Sebastien Lagree is the man behind the famous Lagree Fitness Method. His passion for fitness came early with an addiction to weightlifting at 13 years old, evolving into personal training, and eventually designing a machine to accompany his workout method.
LaPalme had the pleasure of sitting down with Sebastien to discuss how he developed the Lagree Fitness Method, the web based app, and where fitness is headed.
I was hoping you could give me a background on how you started in fitness and how you eventually developed the Lagree Fitness Method.
I started to lift weights at the age of 13. I quickly got addicted to it. When I moved to the US, I became interested in bodybuilding, and I worked out religiously. I started to personal train at the age of 24 to support my acting ambition, but the personal training got so busy that I decided to focus on a career in fitness. After that, the rest was easy; all I had to do was to listen to my clients and design workout programs that would deliver results. Lagree wasn’t created overnight, Lagree is the culmination of 22 years teaching fitness. I am still creating my workout: I vet out exercises that are no longer popular and introduce new exercises. That process of continually tweaking the method changes and evolves the workout, which is why the interest in Lagree is growing. I am not stuck in one way of doing things.
There’s always a new fitness trend with apps and at-home equipment. What would you say is the key to staying relevant as long as you have?
You must evolve. What works today will not work tomorrow. This is a hard lesson for all the studios copying my method. I’ve had many copycats come and go because I am constantly moving forward. Movement is life, and you must evolve the machine and the method.
Where did you get the inspiration to continue teaching and improving your machine? You don’t see fitness CEOs teaching a class very often.
That is correct, and my ideas come from doing. If I sit behind a desk, I will come up with new ideas on how to run the business more efficiently, I will get very creative on the business side, but the core of my business is fitness, and I must stay connected with the students. Teaching is an essential part of the R&D process; I see first hand what inventions are popular or not; what new exercises are popular or not; I also can check how useful a new tech is to a teacher (many of the inventions I created are for the teachers to facilitate teaching and transitions). I don’t know how other CEOs do it in the fitness industry, but I think it’s essential to be in the trenches with the teachers who are the foundation of any fitness chain/empire.
What is Lagree’s biggest goal for 2020?
To improve our logistics to make room for e-commerce. The name Lagree is becoming more and more popular around the world. The demand for Lagree products at home is very high, it’s a good thing that I am a constant innovator; we have a series of workouts and machines I am developing for at home. Selling is easy; fulfilling is a different story. I am creating the processes needed to become an online provider.
Do you think the at-home workout surge will continue after the health crisis?
Yes, many people will not return to a gym. The good thing is that fitness is on the rise and more people are now working out, so the loss should not be catastrophic for studios. I predict that life will get back to normal in about 18 months.
You recently announced there would be an expansion with home workout options, including the Micro. How did you design the machines to compliment instead of compete with studio workouts?
All the electronics and innovations will be kept for the Mega. The workout on the Mega is evolving in a different direction than the Micro. People who work out on one machine will want to work out on the other as well.
With home machines, how do you keep the habit of using it versus it sitting in the corner, gathering dust like other workout machines?
That’s where www.lagreehome.com comes in. I created that web app to keep people interested in the workout. New features, exercises, routines will be added on a reg basis; I am also creating never seen before features within the app to connect all the users together.
Where do you see the fitness industry heading?
The fitness industry is heading toward shorter workouts (25 minutes or less), hybridization of workout; exercise for the mind; and the electronification of fitness (integration of screens and app during a workout).