A new core fitness routine called Lagree is attracting many to its sleek studios, and with 45-minute classes, it can be hard to say you don’t have time. Done on a megaformer that has some key differences from a Pilates reformer, the routine focuses on one muscle group at a time. I talked with Emily Yang about her beautiful studio on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville, Cory Society Fitness, and how this program is quickly gathering fans, from endurance athletes to those needing a low-impact yet challenging regimen, plus those who still love Pilates and yoga. Come read her advice on how to start a Lagree routine, how it stimulates your muscles, and her tips on easy ways to incorporate fitness into your everyday life.
24 East: What inspired you to start this business?
Emily Yang: Moms and superwomen. Personally working in Silicon Valley, time not spent at work or with my family was divided between exercise and commuting, so efficiency and the 45-minute class was key. I looked at these superwomen around me and wondered how they managed to juggle it all. This started my search for the most efficient, high intensity yet low impact workout out there. I took every style of class out there and found Lagree to be the perfect sweet spot between large group classes and personal training and something that people could really stick to. It’s a method that you can continue on through various life changes, pregnancy, aging, etc because it is so low impact and preps your body for it all.
Desire for community. Once I found the workout, I knew I wanted to bring it to the East Bay (my home and community). I live less than a mile from the studio and plan to stay here forever. The name “Core Society” follows the vision and our single core value that “We give more than we take“. I hope clients feel this way whenever they leave, and we are regularly hosting benefit/charity classes to make sure we stay true to this value.
24E: How is Lagree unique and different than Pilates?
EY: The Lagree method definitely garners some inspiration from Pilates, but the two workouts are actually quite different. The Lagree method is done on a megaformer, which has more springs and intensity components than a standard reformer.
The workout itself is focused on stimulating your slow twitch muscle fibers/fat burning muscle fibers that are smaller in diameter for sculpting and toning the body. We work one muscle group at a time to achieve effective muscle stimulation or the famous “shake” 🙂 We focus deliberately on one muscle group at a time abs, left leg, right leg, arms (in some order) completely before moving onto the next. In short, it’s extremely intense and more focused strength/cardio than stretching and rehabilitation (Pilates).
[Great blog post with more detail: http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/08/14/what-to-expect-from-your-first-lagree-fitness-class/]
24E: What are 5 tips to starting a Lagree program?
EY: 1) Don’t feel intimidated by the machine. The megaformer may look like a medieval torture device, but it’s built for stability and ALL different body types. The megaformers at Core Society are the result of many versions and evolution of the original machine. The Lagree method really is for everyone! We have such a diverse client group and our instructors are trained to teach to every level and offer modifications/advanced options in mixed level classes.
2) Start off reasonably. You will be super sore after your first class because we are working all of your tiny muscle fibers to total effective muscle stimulation. Start off consistently coming 2-3 times per week and give your body a chance to recover and reap the true benefits of the workout. If you come 2-3x per week you will start to see results VERY quickly and can work your way up from there.
3) Bring a friend. Working out together is a great and positive way for people to come together. There’s something very special about the bond that is created between people experiencing something extremely challenging and pushing through a class together. Also it helps to stay accountable when you have a buddy, because we all have our weak moments.
4) Book your classes in advance, prepare. People these days are so busy, there are a million reasons to not workout and something else will come up, but treat it like an appointment and keep yourself accountable. You wouldn’t easily cancel an appointment, so don’t cancel on yourself either. Also along these lines, find a time that you won’t have a lot of other conflicts. For example, I know that if I schedule anything at night, I’m twice as likely not to stick with it because of all the fun social things that might come up—so I make sure to schedule my workouts in the morning to prepare for that.
5) Just show up! A lot of our clients say they love the workout because it’s the only time of day where they can tune out the rest of the world and not have to “think”. It’s 45 minutes where and instructor does all the thinking for you, you just have to follow along and do your best. Also, the equipment is there and you don’t need shoes or socks, so you literally can just show up. My husband did the workout in jeans once because he forgot his workout clothes, and made it through. I wouldn’t recommend this normally, but just bring your body/mind and we’ll do the rest!
24E: What are a couple of easy ways people can incorporate fitness into their daily lives?
EY: 1) Just start–even walking to the coffee shop instead of driving and getting in the sun will make you feel better.
2) Have fun with it! There are so many options these days, figure out what you like and search for more of that. You will likely meet other like minded people that are in the same boat! If you love dancing, take a dance class. If you love running find a running meet up. If you like walking, take the stairs or go on a hike, etc. etc.
3) If you’re data driven, get a fitbit or something that will remind you to keep moving.
4) Add resistance training to any program. Resistance training might hurt in the moment, but you will definitely feel the after burn effect/release of endorphins just like you do with cardio. Plus you’ll burn more calories long term from building muscle/strength.
5**) Fitness is only part of the equation, healthy eating is the other half.
For Athleisure styles we love, check out this post here.
For more information on Core Society Fitness, go here.