This Lagreeing At Home class review is part of Class Action, FLEETSTREET’s workout review series. We get sweaty to give you the low-down on what the workouts are really like.
The Brand – Lagreeing At Home from Lagree Fitness Method
Lagree has a rep for being tough. Trainers work out there. As do celebrities, including, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Jennifer Aniston and others. (It’s also fave of Meghan Markle, as I wrote when I was an editor at Best Health magazine.) It is Pilates, but it is not for the beginner or those with balance issues.
Pre-pandemic that reputation is thanks to the Mega Reformer – a beast of a machine created by founder Sebastien Lagree that looks nothing like traditional reformers or even the Cadillac of reformers. The entire frame and carriage are substantially larger, and the springs are less stable, so you can’t even use them for momentum. For Lagreeing At Home, you can buy the Lagree Fitness Microformer (between $890 and $1,865) at shopmaximumfitness.com. It swaps the size for compactness without compromising that “hold on with your core or you’ll land on your face” feeling. Also, the fitness brand launched mat classes, which is what I’m reviewing here!
The Website – lagreeingathome.com
Like many gyms during the lockdowns, Lagree Fitness pivoted online, creating this portal to keep its community connected. Co-founders of the site, Heather Perren and Lexi Heinzer offer a mix of on-demand and live virtual classes taught by a range of different instructors. Also available is LAH Wellness workshops, featuring speakers for topics like stress management and nutrition, as well as healthy recipes. The live classes run one to three times a day. And the live classes make up the on-demand library. You can search classes through the categories: New, weekly curated, challenges, full body, arms, core, lower body, cable, beginner, pre-post natal, stretch, floor, kids, as well as Mega Reformer (if you want the true Lagree Fitness Method experience, but it’ll cost you $18,000 and up). Packages range from a five-pack class, $30, to an annual membership for $515.
The site isn’t as slick as the brand itself, with a softer lilac palette instead of the usual red and black. Some classes have beautiful beachy backgrounds, and many are edited with good lighting. And some aren’t high production, as they were recorded live classes. But it’s the times we live in, right?
The filters don’t seem to be super intuitive, and you can’t find a class based on a favourite instructor. Also, the workouts are locked in at the exact minute, and you can’t do ranges. So, you will have to do separate searches for 45, 46, 47, etc. if you want something between 45 minutes and an hour. And when I filter for “no equipment” workouts, I get Microformer workouts. I’m interested to see if the platform evolves into a full-fledge at-home platform or exists as a placeholder for clients until studios return to “normal.”
The Workout – 47-Minute Floor Class with Heather
This workout is broken down into three 15-minute segments targeting the core, glutes and legs (15 minutes a side). The moves are advanced, including endurance core moves like: hollow hold with toe taps, high plank with leg lifts, low plank with knee taps, foot reaches with weights, weighted Russian twists, side plank reaches, side plank thread the needle and shoulder-tap plank. But modifications are offered. The extra two minutes are for a cool-down stretch. You need medium weights.
We Tried It
I don’t have a reformer at home. So I opt for a floor workout, and this Lagree Fitness Method workout doesn’t hold back any punches. Heather starts off with core right away, lasting for 15 minutes. I love every second of hollow holds, toe reaches, and the three varieties of crunches (yes, there’s a starfish in there). I find most workouts include core late, so I feel strong through abs and core. The glutes and legs get the worst of it, with 15 minutes on each side. One side at a time. It’s not exactly a no-equipment class, Heather sneaks in upper body and arm work weights. I used 9-lb weights. Upper body presses and lifts done with glute bridges, squats and lunges.
You do each exercise with slow movements, intensifying the move and weights used. Each move has lots of reps, pulses (not a like your typical pulses, but more like inch worms), and then holds to finish off. So if you’re lazy at any part, it comes back to bite you as it gets incrementally harder. At points it feels like your muscle is so tense it’s going to get so tight it may snap. But it doesn’t. I’m fine. No really, I’m fine!
In a typical Pilates class, I always feel like my body is working, and I’m keenly aware of which muscles I stretch and flex. But Lagree-style Pilates doesn’t hone in on the stretch, and it’s all about the flex (and hold). I was surprised by how much my heart rate went up. And a few times I had to catch my breath. If you’ve ever taken to a Lagree reformer class, the at-home on-demand mat workouts do not disappoint. They are killer.
If I were to change anything, it would be to include the stretching as part of the class, and not as a separate class. I needed more than two minutes.
Instructor and site founder Heather is very vocal and talks through all the moves. I find her knack though is knowing when you feel like you’re going to quit or go a bit easier – she calls it out. She counts slowly in true Lagree form, and moves around for different perspective to ensure you can see the proper form.
This is perfect for advanced Pilates fans who can’t get to a studio or are missing the intensity of in-studio classes. It’s also great for someone who’s feeling a plateau and wants to level up. Plus, the price is a nice gateway into the Lagree Fitness Method if you’re considering trying a real-life, in-person class. As a single in-person class is three times as much the cost of a virtual one.
Lagreeing At Home, lagreeingathome.com, 47-minute workout; $30 for a 5-class pack, package pricing available ($50 a month, $515 a year).