Each audition, Sebastien showed up excited, thinking to himself, “This could be the one!” It wasn’t before long that he would get a call for the show American Gladiator. Over the moon with enthusiasm, he eagerly awaited the next steps to make this dream a reality—but nothing ever came about. After the 1st 30 days of “auditioning;” Sebastien decided it was time to pivot and figure out a way to turn all his passions into something greater.
He realized that while he was not nailing down any acting roles, producers and directors were asking him to work as a personal trainer. Slightly insulted at first, because he quite literally moved everything he knew to pursue acting, Sebastien realized this was an opportunity to take things in a different direction—in pursuit of his ambition to become an actor, of course.
Sebastien became a personal trainer, but now the struggle of where he could train his clients was evident. Every major gym in the Los Angeles area denied Sebastien access to train in their gyms without the proper credentials, but after a long journey of searching, he discovered Angel City Gym, a small gym on Melrose Avenue.
While this personal training studio provided an impressive array of fitness services, it was the owner’s interesting and uniquely contrasting careers that interested Sebastien. The owner was a Bodybuilder and former Martha Graham dancer, a rare combination at the time.
THE PLOT TWIST
The owner had taken a liking to Sebastien rather quickly, viewing Sebastien’s potential as something that could benefit them both. He told Sebastien that would allow him to train clients at his gym under one condition: That he learn Pilates and train his clients.
Sebastien thought to himself, “What is Pilates? Is that the only condition? You are going to give me Pilates clients and pay me? Where do I sign?!”
The next day, Sebastien attended a two-hour crash course on Pilates and one hour later, he was teaching his very first Pilates session.
(Yes, we realized that most Pilates certifications now do not let you teach a client for at least one to two years, but this is the story about how Lagree began so stay focused.)
After a couple weeks of training the owner’s clients, Sebastien noticed that his clients would hit the gym after their Pilates session. Naturally, Sebastien decided to find out why, and the answer was always the same: “I like Pilates, but I want to tone my body,” “I want to sweat,” “This is not challenging enough,” “I want a rounder ass,” “I want tighter abs,” and the list goes on and on.
Sebastien decided it was time to chat with the owner. Being the naturally-inclined innovator that he is, Sebastien asked the owner, “Is it ok if I modify the Pilates method?” The owner responded, “Sebastien, as long as they keep coming back, you can teach whatever you want!”
GIVE HIM AN INCH, AND HE WILL TAKE
(AND BEAT) THE MILE
That’s when Sebastien created the bootcamp version of Pilates, which he later called, “Pilates Plus.” Sebastien’s circuit training layout was simple. He alternated between cardio machines and Pilates equipment, primarily using the Pilates reformer and the Pilates chair. He would have clients practice lunges, planks, push-ups, squats, alternating between a few minutes on the reformer and a few minutes on the elliptical. Very simple. Very effective.
His clients were drenched! They were physically exhausted after the workout, and most of all, they loved it! In the span of 4 weeks, after never having trained anyone in his life, Sebastien went from working 3 hours a week to a full 40 hours a week.
Within the first eight weeks, Sebastien was booked 60 hours for his very first TV appearance on the show, “Women to Women.”
It wasn’t before long that Sebastien would begin getting some push-back from other Pilates instructors, but, because the owner loved Sebastien’s new approach, he backed him.
That’s when Lagree Fitness, also known as The Lagree Method, came to be.
You see, Sebastien created The Lagree Method because there was a need for it. Quite frankly, there was a demand for it, but no one was thinking outside the box. That is until Sebastien came along and forever changed the game of fitness.
DELIVERING REALISTIC RESULTS WITH
During this part of this career, much like he does now, Sebastien sought to unveil some of the fitness industry’s deceits.
Many people, mostly women, began practicing Pilates because they wanted to create this long lean, dancer body—but, according to Sebastien, that was and is the “biggest and dirtiest” secret about Pilates. Pilates’ greatest falsehood was that the women who have those long, lean dancer bodies achieved this aesthetic from Pilates. But, as Sebastien has proven over and over again, that is simply not the case. That aesthetic, instead, develops from 6+ hours of dancing per day. Ultimately, these women simply used Pilates as a form of recovery, not as a means of changing the appearance of their bodies.
Why? Because Pilates has no intensity, and intensity is key to changing the human body.
As Sebastien explains, “Every bodybuilder will tell you that if you want your body to change, you need to stimulate it to. Laying on your back for 30 minutes doing leg circles will NEVER change your body the way you want it to—even though you may feel great.”
In short, The Lagree Method is comprised of bodybuilding principles, not Pilates principles. The proof is in the pudding (and all the Lagree bodies gracing this earth).