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Fitness Clubs

Studio Lagree

Posted by Erica Berman / Posted on February 24, 2013

studio lagree torontoStudio Lagree brings one of the latest Hollywood fitness trends to Toronto. Located in the heart of Forest Hill Village, it is the first Canadian studio offering the Lagree Fitness Method. Performed on a machine that's basically a Pilates Reformer on steroids, it is described as a "fusion of Pilates, strength, core, cardio/circuit training and stretching into an intense, shirt-drenching, 50-minute exercise experience."

studio lagree torontoI am initially skeptical about the class' lofty claims. Pilates is not a cardiovascular activity and rarely involves a lot of shirt-drenching; it's best used as a rehabilitative tool or as an activity designed to prevent injury, improve posture, and/or movement and sport performance. I was also anticipating that the man who developed the program, Sebastian Lagree, would be larger-than-life in a not so good kind of way. I was pleasantly surprised by both the workout and by Sebastian.

studio lagree torontoSebastian began his exercise career in the world of body building, and was eventually attracted to Pilates. In 2003, Sebastian designed the Proformer to address what he saw as the limitations of the traditional Pilates Reformer. He now has hundreds of clubs across the United States, as well as a growing number in Europe which offer his training program.

studio lagree torontoSebastian is far more down-to-earth than I expected, and informed me that 4 or 5 more Lagree studios are expected to open in the GTA, as well as in Vancouver and across Quebec. He also clarified that while the training program is intense, it's meant to complement rather than supplant other activities such as spinning or running.

Sebastian suggests doing 2-3 classes per week. He described it as a cross between strength training and Pilates, with the focus being on strength building. It is designed to provide opportunities for maximum muscle effort while minimizing stress on joints and connective tissue.

studio lagree torontoDespite the intensity of the training, Sebastian assured me that it is appropriate for virtually anyone, particularly because it's always done under the guidance of an instructor to ensure participants use proper technique to avoid injury. Instructors must take his Lagree Method certification training program. Sebastian has been developing increasingly intense workouts of shorter duration to appeal to individuals who want to invest minimal time while getting maximal results.

studio lagree torontoThe light-filled studio is sparkling and pristine, with what can only be described as a new-car smell. The machines themselves look like medieval torture devices and prove to be just as deadly. Within a few reps of the first exercise he guides us through, it becomes clear that this workout is no laughing matter. In fact, laughing is impossible within just a few hours of completing the class because my abs were screaming for mercy. The workout focuses mostly on core and lower body strength, and every single exercise is extremely challenging.

One of Sebastian's goals is to develop completely innovative exercises, and on this he delivers. At one point, we are on all fours and then directed to place one foot on a handle and push off in a way that made me feel like a dog at a fire hydrant. Nevertheless, the extent to which we are working our glutes and inner thighs is immediately clear.

studio lagree torontoBased on its location, the studio is clearly not catering to those on a tight budget, however, given the intensity, efficiency and effectiveness of this workout, if you do have the cash, you are definitely getting your money's worth. The studio offers group classes for $35 each and private training for $110 a session (available as discounted packages).

Photos by Jesse Milns



St. Clair West Community / February 24, 2013 at 07:15 pm
Enjoy 2 hours of unlimited travel on the 512 street car (with valid transfer)! Hop on and hop off as often as you like.;set=a.207431972692470.29633.182855901816744&;type=3&theater
seymour butts / February 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm
Does the instructor moonlight as the lead singer of a goth band?

Josh / February 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm
WHICH A-LIST CELEBS? You stated it... I need a list right off the top before I invest any time reading this whole article.
Josh replying to a comment from Josh / February 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm
Lexi / March 1, 2013 at 12:42 am
Studio Lagree offers an amazing workout. The best part is that you see results right away. It's an all in one workout for strength and balance. You really work up a sweat!!
mike1234 replying to a comment from Lexi / March 1, 2013 at 03:05 pm
How right away, Lexi?
Helenaz / April 15, 2013 at 08:16 am
"Josh: which A-leb celebrities"

I have now been doing lagree for over a month and have done a lot of research, some of the celebrities who do the workout and vouch for it on a consistent basis are Jennifer Anison, Hayden Panieterie, Courtney Cox, Nicole Kidman, etc. The list is long, Obviously I have found my ideal female bodies who enlist the workout but he also has a large base of male clients as well seeing as he initially wanted to develop a workout that gave you "body building" results witihout the stress on your back and joints from lifting improperly
Helenaz / April 15, 2013 at 08:19 am
Mike: "how right away, Lexi"

Despite the fact that I work out doing cardio and strenght training 4-6 times a week, the first time i did lagree, i could not move my abs for three days and my legs for 2, it was a HUGE SHOCK on my system. so you get that initial sore feeling immedietely, and a month i see that everything is tigher, i was having a lot of trouble define my abdomens and I ve seen the most results there, as well in my legs toning up. Each class you can request what body part you would like to focus on aswell which adds an extra focused aspect to your workout
Lucy / January 2, 2015 at 03:55 pm
Just did Lagree today. The core portion of the class was definitely challenging. The class went by super fast and the instructor was very friendly and took the time to walk from machine to machine to correct our form.

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