Photo courtesy of Nadi Moss
UC Riverside

Celebrity fitness trainer Sebastien Lagree discusses COVID-19, holistic health and the future of fitness

Sebastien Lagree rose to fitness fame as the founder of Lagree Fitness, a fitness method that incorporates strength, endurance, core, cardio, balance and flexibility training.

Having moved to Los Angeles at the age of 24, he found himself with a client roster of celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, Megan Markle, and Kim Kardashian. As many Americans prepare to spend the foreseeable future indoors, Lagree took the time to share his advice for at-home workouts, maintaining a healthy diet, and keeping a positive attitude when everything feels uncertain. The following Q&A was conducted over email.

Tell us more about how you first got started on your own fitness journey. What inspired you, and how do you know you wanted it to be your career?

I started lifting weights at the age of 13 and I quickly became addicted. When I moved to the US at the age of 17, I got more into weight lifting as well as bodybuilding. I didn’t know then that I would go on to spend my life training others; all that I knew was that lifting weight was going to become an essential part of my life. When I moved to L.A. at the age of 24 to become an actor I decided to train people professionally to support my acting ambitions and as it turned out, I was very good at my job and became popular very quickly.

Do you have a favorite moment from your training process, or a breakthrough moment that meant a lot to you?

Probably the most insane moment was when I escorted Nicole Kidman out of my studio into her private car, there were at least 30 paparazzi taking pictures. It was pretty wild to be in the middle of that and that was a breakthrough moment for me in realizing the type of clientele I was working with.

As Americans are staying home due to concerns over COVID-19, what are ways that we can remain physically active, even without access to a gym or fitness equipment?

Being active and staying in shape is the easiest thing to do, you can workout anywhere and at any time; people just like the motivation that you receive during an in person work out class. I recommend picking a designated area in your place for a workout and stick to a day/time schedule. You will be surprised how quickly working out becomes like second nature.

Going off of that, do you have any recommendations on ways people staying home can still maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle?

Lay off the carbs, and quarantine snacks that you bought, and do a quick 15 minute workout each day. You can do planks, squats, lunges, and push ups in the comfort of your own home. Maybe now is a good time to watch all those workout DVDs that you purchased in the past!

When looking at holistic health, what do you believe is the connection between mental and physical health, and how can we promote both in a time of growing uncertainty?

Being present and being in the moment connects both the mind and the body. That moment when you push yourself and run out of breath is when you feel like you’ve truly experienced what it means to be alive. We all operate on blind faith, we have zero control over what is going to happen next, virus or no virus, people forget that, the future is always uncertain, and that is why we must live in the present.

(Photo courtesy of Nadi Moss)

In 2017, you made a documentary titled “The Future of Fitness.” Could you tell us more about the documentary and what you hoped to bring awareness to in the film?

I want to shift people’s thoughts on what fitness really is. Fitness is so much more than just being able to run a mile or lift 100 LBS. Fitness is incredibly important for our brain and our soul. Moving is important as well as critical for our lives. If we stop moving, we die.

What were the general reactions of the film, and what message do you hope it sends to the viewers?

I think people liked it. It was definitely not your regular fitness documentary so hopefully that will help shift people’s thoughts surrounding what fitness really is.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you are excited about?

Yes, I am developing a series of at home equipment for those who can’t access the Mega. The first machine is the Micro and people can order it now on my website. I am also coming out with the Lagree at home app soon which is perfect timing considering the current situation.

Lagree Fitness is on Instagram at @lagreefitness.