Get ready fitness enthusiasts- an entirely new workout is headed to the Central West End!
It’s called the “Lagree Method” and PLNK|STL will soon be opening its second studio inside the Citizen Park building. We recently sat down with studio owner, Brooke Meek, to learn all about the workout and why it’s been dubbed “Pilates on steroids.”
Congratulations on opening your second studio in St. Louis. Why did you choose the CWE to be the next location for PLNK?
Brooke Meek: Thanks! We are SO excited to be in the Central West End! The CWE has an energy unlike any other neighborhood in St. Louis. There is SO much going on in the community – the BEST food, from coffee and brunch, to patios and cocktails, amazing nightlife, new business incubators, art galleries, and on and on. Every time we’re there, it seems something new is going on and popping up! We also love the diverse population – professionals, students, families, artists… When the Citizen Park building was finished, we knew that was our spot. The building is so beautiful (we cannot wait for you to see our space), and to be next door to Fitness Formula, Orange Theory, Pure Barre and Steel Wheels is an amazing opportunity.
When did you first come across the Lagree Method?
Brooke Meek: Funny enough, I was watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show a handful of years ago and they kept cutting to all the girls on these crazy machines getting ready for the show. They were all talking about the Lagree Method and how amazing the Megaformer was for building strong, lean muscles without impact. After watching all the models rave about this new method in NYC, I had to get on a Megaformer! A few months later, I was moving my brother to Kansas City and found a studio there. Nine months after my first class, PLNK|STL in Frontenac opened. I knew immediately that there was something really special about the Lagree Method and that it would bring such a new experience to the fitness scene in St. Louis.
For those that don’t know, what exactly is Lagree?
Brooke Meek: Lagree is an evolution of the Pilates Method… on steroids! The Method occupies an entirely new space in the fitness industry – it’s high intensity but zero impact. If your favorite bootcamp class and your favorite traditional pilates class had a baby, this would be it! The Lagree Method manipulates time, tension, momentum and velocity to trigger an adaptive response in the body. Lagree combines cardio, strength, core, flexibility and balance to work multiple muscles with slow controlled movements under constant tension to burn more calories (some of our clients have burned over 800 calories in one 50 minute class) through muscle elongation and deconstruction or ‘failure.’ Muscular failure is what we’re going for! It occurs when the muscle can no longer move or contract concentrically, resulting in a greater metabolic response… making Lagree the most effective and efficient workout out there!
Brooke Meek: The Megaformer is huge! It’s over 10 feet long and four feet wide. Each person gets their own machine for the duration of the workout. The ‘Mega,’ as we fondly call it, resembles a traditional reformer with a whole lot of extras- platforms, handles, holes, bungees, bands and straps create nearly endless possibilities. The weighted springs and moving carriage demand constant engagement of one’s core. There is nothing else like it.
Can you walk us through what someone can expect during their first class?
Brooke Meek: People are always a bit surprised at how challenging the workout is. When you look at a class taking place or videos online, it appears to be pretty easy. I mean, a bicep curl that takes 16 seconds?! What’s so hard about that, right?! Working slowly and with tension causes you to use the muscle we’re working, without the aid of gravity or momentum… so it’s a whole lot tougher! It’s totally normal to feel a bit discouraged during one’s first class. Lagree is an entirely different language (moves like mega donkey kicks, french twist and wheelbarrow), and there are a lot of cues and directions that come pretty fast. We encourage people to take a handful of classes to feel comfortable on the machine and with the exercises. That’s why we offer First Month specials. Look for our opening specials soon!
Are modifications offered throughout the workout?
Brooke Meek: YES!! We pride ourselves on being one of the only class-based studios that offers TONS of hands-on adjustments and modifications. Our instructors are all Lagree certified and really know their stuff! One of the many reasons Lagree is so amazing is that it can truly be tailored for any age and any fitness level. We have clients with fused spinal cords, broken bones, artificial joints, and on and on, all the way to professional athletes (yes, we get a TON of athletes). There is always a modification!
We have to talk about the results! What kind of benefits will clients see after taking classes at PLNK?
Brooke Meek: Where do we start?! We’ve had clients who have had to have last minute wedding alterations after losing multiple inches on their waistline. We have CrossFit Games athletes come in on active recovery days to strengthen their slow twitch muscles. We have yogis who come in to gain core strength for inversions and hand stands. We’ve had golfers lose strokes off of their game from coming in to the studio a few times a week. Tons of professional athletes come in (if you were taking class last week, you most likely would have seen a handful of PGA golfers and their wives) because they know that they can get an incredible workout while keeping their bodies safe from injury. There is so much research out there that suggests a weak core is responsible for nearly every single injury we sustain. Strong core. Strong body. There is no other workout that exists that works your entire core like the Lagree Method.
Do your instructors have to go through a training program?
Brooke Meek: Yes! Unlike many Lagree studios in the country, every single instructor at PLNK is not only Lagree certified, but advanced certified as well.
Do you have any idea yet what the schedule will look like?
Brooke Meek: We will offer over 40 class times per week with classes starting as early as 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, and as late as 7 p.m. Look for our schedule to go live in the coming weeks.
Do you have a target opening date?
Brooke Meek: PLNK|CWE is opening September 29! We will have a DJ spinning all morning Saturday, goodie bags for all who take class, and lots (and lots) of treats from surrounding businesses! We cannot wait!!