In a world which has developed a fetish for fitness, French American inventor and fitness visionary Sebastien Lagree is championing a balanced living. The founder of revolutionary training method called Lagree Fitness that is about to mark 100 patents, his methods have broadened the horizon of fitness encompassing physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual well being. The celebrity fitness guru who has trained stars like Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman believes in respecting the natural limits of the body. As a design enthusiast, he visions tech and innovation as the backbone of the fitness industry. Here’s his life journey, fitness goals, tips and inspirations from edited excerpts of the interview.
How and when did you develop an interest in fitness?
I inculcated an interest at the age of 13 when I fell in love with someone. I was fat at the time and I wanted to look my best for her. As I started to workout and notice results, I became very passionate about fitness. People started to treat me differently too and that kind of attention was very powerful. Fitness became the only thing I wanted to be involved in. When I moved to the USA at 17, I started to bodybuild.
Your fitness venture is about to reach 100 patents. How did the journey start and what challenges did you face initially?
Yeah, we should be at 100 next month. It is a big milestone, both on a personal and professional level. I never expected to have 100 patents but now, in retrospect, it all makes sense. As a young kid, I used to spend my days sketching cars and muscular bodies. I loved sketching concept cars. It all makes sense now that 30 years later, I am not only designing fitness equipment, but I create fitness by combining my passion for wellness and design. When it comes to challenges, they come in all shapes and sizes but most of my obstacles have come from agreeable places, others are annoying, to say the least. I am copied right and left, so I don’t know what to say about that!
What are some standout methods you promote?
The Lagree Fitness Method is all about high intensity and low impact and we are the first to conceive it that way.
“One has to remember that balance is key. Fitness is great but don’t overdo it and respect your body’s natural limits.”
You’re a father and a successful fitness entrepreneur. How do you maintain tedious professional life and personal sphere balance?
Balancing family and business is very difficult because I am 100% passionate about my kids and 100% dedicated to my business. So there are times of extremes when I focus my attention disproportionately. However, it looks like family and business are merging as both of my children want to be involved with the business. For instance, my son, Romain, 18, is coming out with his first fitness equipment called the “Lagree Box” later this year. I am both extremely proud and pleased that Romain has decided to join me.
What has been the most rewarding moment of your life and why?
That is a tough question to answer. I feel like I have just begun and the best has yet to come. Certainly, it was a very rewarding moment when ClassPass named “the Megaformer workout” as no.1 out of 100 million purchases in December of 2019. I spend my time reworking the method and the machinery, so it feels motivating to see the improvements being noticed and appreciated.
You have ventured into a documentary with ‘The Future Fitness’. How did you conceive the idea and what message it heralds?
I have always wanted to do a documentary on fitness. I was interested to know if, with so many alternatives to exercise coming up, would people still workout let’s say in the coming 100 years? People want to look fit without doing hard work. But fitness is a broader concept. We need to redefine it as physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual too.
“I inculcated an interest at the age of 13 when I fell in love with someone. I was fat at the time and I wanted to look my best for her. As I started to workout and notice results, I became very passionate about fitness.”
What is that one thing we are forgetting amid the reckless fetish for health?
One has to remember that balance is key. Fitness is great but don’t overdo it and respect your body’s natural limits. Remember that limits can be pushed but it takes time for the body to adapt so be patient and consistent no matter what.
How do you think tech and design innovation can boost the fitness and health industry?
The gamification of fitness is definitely working and is going to be a significant portion of the fitness industry. People love to be entertained when they workout. Personal stats/workout analytics is also a major boost for the fitness industry. People like to see how well they did not just in terms of calories, but numerical too. I have spent the last 7 years researching and developing electronics for biofeedback, that’s going to be the future!
What lifestyle and diet you’d like to suggest for a balanced living?
I recommend a plant-based diet with certain fish. These days food supplier is becoming increasingly contaminated with many species of fish being found high in Mercury and most of our meat and poultry being high in hormones.
What are the three exercises you practise daily for a fit routine?
I recommend doing planks or wheelbarrows for at least 1 minute every day. I also recommend doing pull-ups and push-ups.
Who are the celebrities you have trained in the past?
Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Courtney Love, Elizabeth Hurley, and many more.
“I recommend to do planks or wheelbarrows for at least 1 minute every day. I also recommend doing pull-ups and push-ups.”
What’s your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to be happy and to be like that, I must be healthy.
What’s the motto that keeps you going?
There are no limits except for the one we create for ourselves
Please share some tips and tricks to stay fit and healthy.
Learn to wake up early. I recommend doing cardio 1st thing in the morning. 20 minutes on an empty stomach is a great way to turn on your metabolism. Take a generic multivitamin/multimineral tablet once a day. Exercise daily and do intense lifting at least 3 days per week.
As a fitness visionary, where do you see the fitness industry in the next few years or let’s say in 2021?
The pandemic has disrupted the fitness industry. There is definitely a big move toward at-home training, so you will see an explosion of fitness apps, workouts, equipment to be used at home. Boutique Fitness will recover as many people need the social aspect of a workout. However, there is still a significant portion of people who are not interested in training at home (even in a virtual group setting, I am one of them).
“People want to look fit without doing hard work. But fitness is a broader concept. We need to redefine it as physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual too.”
1. If you were not a fitness entrepreneur then what would you be?
A marine biologist.
2. Your favourite food item that’s also healthy.
3. Your ultimate guilty pleasure.
Baklava and coffee.
4. Your favourite sports.
5. Who is your role model?
I don’t have any.
6. A habit you’d like to change immediately.
I eat too much sugar. I have a big sweet tooth.
7. The best compliment you ever got.
“You’re not so dumb after all”
8. A dream still to come.
Cage free diving with big white sharks.
9. First thing you notice in an individual.
10. Your happy place after a tiring day.
My bedroom, laying on the bed, smoking, watching a horror flick.
”There is definitely a big move toward at-home training, so you will see an explosion of fitness apps, workouts, equipment to be used at home. Boutique Fitness will recover as many people need the social aspect of a workout.”