The Lagree Fitness Method: What It Is and Where to Take It

The Pilates off-shoot works your muscles to the breaking point for a body-transforming workout.

The Studio Empower

The MegaFormers at the Studio Empower. Photo provided

There’s a new Pilates spin-off hitting the national workout scene called the Lagree Fitness Method. According to a Women’s Health report, Sebastien Lagree, an L.A. fitness guru, created the program because he noticed some of his clients doing cardio right after their Pilates sessions, presumably because they didn’t feel like they’d burned enough calories during class. Inspired, Lagree created a high-intensity, low-impact workout that he promises will achieve near-immediate results by combining cardiovascular exercise with movements that work your muscles to their breaking point. In fact, a key pillar of the method is working your body to the point of muscle failure (sounds fun, right?). By not allowing muscles to relax for even a second, he says, new muscles will form and your metabolic rate goes up.

The workout is centered on Lagree’s souped-up version of the traditional Pilates reformer, a vaguely torturous looking machine that ups resistance to fine-tune flexibility, core strength, and endurance. Lagree’s model is called the Megaformer, and, according to the method’s website, its “compound pivot bar allows you to do full range of motion without adding any excessive stress on the joints and on the spine.” The machine also allows students to change position quickly to keep the heart rate up and muscles working.

Sound like something you’d want to try? You’re in luck. The Studio Empower, located in Newton, opened its doors as one of Massachusetts’ only Lagree Fitness studios (Boston Pilates Plus in Lexington is another) earlier this year. Kimberly Negron, the studio’s co-owner says, “Each exercise can be modified to be harder or easier depending on one’s ability, and through the variations, you can still work the same muscles to a different degree.”

The Studio Empower claims that it is the first in the world to offer the latest model of the Megaformer, the Megaformer M3. The machine uses springs and cables to create both resistance and counter-resistance for a workout that tones muscles but, according to the Studio Empower’s website, “reduc[es] stress on the joints and connective tissues.”

Negron explains that Lagree created the Megaformer to make up for the “shortcomings” he saw in the traditional reformer. (Though it is worth noting that Lagree doesn’t seem to have many credentials aside from being certified to teach Pilates, so we have our doubts, especially since Joseph Pilates’ reformer was constructed after years of studying anatomy.)

Still, Negron stands by the workout. “The key differentiator to the Lagree Fitness Method,” she says, “is that every series of muscles works each muscle group until fatigue before moving on to the next.”

Like most Pilates classes, the 45-minute classes aren’t cheap—a single drop-in class is $35—but there are package deals available and your first class is $10.

The Studio Empower, 81 Union St., Newton, 617-467-5451;