lagree fitness




I learned about Lagree through my cousin.  She started her first studio in Hollywood and I went to support and tried her class.  I thought it was so amazing and even though I lived in Santa Clarita I would make the drive down twice a week to get my butt kicked.  I saw pretty quickly the difference it made in my body, and I was in love!  I knew this would be life long love of mine but didn’t know at the time I would get the privilege of instructing.


I would have to say that that I am serious about the effectiveness of my clients' workout but I'm definitely not super serious by nature.  I try to make this already difficult experience a little less with some playful banter to help keep your mind off the burn!

Humbled-  I feel so humbled by the love, dedication and appreciation for each and every one of my clients that come to see me for a great workout. It feels amazing to help others and see their excitement as they progress towards their goals and a healthier lifestyle. These classes are never easy; to help clients push the limits of their bodies and get stronger despite the challenge is beyond rewarding and I am so grateful and humbled that I get to share that with them.


Tea Poached Salmon with Fragrant Brown Rice.jpg

Oh, man this is tough. I love food and am not a very good eat-the-same-thing-everyday type of person.  I love ground turkey and rice or on a bed of spinach.  I also love poached salmon and rice. If I can’t get to one of these meals I will reach for my RX Bars (chocolate sea salt is my fave).  Those are just a couple of my go-to foods post workout (unless it's in the morning, then I love oatmeal with fruit or eggs with hash-browns. :) )


Never be afraid to try new things and reach new goals.  There is always a way to modify things if its too hard, but give your self the chance to try something new!  You might be surprised as to how strong you are getting.  Last but not least, the slower the better in every move and EMBRACE the SHAKE!

Check out Jessica's schedule here!




I found Lagree after trying many other types of workouts, everything from barre classes to CrossFit.  I gained a lot of endurance and strength with CrossFit but my body just couldn't handle the heavy weightlifting after a while.  I came across Motivate in doing some research and figured it couldn't be any harder than CrossFit so I gave it a try.  Man, was I wrong!  After that very first session I discovered new muscles that I never knew I had and didn't have to throw heavy weights above my head in order to find them!  I loved every minute of being pushed to my max, not only by the trainer, but mentally for myself. With each class I found myself pushing harder, holding longer and embracing that shake.  I love how much stronger I am now as a result and also enjoy being able to work out more efficiently and much more safely at Motivate.  I always leave with a sense of accomplishment!


 Intense and Pushing Limits.  I know within each of us, we have the ability to go harder and push farther than we even realize or allow ourselves to do.  We often stop right at that moment where we think it's too hard, not knowing that change is just over the precipice if we can fight to get through the discomfort.  As a trainer, I want to be able to bring that out in my clients while being safe and encouraging.



Protein banana pancakes!  Super simple- 2 (or 3!) eggs and 1 banana, mashed and whisked all together, fry it in a pan.  I'll follow that up with a tuna, kale and broccoli slaw with quinoa and sunflower seeds, drizzled with a red wine/olive oil vinaigrette.


Embrace the shake!  Endure and fight through because there’s strength on the other side.

Check out Charlene's schedule here!

FUNCTIONAL FOOD | The Everything Smoothie

Hello everyone!

I’m so happy and excited to officially be posting on Motivate’s blog!

Every two weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.

So, without further ado, here is a recipe of a chocolate smoothie that I love (!!!) This smoothie should satisfy your chocolate cravings (oh, we all have them!) while providing your muscles with the nutrients they need after kicking butt in class. It is rich and has a decadent taste while actually being oh so nutritious!

This recipe serves 2 because, you know, your other half or roommate is going to want some. Or you can just keep the second serving all for yourself in the fridge for later. This smoothie is almost a meal by itself! Plus it’s so creamy you can literally enjoy it with a spoon.

You will need:

photo: Gina Mehta

photo: Gina Mehta

Blender (or Vitamix)
2 frozen bananas (make sure you peel them before putting them in the freezer ;)
¼ cup rolled oats (soak these in water the night before)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup goji berries
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp organic plant protein powder (the easiest to digest are usually “Hemp”, “Sprouted Brown Rice”, and “Pea” proteins, or a combination of these)
1 small ripe avocado
⅓ cup coconut meat or unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup coconut water (Straight from the coconut is best. If not, the “Harmless Harvest” raw coconut water is great!)
¼ cup filtered water
1 cup (or a handful of) organic spinach

1 tsp hemp seeds (to sprinkle on top to make it look pretty; you get an added protein bonus, too!)

Put all ingredients in the blender.
Hit the “blend” button.

