The founder of Lagree West is whipping Vancouverites into shape with Lagree, an intense full body conditioning fitness method.
Vancouver has no shortage of activities for people who like to get a little sweaty. But if you have already hiked the Grouse Grind, the Chief, and Mount Seymour, then maybe it’s time to take on a new challenge – like a Lagree session in Barbie Bent’s studio, Lagree West.
According to Bent, the Lagree fitness method is basically a combination of things that she likes. To others, it’s considered pilates on steroids. “The simplest way to explain it is, a high-intensity pilates,” she says. You’re really focused on using slow movements to target a specific muscle fibre.”
Before opening her studio in Vancouver, the fitness instructor had a pretty unconventional journey. She worked in finance in Toronto then made a massive career change to pursue optometry in England. As she was finishing up her Master’s degree, that’s when she started thinking about Lagree. Her first experience with the fitness method was when she lived in Toronto.
“It was like a mind-blowing experience,” she says. “I just got off the machine and was like, ‘Holy shit. What just happened to me?’ and I was pretty hooked after that.”
Even though it may look intense and intimidating for first-timers, Bent says that new participants are able to take things slow and go at their own pace. “It’s very individual,” she says. “I essentially could do Lagree beside my grandma. We would both be taking the same class but working to our own personal maximum intensity.”
Currently based in Vancouver, Bent was pleasantly surprised at the city’s enthusiasm to support local businesses and entrepreneurs. “The one thing I didn’t know about Vancouver before I opened was how much the community here loves local,” she says. “It has helped our journey a lot.”
Now with three locations opened in the Greater Vancouver area, locals are hooked on the 40-minute workout sessions. “I really believe in the workout. Results can be addictive and I think that is why people come.”