'Pilates on steroids' comes to Winter Garden, Windermere

Windermere resident Angela Lopez has brought the incredibly popular Lagree Fitness Training Method to West Orange County with the opening of Lagree Fit OC.

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  • | 5:45 p.m. March 29, 2017
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WINTER GARDEN People like to call it “Pilates on steroids.”

It’s the Lagree Fitness Training Method, pioneered by Sebastien Lagree, and it has arrived in West Orange County.

Angela Lopez works with Michelle Damon, a client of hers, on the Megaformer at Lagree Fit OC.
Angela Lopez works with Michelle Damon, a client of hers, on the Megaformer at Lagree Fit OC.

A fitness system that has been embraced by the likes of Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara and Ivanka Trump, Lagree Fit OC has come to the area with a location in Winter Garden in a shared space with Garage Mama Fitness and Trinity Sports Performance.

In September, a location in Windermere will open in the Westside Shoppes development currently under construction along Country Road 535 near Lakeside Village.

Windermere resident Angela Lopez has been a certified Lagree trainer for several years in locations ranging from West Hollywood to Miami. Now, along with her husband and former Major League Baseball star Felipe Lopez, she is bringing the trendsetting methodology here.

“(Windermere) is where my husband has lived for the past 15 years or so, and it’s also where we live now, so I’ve always wanted to open a Lagree Fitness studio close to home,” Lopez said.

“I like that, the very first time I did it, I was sore the next day. I knew it definitely worked.”

— Michelle Damon, client

On a large scale, Sebastien Lagree’s program has become an exercise empire of sorts, with locations springing up across the country. The program utilizes the Megaformer, which Lagree invented, to give a more intense and challenging workout than regularly associated with Pilates.

On the official Lagree Fitness website, the ideology is explained: “Put simply, Lagree Fitness is the only workout that effectively combines strength, endurance, cardio, balance, core and flexibility training not only in one session but in each and every move.”

In short, it’s an exercise in efficiency, something Lopez recalls from the first time she took a class at Lagree’s original gym in Los Angeles nearly a decade ago.

“I liked that it targeted specific muscle groups and the toning,” Lopez said. “To me, it targeted (the muscle groups) so directly, and it felt like something achievable, even though it’s a challenging class.”

Lopez said the affinity celebrities have for the program is telling of its efficiency. For anyone who might have a busy schedule, Lopez said they can come and get in a serious workout in 30 minutes.

For the clients who have given it a shot so far, the results have come quickly. Michelle Damon, wife of former baseball star Johnny Damon, said she had tried Pilates before but didn’t like it. She found her first experience doing a Lagree Fit class with Lopez, though, to be quite different.

“I like that, the very first time I did it, I was sore the next day,” Damon said. “I knew it definitely worked.”

In addition to the results she says she has seen within the first month of taking the classes with Lopez, Damon also enjoys Lopez’s teaching style in the group setting.

“I like that she’s really positive,” Damon said. “There’s a lot of positive, motivational energy.”

Because of the design of the Megaformer, Lopez likes to say, “You can’t escape the machine.” In addition to some celebrities in Los Angeles and Miami, she has trained six professional athletes, including her husband.

“They can’t believe how hard it is,” Lopez said of the pro athletes. “They think it’s going to be easy, and then they’re sweating and screaming.”

“When (clients) leave, I want them to walk out feeling fresh and new and better than when they walked in.”

— Angelo Lopez, owner and head trainer

Felipe Lopez, who has also launched his own business in West Orange named Felipe Lopez Baseball, said the incorporation of the Lagree Fitness method into his overall training method was greatly beneficial to his baseball career.

“This system is highly recommended for the longevity of your career,” Felipe Lopez said. “I’m trying to bring it into that baseball world, because it’s so beneficial for athletes.”

So far, Lagree Fit OC has grown quickly and mostly by word of mouth and client referrals. Lopez is optimistic to grow the brand in an area such as West Orange and Windermere, where so many people put an emphasis on taking care of themselves.

“I want people to walk in here every day and feel like this is the place they can rest, this is the place they heal, and this is the place where they strengthen themselves,” Lopez said. “When they leave, I want them to walk out feeling fresh and new and better than when they walked in.”


Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].


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