The Studio Empower: Review, Giveaway, and Discounts!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to try a new fitness class at The Studio Empower with celebrity trainer and founder Sebastien Lagree.  When I heard that Sebastien’s “Lagree Method” has been credited for Jennifer Aniston’s body, well… twist my arm!  Of course I was psyched for the invite and even more psyched my schedule was open that day so I could attend.

The Studio Empower

Upon entering the studio, I was greeted with warm and friendly smiles from the studio owners.  I immediately took to the look and feel of the studio.  It was very bright inside, as the windows open to the street to allow for a lot of light to come in, and it just had a comfortable vibe.  I think feeling comfortable from the get go is important, especially when trying something different.

Panaramic View of Empower Studio

The studio has eight (soon to be ten) torture devices Megaformer M3 machines.  If you are unfamiliar with the Megaformer M3’s, they have been described as Pilates reformers on steroids.  At first glance, I suppose the machines do look kind of scary: springs? straps? a moving carriage? Ahh!  However, because of the small group atmosphere, it was extremely easy to catch on.  I felt comfortable on the machine within the first five minutes of class.

The Studio Empower Megaformer M3

Going into the class, I thought I would be taking part in a Pilates workout, however I was misinformed and quickly corrected.  The Lagree Method definitely incorporates the basic principles of traditional Pilates, but Sebastien explained to us that this style is much more than just a Pilates class.  The workout is high intensity/low impact, which is definitely appealing to those who may have overuse injuries from too many high impact activities (hello, self!) and want something a little easier on the joints.  Also, the Lagree Method is designed to work every muscle group to fatigue as it effectively strengthens and tightens the entire body in just a 45 minute session.

The Studio Empower

And strengthen and tighten we did!  The whole idea behind this style of fitness is to work SLOWLY.  For those of you who take my classes at the Y, I am constantly telling you to slow down, no?  Well in this class, we definitely slowed down.  We moved slowly, deliberately, and under control.  I found that when doing this, I could really focus more on form.  I also noticed an increased range of motion than usual!  My muscles were quivering throughout the entire class (literally from the very first lunge), and although I wasn’t jumping up and down and all over the place as usual, I worked up a pretty big sweat.

The Studio Empower

The Studio Empower

I really enjoyed this workout.  It was humbling and awesome to do something different for a change.  I was sore for days afterward.

The Studio Empower

Another aspect I liked was being a part of a small group class.  I felt like I got more personal instruction, which I don’t get a lot of nowadays, being an instructor/trainer myself.  It was nice to be corrected!  One mistake I kept making was keeping my head down too much.  I was so busy making sure I was in the correct place on the machine that I didn’t realize my body wasn’t aligned from head to toe.  Check out my neck not in line with my spine here:

The Studio Empower

If that were anyone in my class, I would have been yelling “heads up!”  😉

Anyways, I went back this weekend for round two with my friend Jen, and I can’t wait to go back for class three (and more).  I definitely would recommend this type of workout as a nice supplement to your regular training plan or workout schedule!

Class Giveaway 

The folks at The Studio Empower have also kindly offered to give away ONE MONTH of unlimited classes ($279 value) to one lucky local F&F reader.  All you have to do is “like” both The Studio Empower AND Fitness & Feta on Facebook, and then leave me one comment on this post telling me why you’d love to win the giveaway!  The contest will end on Friday May 31st at 11:59 EST, and I’ll announce the winner the following Monday.

Class Discount

Even if you don’t win, there’s an option for everyone, as the studio is also offering a $5 first class for anyone that uses the code FETA at checkout.  Totally worth it!  I would love to hear what you think if you end up trying the class!

**Please note that both of these deals are for new clients only**

Have any of you taken a class that uses the Lagree Method before?  What did you think?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided a free class at the studio in exchange for writing this review.  All opinions are my own.  The Studio Empower is located at 81 Union St., Newton, MA. 

Weekly Workouts

Monday morning after a Sunday holiday usually means that I’m feeling a bit blah.  This holds true today, as I’m feeling SO overly full from all the food I’ve eaten in the past few days.  I’m also feeling a bit scattered, since Greek Easter took priority yesterday over my Sunday relaxing and prepping for the week.  I’m hoping to get caught up on my life and feel a little more “in my routine” over the next couple of days!  Monday morning after a Sunday holiday also means I’m feeling more motivated with my workouts and eating.  Let’s talk fitness for now.

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

Sunday
Active rest… more walking around North Conway!

North Conway

Monday
1 hour walking meeting at work + blogger fitness class at The Studio Empower with trainer Sebastien Lagree.  Full recap post coming soon, but my legs were sore for days from this one!

The Studio Empower

Tuesday
Three A Day Tuesday?  Taught 20 horrifying minutes of barefoot Zumba, took Liz’s Kickboxing class, then taught a stations workout for my class.