Nutritional Value:

This recipe is filled with good fats, fiber, protein and complex carbs from real, whole foods that will provide a slow, constant and stable release of energy, which helps to avoid rapid spikes in your blood-sugar levels and keeps you satisfied all morning (or afternoon - depending on when you are having it).

Raw cacao is filled with antioxidants, magnesium and iron. It’s the essence of chocolate, in its purest, unadulterated form. It’s made by cold pressing the raw cacao bean; it isn’t a processed food and maintains all of its nutrients intact. Magnesium is a relaxation mineral, it is critical for energy production in the body, helps maintain blood sugar balanced and is a great sleep aid.  

Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, essential in maintaining electrolyte balance, regulating fluid and pH balance, and alleviating tension.

Coconut water is another great source of potassium (better than bananas, actually), while the meat or dried flakes also contain a significant amount of iron, vitamin C and magnesium.

So what’s with the pumpkin seeds? It’s come to my attention that many of us aren’t getting enough zinc in our daily diet. Pumpkin seeds are an amazing source of zinc! Zinc is a mineral that is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. It also supports our immune systems, our thyroid, and even our adrenal glands which help us manage stress.

Goji berries are filled with iron which is critical for metabolism, vitamin C and antioxidants which are great for our skin and protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. When non-heme iron (iron from plant sources) is combined with foods high in vitamin C, it is much easier for the body to absorb the iron from the food.



Avocado Ummmm...well, does it really need an explanation? Apart from being an amazing source of fiber, folate, vitamin B5 and B6, potassium, and vitamin E, it makes any smoothie so incredibly creamy!

Rolled oats are high in fiber. They also contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, some B vitamins and iron. I do stress to soak your rolled oats before consuming them and before adding them to your smoothie, as this will help remove the phytic acid which can make them harder to digest (keep your belly happy), and the nutrients more difficult to absorb in our bodies. Plus, phytic acid can also make some of us feel bloated! Nobody likes to feel bloated...I will go deeper into this subject in another post.

Spinach This leafy green contains iron, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. This is a quick and easy way to get some greens in, so why the heck not?

You might see this recipe and think it’s quite high in fats. Don’t worry, these are good fats. The fats in this recipe come from whole foods: they are real, unprocessed, and highly nutritious. Though fat has been demonized in the past, we do need some fat in our diet. It is essential for our brains. Did you know nearly 60% of our brain is fat?. We need fat to keep our skin and hair healthy and luscious. Plus, cholesterol is needed to make hormones and we all know how awful it feels when our hormones are out of whack!  

I feel it is important that we never feel deprived with our food choices; nor should we feel we need to cut out whole macronutrient groups in order to achieve short-term individual goals. This could eventually cause periods of bingeing and unnecessary guilt. Eating nutrient dense food isn’t boring unless we make it out to be! Have fun with these foods, experiment and see how you feel!

Happy eating!


HEALTH HACKS | So you want to tone your muscles?

"I just want to tone!"

We as trainers hear this all the time, but what does this actually mean?

This concept of "toning" is actually an increase in muscle tissue with a low enough body fat to see the definition.  Muscles either expand or shrink, but the muscles themselves don't actually "firm up,"  and fat most definitely does not turn into muscle (or vise versa).

Our trainers working their core in catfish!

Our trainers working their core in catfish!

So how do muscles grow?  Resistance training!  You need to put enough stress on your muscles to give them a reason to adapt and grow.  If you have little to no resistance, what incentive does your body have to change?  Probably none.  We are not saying you need to start bench pressing 100 lbs, but it is TOTALLY OK to push heavier/harder than you might be used to.  That's what's going to send the message to those muscles that they need to step up their game if they're going to keep up with this bad ass workout you're making them do.  

"But I don't want to get bulky!"  Stop.  Only the men will look like men for one simple reason; women do not produce enough testosterone to build muscle the way a man does.  So ladies, unless you're taking steroids or testosterone boosters, you have nothing to worry about!

A beautiful benefit of muscle growth is the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest!  For every pound of muscle you have, your body utilizes 6 calories to sustain itself whereas fat only utilizes 2 calories.  This means your body becomes an efficient, calorie burning machine, even when you're not working out! 

A few other amazing benefits of resistance training include:

  • Better sleep
  • Increased bone density
  • Heart health
  • Stress relief
  • Increased energy

You are stronger that you might think you are.  Push yourself.  Create change.  Be stronger than you were yesterday.  And we're here to help you out with those last 30 seconds and extra spring or two. ;)


The Motivate Team


FITNESS HACKS | Is your resolution to be healthier in 2016?

