Studio Lagree markets itself as “a studio concept workout that effectively combines core, endurance, cardio, balance, strength and flexibility”. Does it live up to its big claims? I went and tested it (not just once but a few times, all for your benefit :P) to find out.
First things first: get ready for the most HARDCORE Pilates session of your life. Period.
Whilst I’m definitely not a Pilates expert, I had been to a few classes before so I thought I knew what to expect. Some stretching, some core exercises and some flexibility work right? With some nice breaks in between?
The key to the Lagree technique is NO BREAKS. The workout itself is 50 minutes and the idea is to link up a whole series of exercises one after the other so that different parts of your body are continuously under tension as the muscles are worked.The exercises are linked in groups, e.g. working your core, then left legs muscles, right leg muscles, then glutes, arms, shoulders etc. The exercises are all done excruciatingly slowly, forcing you to really use your muscles and concentrate on surviving the burn.
Of course, most people take a couple of small breaks here and there to relax in between (or in my case, during!) the exercises but the instructors offer friendly encouragement to maintain your form. Additional health warning: the exercises all have really weird names (giant catfish, dancing bear, scrambled eggs, french twist?!?!) which takes a bit of getting used to but thankfully there were enough regulars in my class for me to copy whenever I got lost.
The 50 minute workout will get your heart racing and sweat dripping off the end of your nose. You’ll also be feeling it for the next three days, in fact, I think this is most DOMS inducing workout in the whole of Classpass London, and that’s a big claim! DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU NEED TO EVEN RUN FOR THE BUS THE NEXT DAY. Doing any kind of weights training the day before Lagree is also a terrible idea. And all of these statements are exactly why I LOVED LOVED LOVED it.
Downsides? The price. If you’re not on Classpass, at £30 for a single class, it is not cheap. This hefty sum drops to a mere £21/ a class if you take out their biggest package. Uh-huh. To be fair to Lagree, you get a lot of individual attention as class numbers are limited to around 12 or 14 I think (it used to be 10 but they’ve snuck in a few more machines now) but it’s a big financial commitment.
Verdict: GO GO GO (on Classpass ideally) and make sure you stretch properly afterwards.