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The Body Lab brings Lagree Fitness creator Sebastien Lagree to Kansas City

With more than 300 studios in the United States and many more opening worldwide, the Lagree Fitness method is quickly gaining a large, loyal following—including celebrities such as Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama. Creator of Lagree Fitness and inventor of the Megaformer exercise machine, Sebastien Lagree, will be in Kansas City on April 10 as a guest instructor for The Body Lab located in Leawood. We caught up with Lagree to discuss Pilates, pain and the future of fitness.

Kansas City Spaces: In a sea of workout routines and equipment, what makes the Lagree fitness method unique?

Sebastien Lagree: The Lagree fitness method is the only workout that effectively combines strength, endurance, core, balance, flexibility and cardiovascular training in each and every move. It doesn’t work core at one point and then cardio at a different point, every movement integrates all the needs of physical fitness. People have referred to my method as “Pilates on crack” because when I first started out I was a Pilates instructor and only had Pilates equipment available to me but it’s evolved so much since then.

KCS: How did you move past the limitations you found with Pilates equipment?

Lagree: 16 years ago when I started teaching Pilates I realized that people who were coming to the studio wanted to do cardiovascular and strength training, unfortunately you couldn’t do this with the traditional Pilates Reformer. So as soon as I got the chance to create my own equipment I did. My first machine came out in 2005—the Proformer. It was essentially a larger version of the Reformer to better fit large athletes and men who wanted to combine Pilates and strength training. Throughout training lots of people on the Proformer, I started making revisions and it started to evolve into a very unique machine. Eventually I changed the whole structure and moved to a second generation of the equipment called the Megaformer.

KCS: Are you continuing to evolve the Megaformer as well?

Lagree: Yes, I went through the M1, M2, M3, then M3S and now I’m working on the M4. I’m also working on two additional types of exercise equipment that will continue to take the method to a higher level. The new machines allow you to customize the workout even more and they integrate more technology as well. Fitness can get very stale. I want to keep things fresh and keep my loyal followers interested. What was popular two years ago is now passé. I mean who does Tae Bo anymore?!

Lagree studio, Toronto Lagree studio, Toronto

KCS: Speaking of your following, I hear that you have quite a few celebrity fans.

Lagree: I don’t teach one-on-one anymore but I’m so lucky that celebrities somehow find their way to a Lagree studio and love it. I’m always so surprised when I read on Facebook that so-and-so is into my workout!

KCS: Beyond Lagree fitness, what other projects are you currently working on?

Lagree: Over the last two years I’ve been interviewing a lot of fitness celebrities, scientists, doctors, even priests about where “fitness” is going for a documentary entitled The Future of Fitness. We want to present it at Sundance. I think it’s going to be a pretty thought-proking documentary because I’m pretty much pointing out that people will always choose science over effort and that we need to give fitness a new direction beyond the physical. I’m really excited about it.

I’m also writing a book that’s going to be called Finding the Future of Fitness. It’s going to be more about the scientific aspect of fitness. For example, I’m doing some clinical trails right now where we’re basically looking at the effect of the body on the brain. Eventually we want to see the positive effect of mind/body exercise. We know that exercise does change your brain structure and how it functions, so now I’m trying to quantify those changes. The book will explore why we do what we do—stay active, become lazy—on a cellular level.

KCS: What can someone expect from your class at The Body Lab in Leawood on April 10?

Lagree: Pain. Lots of pain. You’ll definitely be sweating. You’ll definitely be shaking. I like to push people. I didn’t say the process was going to be enjoyable. You’ll love the results but unfortunately you have to awaken those muscle fibers and the process can be a little uncomfortable.

The Body Lab

Town Center Crossing, 4217 W. 119 St., Leawood, KS 66209

To RSVP for this class, email Sarah Lehman at