Stellar Bodies Midtown brings the celebrity loved Lagree Method—and long, lean muscles to fitness-minded Atlantans.
With locations in Midtown and Buckhead, Stellar Bodies is home to what’s arguably one of the hardest workouts you’ll ever do.
The studios’ classes are based on what’s known as the Lagree Method, which co-owners Amy Selig and Jeff Toney, who also co-own Eclipse fitness studio in Buckhead, introduced to Atlanta after the philosophy took off on the West Coast with a celebrity fan base that includes Sofia Vergara and Kim Kardashian. The workout, originally designed by French fitness trainer Sebastien Lagree, is a 50-minute muscle-toning session that combines heart-pounding cardio, resistance strength training and Pilates in a challenging sequence that keeps your heart rate up and improves core strength and balance. The best part (or the worst, depending on whether you have a glass half-full or half-empty kind of outlook)? It doesn’t get easier over time, which is precisely why it works.
The movements that make up the workout—push ups, lunges, squats, sit-ups and planks—are familiar, but they’re performed at an intensity that might make you rethink the seriousness of your past fitness efforts. Curious how it works? Class participants each use a piece of equipment known as a Megaformer (think of it as an upgraded Pilates reformer), which is outfitted with springs and pulleys to set the resistance and counter-resistance of their workouts. Each movement is slow and controlled, targeting individual muscle groups while keeping them engaged.
“We continue to fatigue each muscle with constant tension and no rest, while layering on additional challenges throughout the workout,” says Selig. The result? Longer, leaner muscles. Meanwhile, the physical support of the Megaformer eliminates pressure on the joints and spine, making this a great high-intensity, full-body workout with little impact on pressure points.”
Because the workout is so efficient, it may only take three classes a week for several weeks to see results, which is ideal for busy schedules. Selig and Toney knew that Stellar Bodies would be well received in Atlanta. “Jeff and I knew the Lagree Method was an amazing workout that would deliver results, and we were excited to be the first to bring this workout to the state of Georgia,” Selig says. She credits the workout’s popularity to the results that many of its followers see. “These bodies that enter through our doors speak for us,” she says. “These days, busy people want to see a return on their investment of time.”
Each class is limited to 10 patrons, and the spaces often fill up in advance. “It’s important to maintain a small group class of 10 people, which gives the instructor the opportunity to watch the clients’ form, push them to go further than they thought they could go and complete the workout with a feeling of pride,” says Selig. As for what to expect during and after the workout, “Clients should have a reality check regarding their fitness level,” Selig says. “It’s quite humbling to feel the power of this workout and understand how it can be challenging to even the most fit of individuals. If it’s your first time taking the class, most clients will feel muscle soreness the next day, and even more on the second day out.”
Costs average $25 to $30 per class, depending on the package, and patrons of all fitness levels are accommodated. Newcomers receive an intro to the Megaformer before their first class. Our own word of advice? Prepare to be sore after class, a sure sign your workout was a success.
Stellar Bodies Midtown
44 12th Street
STORY: Jessica Dauler
Photo: Deborah Celecia Wagoner