Orlando-area studio offers Meghan Markle's favorite workout

News 6 royal reporters try popular Lagree training in Windermere

WINDERMERE, Fla. – The countdown to the royal wedding is on and you can bet fitness junkie Meghan Markle is squeezing in a few last minute workout sessions before walking down the aisle.

A studio that offers the soon-to-be princess' favorite workout, the Lagree method, recently opened up in the Orlando area.

The training method is not easy to come across, since it's in high demand with relatively low supply for now but is showing up in more cities as it becomes more popular. At last check, Lagree's website showed that fewer than 60 studios worldwide had the patent to offer it.

News 6 reporter Loren Korn and digital journalist Brianna Volz got the chance to try the workout at the Windermere studio and were able to see why more people worldwide are getting hooked.

During the classes at Lagree Fit Windermere, which tend to run about an hour long and consist of loud music and upbeat energy, studio owner Angela Lopez and her team of trainers motivate attendees by walking them through each exercise until it almost becomes second nature.

The entire workout is done on a machine called the Megaformer and is meant to push your body to its limits while focusing on cardio, strength, endurance, body composition and flexibility, according to the Lagree Fitness official website.

"We do slow, intricate movements," Lopez said. "Slow and controlled so that we target specific muscle groups and we burn them out to failure for maximum results."

Michelle Damon, a mother of six and wife of a professional baseball player, said she could still feel that burn for days after her first class.

"I had soreness in muscles I never knew I had, like in my rib cage," Damon said. "I was like, 'What is this?'"

She said she was so sore that she wasn't sure she could do it again.

"I was like, 'I'm never going back,'" she said. "It was so hard!"

But she did and she hasn't stopped attending Lopez's class since.

Damon said the realizes now that the pain she feels while she's sore means that what she's doing is working and she's able to see the results the exercises bring.

The class is still intense, she said, after more than a year of sticking to the training.

Lopez sums up the class' intensity when she refers to the Pilates-style workout as "Pilates on steroids," saying it's "not your grandma's pilates."

Lopez said people have also referred to the workout method, created by Sebastien Lagree, as the "Rolls Royce of pilates."

Others, including former first lady Michelle Obama, Victoria's Secret models and the soon-to-be princess herself, have agreed that it really is that intense and that it works.

In fact, Markle once told a publication in the U.K. that the intense method completely transformed her body, and that others will see the same results if they stick to it.

"You keep coming back for several reasons: first off, your body changes immediately…give it two classes and you will see a difference," Markle said.

Georgina Dodd, who has been attending Lopez's class for the last few weeks, said she's already seen that transformation and continues to see changes in her body with each class.

You wouldn't be able to tell she recently started, because, after only 12 classes, she's gone from taking beginner classes to tackling advanced moves.

"I came in. I was new. I had no muscles. I could barely do any moves, but now I can do it," Dodd said.
Dodd, who's actually from England herself, said it makes it even cooler to know her favorite workout method is that of her country's soon-to-be princess.

Markle has been a fan of the training method since she lived in Toronto, where she frequently attended a Lagree studio. Studios are now also open in London, where the American actress and humanitarian will soon permanently call home.

Dodd's story of her quick progress inspired Korn and Volz to give the workout a try themselves before they packed their bags and headed to London to cover the royal wedding.

How did it go?

It was a struggle from the time Korn had to put her Pilates socks on to the time she told Lopez she needed a break after only the third exercise.

Muscles were shaking as they were pushed to new limits. Volz wabbled to keep her balance until she finally took a tumble and Korn got scorned for allowing the machine to slam.

But it worked. Both News 6 team members were able to find a move they could master, thanks to Lopez's instructions and a few modifications, which tends to help most beginners, according to Lopez.

Not only was it quite the workout, but it was impossible not to have a good time with the music up, lights down and disco ball spinning.

The real struggle, like Damon faced after her first Lagree class, came the next day. But that's how they knew it was effective.

Lopez offers multiple sessions at the Windermere studio throughout the week. Since the training method has become more popular, she said her classes tend to fill up fast.
Anyone looking to try a class can find times and pricing options on the Lagree Fit Windermere app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, or by calling the studio at 305-497-7200.
To learn more about the science behind the intense workout, visit LagreeFitness.com.

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