Get your muscles shaking with this 45-minute low-and-slow workout

Get your muscles shaking with this 45-minute low-and-slow workout

Like Corbin Bleu once said: push it to the limit ’cause we’re in it to win it.

The emoticons of the discontinued chat service were in a semiotic league of their own.

As a body-conscious 20-something, you can trust me when I say that I’ve tried many workouts in Manila. Indoor cycling, group boxing, CrossFit, yoga, Muay Thai, a regular gym — you name it, I’ve probably tried it in the name of looking good naked. Recently, Ultra Lagree opened in Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons, Pasig City, and you bet your bubble butt I was there to try it out.

But first things first: What in Manila Hell is Ultra Lagree? For the uninitiated (myself included), the Lagree workout was founded by Sebastian Lagree. It’s a high-intensity, low-impact, full-body workout that targets your core strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance and flexibility. If that sounds like a mouthful, that’s because it is. It’s intense. People have compared it to Pilates, which I have not tried, but I’ve heard that it, too, is intense.

But don’t get me wrong: this isn’t just another rich tita workout. Before the class begins, you’re told by the instructor that you won’t actually burn a lot of calories doing Lagree, compared to, say, indoor cycling. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s useless. It’s kind of a low-and-slow workout, with lots of repetitions per movement. First, you get on the Megaformer — a contraption that looks like a massage bed of sorts, with a sliding board in the middle and two static, smaller platforms on both ends. Beneath this little bed are springs that you can attach to the machine’s front to add resistance.

Lagree is not an exercise necessarily for losing weight, but really for toning and building strength.

Once you’re all set up, you’re lent a Garmin watch that lets you track your heart rate (your stats are emailed to you after the workout). Soon after the clock starts, brace yourself: your balance and muscles will be tested, and by tested I mean shaken to their core. Their hashtag is #EmbraceTheShake, after all. There’s a lot of standing on one leg, going from a plank to a sort of downward-dog position, back to a standing position, and so on and so forth. There’s also lots of pushing yourself on the Megaformer with one leg from one of the machine’s handles. Arm movements like bicep curls are incorporated too, using handles on the opposite end of the machine.

At some point during the workout you might think, I can probably perform all of these movements at home without this machine. Which is true, but I don’t think it would have the same effect. I was doubtful too, but only until the next day when I woke up and my entire body was all-caps SORE. Not just my legs, my core, or my arms — everything. At this point you’ll realize that Lagree is not an exercise necessarily for losing weight, but really for toning and building strength. If you’re looking to really shave off some inches, I recommend pairing Ultra Lagree with another high-intensity, cardio-focused workout like indoor cycling or boxing.

Like most group workout classes, Ultra Lagree runs for 45 minutes, which you won’t realize goes by so quickly. If it’s your first time, there’s a bit of a learning curve with using the machine: while the moves themselves are manageable, I fumbled with the machine a couple of times during the workout. I also wasn’t sure if I was doing the movements correctly, so I had to constantly feel for my muscles getting activated. I mean, you’ll probably get the hang of it after about two classes, but it’s something to keep in mind when going in for the first time.

The workout is advertised as “maximizing efficiency and minimizing time,” and you know what? It works as advertised. Once you get over the sticker shock of P1,400 per class (for walk-ins; they have a first-timer buy-one-take-one promo!), it’s easy to see how it all works. Just be prepared to quiver.


Ultra Lagree is located at the second floor of Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City. For more information on their packages and class schedules, visit and follow them on Instagram at

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