With the start of each new year, the feeling of a fresh start is created.  Using the lessons learned in the ended year, we make decisions to make changes!

Resolutions to be healthier are at the top of the lists.  We've all seen the packed gyms in January, but slowly the numbers decline and eventually we're back to the same folks we saw in December.  So what happened to everyone?

Health is not a fad; it is not something we try and decide it isn't for us.  I have made this journey personally many times.  I'm consistent for a few weeks, get busy with other things, don't see instant results, and quit.  When I had my third child, I was unhealthy and didn't have the energy to keep up with the demanding life of having three young children.  My metabolism changed, I wasn't taking time to take care of myself, and I didn't know how to fix it.   When I started receiving "Are you ok?" questions, I knew I needed to make a change.

I didn't play sports in school, didn't dance, and would definitely not categorize myself as athletic.  The gyms were intimidating; I could handle the elliptical, but that was about it.  My cousin had opened a Lagree Fitness studio and I went to try it out.  It was difficult.  I was incredibly weak.  And the soreness!!!!!  But it was fun and I got to hang out with family while I worked out so I stuck with it.  Then the results came.  I noticed my strength improving, I slept better, I had more energy, and I had muscles and shape that I had never seen on my body EVER!  I gained confidence and pride in my strength and hard work. 

This was 9 years ago.  I had made a lifestyle change;  health and fitness are a part of me and my family.  My kids are proud of how strong mama is and impromptu flex-offs are a regular thing around our house.  Yes, I skip days and yes, I ate my weight in cookies over the holidays, but that's life!  It would be impossible to maintain any sort of discipline for an extended period of time if you're miserable and constantly feeling guilty about your choices.  Set aside time to take care of yourself as something you do as part of the regular activities of your life, just like washing your car, getting your nails done, and seeing movies in the theater.

That's my story and here's my "before and after."


If I can do it, so can you.




HEALTH HACKS | Is winter dehydration a thing?

It's colder outside, and you may not feel thirsty, but did you know dehydration can happen just as easily in the winter as it can in the hot summer months?  As you move about in the cold, you may not be sweating, but water vapor is still being lost through your breath!

Winter is also a common time that we tend to exercise less and eat more.  When hydrated, you body is better able to break down body fat for energy and your appetite is better controlled.  Also, if your body does not get enough water, it will hold onto the water it already has; so hydration will help prevent water retention! 

Feeling thirsty is your body's signal that it's close to becoming dehydrated.  Another indication is the color of your urine (kinda gross, I know).  If it's not clear or light-colored, you need more water!  There are many viewpoints on how much water a day is enough.  Some say it's good to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, each day.  If you're exercising (which you should be!) then you'll need more!

If a tall glass of ice water on a chilly day is not your thing, herbal teas are a great alternative!  Adding low-calorie/low-sodium flavors to your water is great too!  A squeeze of lemon juice or a few slices of cucumber can make getting enough water a lot easier.

Drink up! 

HEALTH HACKS | The Perfect Energy Snack!


As you may have noticed, I love foods that combine healthy fats, carbs, and protein!  These flavorful bites combine dates, peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil!

Dates have anti-inflammatory properties, are great for digestion, boost brain health, and are a great source of ENERGY!  Raw honey, also a great source of energy, has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.  Coconut oil can help regulate metabolism, boost your immune system, and can help fight candida (hello post-Halloween candy binge).  And peanut butter, because everything is better with peanut butter!

Energy Date Bites

3 cups dates (remove the pits)

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raw, organic honey

3/4 cup organic smooth peanut butter

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Throw everything except half of the shredded coconut into a food processor or blender. Once combined and smooth, form the mixture into 1/2" balls and roll into the shredded coconut.  These are best kept in the refrigerator.




FITNESS HACKS | You don't have time to NOT exercise

Think you don't have time to workout?  The benefits of regular exercise far exceed just having nice biceps or a lifted booty.  Regular exercise has lasting health benefits across many physical aspects!  It is a common thing for people to feel they "don't have time to workout."  Just as with anything in our lives, if we feel it is important enough, we MAKE the time.  Especially in today's technologically-dependent lifestyle, we all are spending much more time sitting than we are moving, and spending a lot of our time looking at screens (phones, computers, tv, tablets).  This can have lasting NEGATIVE effects on our health and social interactions. 

Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of getting in some extra movement:

Regular exercise controls weight

Exercising burns calories, and with the Lagree Fitness method on the megaformer, you leave class CONTINUING to burn calories long after class!  The more intense the workout, the more calories you will burn.  Weight loss, and reversely weight gain, is all a numbers game of calories consumed and calories spent.  Exercise helps to balance that out.

Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

When you exercise you boost HDL or "good" cholesterol, and decrease unhealthy triglycerides.  This has the benefits of keeping your blood flowing smoothly and decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Regular exercise can also help manage a wide range of other health problems including stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis.  Also, with better balance and strengthened core, you reduce your risk of falls.

Exercise improves mood!

Regular exercise is a great way to relieve stress and leave you feeling happier!  When you exercise, certain feel-good chemicals are released from the brain leaving you happier, more relaxed, and improves your focus and learning which can result in you being more productive.  When you start to feel good physically, it also improves your confidence and self esteem.

Exercise boosts energy

Have you ever felt winded going up a flight of stairs, cleaning the house, or carrying in the groceries?  Regular exercise can improve your muscular strength and your endurance.  When you are physically active, you are delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your body and you're helping your heart to work more efficiently.  When you heart and lungs are working more efficiently, you have more energy to do your day-to-day tasks.

Exercise promotes better sleep

Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and can also help you sleep deeper!  Better and more sleep has many health benefits in and of itself.

Our workouts at Motivate are short, effective, and FUN!  It's also a great way to get away from the screens and make some new friends!  Just try to get in more movement in whatever form you choose!  It can be dance, hiking, walking the dog, or even standing at your desk instead of sitting; all of it will benefit your health.

I like to think of my exercise time as an appointment I am making for my health, just as you would for the dentist or a physical.  We have these bodies for a short time!  Why not make the most of it by being physically able do all the fun things life has to offer.  Future you will thank you for making the time.



HEALTH HACKS | Get your strength training AND your cardio!

Ever wondered how the Megaformer compared to other fitness equipment?  Hear it from the man himself, Sebastien Lagree, on the many benefits of exercising on the Megaformer.  We strive for muscle synergy with, at times, hundreds of muscles working in one exercise.  Our workouts are zero impact on the joints and eliminates repetitive movements which can cause wear and tear.  

Lagree Fitness targets the slow-twich muscle fibers.  These are your longer, leaner, muscle fibers that actually use body fat as their source of energy.  These are the muscle fibers that will cause you to leave class continuing to burn calories long after your workout!   

Go get your cardio junkie friends and do them a favor by introducing them to the Megaformer!

HEALTH HACKS | "Secret Ingredient" Brownies

Secret ingredient..... AVOCADO!

These dairy-free, gluten-free brownies are, no joke, the BEST brownies I've ever had.  Not only are they gluten-free, they're loaded with HEALTHY fats!  Not all fats are created equal.  Good fats (fish oils, coconut oil, avocado, flax, etc) help keep your skin soft, are important for brain function, and are a great source of energy!

Try not to eat the whole tray in one sitting!

Avocado Fudge Brownie

2 large ripe avocados

8 oz 70% dark chocolate bar

3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

1 c raw coconut palm sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c almond meal flour

1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F and spray 8x8 baking pan with coconut oil

Place coconut oil and chocolate bar into a medium sized glass bowl.  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't submerged in the boiling water (double boiler).  Stir with a rubber spatula until the coconut and chocolate are completely melted.  Remove and set aside.

Peel and core two avocados into a bowl and mash up into a smooth paste.

Wisk avocado and chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Add the coconut sugar until combined, then add the eggs (one at a time) along with the vanilla extract.

Slowly stir in the cocoa powder, almond meal flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.  Stir until smooth and creamy!

Spread batter into the prepared pan and even out with your spatula. 

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until middle is set.






FITNESS HACKS | Motivate Tip #1

Catfish, donkeys, spiders, and mermaids?

As you take a class, you'll quickly learn Motivate has crazy names for a lot of our exercises.  Learning these names will enhance your workout tremendously!  Lagree Fitness is intended to not only be your strength and endurance training, but also your CARDIO!  The more you attend class, the more familiar you will become with the names of the exercises, the faster your transitions will become between exercises.  This ensures you keep that heart-rate up and staying in that cardiovascular, fat-burning zone!

When time is taken to transition from one exercise to the next, you are essentially giving your body a break and allowing your heart-rate to decline.  Listening to your instructor's cues for the upcoming exercise will help you transition seamlessly.  This can get challenging and, with the help of your instructor, you'll need to push past your comfort zone. It is when we push our bodies to this threshold that we signal our bodies to change.

Together we will sweat, struggle, shake, and burn.  Together we MOTIVATE.