It has been a week since the Olympics finished in Rio, and the United States had the strongest presence, bringing home 121 medals – 46 gold, 37 silver, and 38 bronze. The diversity of Team USA was also something to behold, with numerous religions, ages, and racial backgrounds represented, more women than men, and even 10 mothers, who are responsible for 8 of the medals brought home.
Going specifically into the women of Team USA, they represented American athleticism and our drive to win, as well as a diversity in fitness and skill. As a fitness studio, we appreciate this greatly, as it provides strong examples of how far fitness, exercise, and pushing the limits can take you. This is even more significant for us as Lagree Fitness Method™ users, due to the method’s dedication to full-body conditioning and fitness.
Now a question that has come up a time or two for us is what does the Lagree method accomplish. Each unique exercise, such as yoga or Pilates or TRX, is designed to target certain parts of the body and help users reach specific types of fitness. The science behind Lagree is unique, designed to target the whole body through a five-area emphasis: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, and flexibility. A lot of these terms are rather technical, so to define them best, we decided to use the women of Team USA as examples of what the pinnacle of each of those areas looks like.
The strongest example of this from Team USA is Kristen Armstrong, now the three-time gold medalist in the women’s time trial. She specializes in long-distance cycling, a sport based entirely on cardio and endurance. The heart and lungs supply the energy and fuel to the body, and cardiorespiratory endurance refers to the heart and lung’s ability to consistently fuel the body during sustained activity, something Armstrong has definitely achieved.
Improving this area of fitness requires training that keeps the heart rate elevated over long periods of time. The Lagree method emphasizes this, as it is all about the low and slow burn. By using the unique machines patented with the Lagree method, users put themselves in consistent motion for the duration of the workout, helping the body build endurance and maintain a safe and natural elevated heartrate.
An Olympian example of muscular strength is Sarah Robles, the first American to medal in weightlifting in over a decade. As a weightlifter, she specializes in power, and the ability to capitalize on physical strength. Muscles exert force during activity, workout related or not, and through consistent activity and increasing the needed force to complete activities, the capabilities of muscles can be increased.
To improve muscular strength, working against resistance, such as weights or gravity, is ideal. The Lagree method puts counter-resistance at the forefront. The machines are designed to impress equal force, so the more the user pushes themselves, the more resistance they will be met with, allowing anyone to improve their muscle’s capabilities.
Helen Maroulis, the first US woman to ever win gold in wrestling at the Olympics, shows muscular endurance to the fullest. As a wrestler, she has to exert herself physically and overpower her opponent not for small moments, but consistently throughout the match. Muscular endurance is all about training the body to use its muscular strength for extended amounts of time without reaching fatigue.
Lagree works on muscular endurance because of the very reasons it can simultaneously work on cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength, and that is the machinery designed for perpetual motion and resistance training. By constantly moving the body and forcing the user to exert force without stopping, the muscles are not ever given rest, stopping the buildup of lactic acid and training muscles to be lean and built for long-term strength exertion, not moments of might.
When it comes to body composition, Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky is a very good example. As a swimmer, she has to be in top physical shape and balance the aspects of her body – fat to muscle to bone to other vital body parts – to have an ideal shape to cut through the water with speed. Composition is not about weight or muscle alone, but the ratio of each.
Body composition is met through Lagree’s method by promoting lean muscle growth and excess fat loss at a controllable pace. By using slow and consistent movement and resistance, the body changes over time in a way that allows control over the ratio for composition, instead of attempting to resolve fat or muscle so quickly that the body ends up suffering from the one sided, rapid change.
Team USA’s golden girl, Simone Biles, is as perfect an example of flexibility as can be found. As the reigning world champion and Olympic champion in gymastics all-around, she has to have incredible range of motion around her joints, as well to be incredibly limber. Flexibility is all about training the body to stretch and move at its fullest range, done by stretching the muscles.
To allow for improvements in flexibility, the Lagree method’s machinery is designed to constantly stretch the body and work out the entire length of the muscles. Through consistent motion at full range, the body starts to expand its flexibility and allows for full use of muscles for long periods of time, even when the body is pushed beyond traditional positions and range of motion.
Our fitness studio and our specific use of the Lagree method ensures that all five areas are focused on, allowing anyone to succeed in their fitness goals. By pushing the body through our machinery and practices, you can reach incredible fitness heights. Stick with us long enough, and you just might find that you could be the next Armstrong, Robles, Maroulis, Ledecky, or Biles! After all, not every Olympian is a woman or mother, but every woman and mother is a potential Olympian to us.