Lagree requires that each rep take 8 or more seconds and without any amount of momentum. This ensures little to no risk for injury, and muscles do more metabolic work per unit of time than they would moving fast. In addition, participants often see quicker improvements in strength due to the extended amount of time muscles are placed under tension. This method is useful for beginners as well as it allows them to “wake” muscles that are not accustomed to traditional movements.
I love this method as a teacher because it’s always evolving. It's founder, Sebastian Lagree, has spent the last 15 years working with experts in the field to grow and adapt the method based on new research of the human body. Additionally, he is constantly working to improve the Lagree-specific machines in order to maximize the benefits they offer to everyone that uses them.
Thank you for reading along to learn about Lagree Fitness. For my next post, I will share with you my PERSONAL journey with the method, and why I continue to stick with it not only as a teacher, but as a client as well!