Stations Workout

Wednesday
Active rest day.  Did 30 minutes of walking at work… it was such a beautiful day out!

meditechSource

Thursday
Taught my class with a format inspired by this workout of Monique’s!

Friday
3 mile run outside + two rounds of this ab routine

10 Minute Ab Attack

Saturday
2 mile run outside + upper body strength Tabata (shoulder is feeling good!)

This Week’s Workouts

Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • Sunday:  Active rest — went for a 35 minute walk around my grandfather’s neighborhood for Greek Easter
  • Monday:  Still deciding what my workout is going to be tonight.  Probably going to shoot for some H.I.I.T cardio and ab work.
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day Tuesday!  Y folks + local readers, Liz and I are running a back to back theme class in honor of Cinco De Mayo!  Remember when we did our super fun Cinco De Mayo theme classes last year?  Anyone that comes to both classes gets a small prize, so you should come to our fiesta!  I can get anyone a guest pass that needs it.
  • Wednesday:  Off or cardio
  • Thursday:  Teaching my 6am class
  • Friday:  Deck of cards, or a run?
  • Saturday:  Class at The Studio Empower?  For those of you who purchased those classes last week, anyone want to take class Saturday morning?  If I don’t take class, will have a sweat sesh of my own and likely do a lot of strength work.

What about you guys?  What was your best workout last week?  Anybody try anything new?  What’s on the agenda for this week?

Hope everyone’s week is off to a happy start!

Weekly Workouts: Back At It (Kind Of)

I am really bumming that it’s Monday.  Tim and I had such a great time in New Hampshire, and I really didn’t want the weekend to end.  I’m just glad I have three fun events this week that are making this Monday bearable (blogger fitness event tonight, Jillian Michaels on Wednesday, Wallingford roomie wine and cheese night on Thursday).  I’ll be posting a weekend recap, but for now let’s talk Weekly Workouts.  After splurging all weekend, it’s time to get back on track!

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week was my first week “back at it” after my week of rest.  I put “back at it” in quotes because while I did have some good workouts and it felt good to be back at the gym, I still was taking it easy, especially on my upper body.  I still didn’t do any pushups/chest work, and I used lighter weights than normal.  My shoulder is feeling better so I think I made the right decisions.  Another observation I made after taking 7 days of rest was that it took my body a few days to “adjust” being back into things.  I wasn’t as gung-ho and excited as I thought I would be?  Either way, here’s what last week looked like:

Sunday:  Headed to the Y and did 40 minutes on the elliptical, 3 rounds of Tina’s lower body burner, and 2 rounds of Best Body Bootcamp core work

MondayAt home workout!  Did two rounds of the same jump rope & core workout I did a couple of weeks ago.  I also added in some light upper body exercises to strengthen my shoulder and lots of stretching.

15 minute jump rope & ab circuit

Tuesday:  Taught my class with a mini circuits theme.  Each “round” consisted of one cardio move, one compound strength move, and one core move.  The entire class incorporated stability ball exercises, until the end when I had everyone finish with partner work.

Wednesday:  Was the first warm spring day in a while!  I was craving fun colors and being outside.  I threw on my new Reebok t-shirt and blue capris and went for a light run around the neighborhood.  My run ended up being around 2.5 miles, but it really was a very light jog – my legs were very sore from the beginning of the week!

Reebok Tee

Thursday:  Taught my Circuit class with a 3-2-1 style total body workout.

3-2-1 Style Interval Workout

Friday:  Off day.  I went for another sports massage on Thursday night (I might be addicted now), and my massage therapist did a TON of trigger point work on my back, neck, and shoulders.  She said I would be sore the next day and recommended not working out.  So I didn’t.  I went out for pizza instead.  🙂

Saturday:  Lots of walking, exploring, hiking, etc. in New Hampshire!

North Conway - Boulder Loop Trail

This Week’s Workouts

Here’s the plan (at least for now!) for this week:

  • Sunday:  More walking around NH – my legs are sore!
  • Monday:  I am SO excited for my workout tonight.  I was invited to try a class at The Studio Empower in Newton with trainer Sebastian Lagree.  I’ve never done a workout on machines like the Megaformer M3’s, so I’m excited to try something different.
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day is up in the air depending on how my shoulder is feeling.  I may try to give it one more week before returning, but I’ll definitely be there next week for Cinco De Mayo theme classes!  Either way, I’ll be teaching my interval class at 7:30.
  • Wednesday:  I took a half vacation day for Jillian Michaels, so I am going to try to do a quick cardio session after I leave work.  If not, then it will be a rest day.
  • Thursday:  Teaching my interval class.
  • Friday:  Off or TBD
  • Saturday:  Off or TBD, depending if I do a workout on Friday.

How did last week’s workouts go for you?  What’s in store for this week?  Anyone taking advantage of the nicer weather for their workouts?  Has anyone done a Pilates workout on the Megaformers before?

I’ll be back later today with my weekly food post… see you then!