Lagree Micro Review: Don’t Expect An At-Home Pilates Workout

I’ve been using the Lagree Microformer for four months. I first used it with the Lagree Method YouTube classes and, because I didn’t love the commercials, I moved on to Lagree on Demand (LOD) classes. There I discovered over 2,000 workout videos, which made it easy to stack my workouts – say, upper body and core together, or do a glute workout after using my indoor bike. 

Is Lagree Method a type of Pilates?

I’ve taken Lagree, and while the moves had me feeling off balanced and shaky, I honestly thought it was Pilates. The resistance, generally, was much lower (why I had to engage all my muscles to hold myself up) and the “reformer” looked different, but the nuts and bolts appeared to be the same. And even Google suggests it is, making questions like: “Is Lagree Pilates hard?” “Is Lagree Pilates good for beginners?” and “Lagree Pilates near me” as search options.

But I have been corrected.

What is the difference between Lagree Method and Pilates? Well, first, that tension I was talking about, and the tempo and duration of moves (hello shakes!). Second, founder Sebastien Lagree also points to form, range of motion, sequence, transition and plane of motion. But the best explanation – the a-ha moment that, yeah, this hits different – was from Aspen Lagree studio Higher Terrain: “On the surface, traditional Pilates focuses on the utilization of controlled movements to increase muscular strength and flexibility, whereas the Lagree Method, also known as ‘Megaformer’ Pilates, relies on intense, isometric movements to improve core strength and cardiovascular endurance.” Makes sense!

However, I have to disagree with Lagree’s statement: “Lagree Fitness has distinguished itself from every form of exercise, including Pilates, which lacks intensity.” I have taken Pilates classes everywhere, even at an exclusive studio in Paris, and I have not taken a Pilates session that lacked intensity.

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Lagree Method Microformer classes

How were the workouts? Amazing actually. It was the first time in a long time that I experienced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) from a workout. That’s because my at-home workouts tend to be one of three things: Spinning, trampoline, and weights or bodyweight strength on my mat. The Micro machine had me doing movements I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do like skaters and plank pushes. I felt muscles I forgot I had, especially in my legs, upper arms and core. I liked the variety, too. I wasn’t bored because so much of what I was doing I hadn’t done before at home. It truly is like bringing the studio into the home. 

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Setting up my home gym with the Micro

The setup was a bit tricky as there’s no app for Lagree on Demand. So, I would set up my Micro in front of a TV and place my laptop at the other end. My computer would stream the classes from the browser, which I would screen mirror to the Apple TV. It ended up being better for me, actually. I had two screens to watch. Since typically you’re either facing one end or the other, I never had to cock my head around to check the TV, as my laptop would show me the form.

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The Micro machine

Lagree has four types of machines: Micro, Mini, Mega and Evo 2. I have the Micro, which is a compact version of the popular Mega. The machine itself feels like luxury. It’s sturdy (weighs 60 pounds) and compact (measures 71 inches long and 18.5 inches wide, smaller than a yoga mat). The handles and the front and back platforms are framed in comfy foam – easy to wrap your hands and toes around. The platform moves smoothly with you as you do the exercises, and there are four colour-coded resistance springs. There are a bunch of accessories you can buy, including pulleys, cables, handles and more.

I would recommend watching the how-to videos from Lagree before taking a machine workout. The instructors go fast through the instructions and assume you’ve taken a class before, so you won’t be given the breakdown of how your machine works. 

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What I loved, what I didn’t

The Lagree Microformer is challenging and fun. The workouts spiced up my fitness and pushed me to the next level. I loved the variety and the intensity. The machine looks good and moves really well. I was able to lean into the resistance to work harder, as well as challenge my balance. I could feel my workouts the next day or two after. It looks good in my home gym, and I was able to follow workouts and create my own with this machine.

What didn’t I love? The Micro can come with different parts and accessories. So not all the workouts applied to me and the machine I have (some videos have accessory filters but not all). Talk about FOMO! I also wish that there was some user-tracked data on the platform, that way I knew what classes I had done and had those workouts connected to My Fitness and Health apps. If I wanted to include my Microformer workouts on the app, I would have to manually add the data (which isn’t exactly accurate). 

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Would I recommend the Micro?

Yes, but I would reiterate the above caveats. You can’t expect the same level of data tracking that you’d get with, say, a Peloton bike, but it’s better than getting bored from basic Pilates mat classes, though. My muscles remind me of that the next day. Damn, it works.

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Lagree Method Micro with Front Handles and Back Platform, US$990 and US$480, Lagree On Demand memberships are US$4 a week to US$11 a month and $100 a year.