For the past several months the main thing on my mind has been my marathon (which is just three days away – eek!) and while I knew I should focus on more than just the running, I didn’t. Strength training fell to the wayside and I noticed an impact on both how I felt and looked. Namely, not as good in either respect. I’m also sure my running has suffered. I decided that when the marathon is over I need to really focus on strength and building muscle again.
Then I got the opportunity* to try out a new-to-me type of workout, Lagree Fitness designed by Sebastian Lagree at The Studio Empower in Newton, MA. According to the Studio Empower website the workout “incorporates principles of traditional Pilates but has transformed itself into a high intensity, low impact workout using strength training.”
I had never tried Pilates so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but was happy to give it a go and see if it might be a good way for me to get some of my strength training back after the marathon is over. I knew to expect the workout to be 45 minutes and to utilize some machine called a Megaformer, M3, but again I had no idea what any of that meant and arrived on the blind faith that the workout would be a good one.
I scheduled my appointment for May 21, the day my parents were returning to NC after my graduation weekend and also my first day back at work, because the studio is near BC and I figured I would want something to help get me back on track for the upcoming race.
Several times throughout the day, as I struggled to stay awake, I worried that perhaps I had chosen the wrong day to do a workout, but I wasn’t about to switch my appointment especially since I brought my workout clothes with me.
Just before 6pm I arrived at the studio. I drove from work and found parking fairly easily, but also noticed that it is literally right across the street from the Green Line station! This made me happy because I won’t always be working at BC and the thought of driving to Newton to workout isn’t incredibly appealing. The train, on the other hand, makes it a lot more convenient.
I got there in time to meet the class instructor Fi and have her tell me a bit about the (enormous) machines, which she explained were top of the line and brand new. She also showed me the sticky socks that they recommend for the workout, which can be purchased at The Studio Empower for $15. She told me that they recommend going barefoot rather than using regular socks if someone does not wish to buy the sticky socks right away. This is ONLY allowed during the first workout when a new client is determining whether Lagree is for them. After the first session you are required to use the sticky socks, whether purchased at The Studio Empower or elsewhere.
She was incredibly nice and obviously knew her stuff, which made me much more at ease about trying something brand new to me. In fact, I’ve never been one to take workout classes having only done group fitness at conferences and in Ultimate Bootcamp.
The class size at The Studio Empower is limited to 8 people per class, which was perfect for me and feeling like I could get any additional instruction or help if I needed it. I was nervous as the newbie because almost everyone there was experienced, but I was confident that I was in good enough shape to hold my own throughout the workout.
Now I don’t want to frighten you, but I have to tell you that I was wrong. Hold my own I did not. Several times throughout the workout as we used the machines I had to take a break. It became very obvious how weak my core has become (I really need to get back on that plank-a-day bandwagon), and just how much of my body I was using in each movement.
Fi demonstrated each move and then walked around the room to ensure everyone had good form. The machines were set up in front of mirrors so each person could monitor his or her own form as well. I knew the position I needed to get my body into, but I struggled at times to get there. Fi gently helped lift my hips once to get me into position, showing me that it was in fact possible to get there, I just needed practice.
She was encouraging throughout, helping to push us while also reminding us to know our own limits and listen to our bodies. I never felt like I was doing something I shouldn’t be or that I was doing “too much” to handle.
In that 45 minute span we worked legs, butt, core, arms, shoulders, core, back, and did I mention core? I was breathing HARD almost right away even though I wasn’t doing any traditional cardio.
After the workout I chatted with a few of the people who had been there before, to find out how often they come to The Studio Empower, what other types of exercises are done, and basically just get as much information as possible.
In short, I LOVED IT! It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt so exhausted after a workout, but as soon as I left the studio I called Joe and told him how I had just had my butt handed to me in the best possible way. Yesterday I was a little sore in the morning and very sore by the evening. As much as I wanted to go for a quick run, my core screamed for a day of rest so I obliged. Today makes two days since the workout and I can certainly still feel it. Lagree Fitness is no joke.
I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced so many parts of my body being sore at once, which goes to show how total-body the workout really was. My soreness does not feel in the least out of balance so I know I worked out evenly. While I’m certain that some of my soreness can be attributed to my lack of strength training lately, I know that a workout at The Studio Empower would always be intense, but the good kind that pushes you to the point where you think you can’t do it, then you do.
I highly recommend that each and every one of you who can get out to Newton go try The Studio Empower asap. I changed at work before I went, but there is a place to change at the studio, though no locker room. Personal belongings can be kept in plain view in the cubbies you can see in the photo above.
I had absolutely zero complaints about my experience and can’t wait to get back to The Studio Empower just as soon as my body has recovered from my upcoming marathon. So are you ready to try it? Of course you are!
Lucky for you my local Fighting for Wellness readers can try their first class for just $5 (regularly $10) by using the discount code FFW at booking.
But you know what else?
The Studio Empower is also letting me give one local Fighting for Wellness reader the awesome prize of an 8-class 30-day pass (8 classes in 30 days), which retails for $160!!
Just enter the rafflecopter giveaway below!
The giveaway will be open until Thursday, 5/30 and the winner will be announced next Friday (5/31)! The giveaway is only open to NEW CLIENTS of The Studio Empower and cannot be combined with another offer.
*I received a complimentary class at The Studio Empower in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. This post was edited on 5/24 to include information about giveaway restrictions and more information regarding the necessary gear for the workout.