Sebastien Lagree is the CEO and Founder of Lagree Fitness. He developed the Proformer to be paired with his method in 2006. Over the next 15 years, Lagree would invent the Megaformer, the Supra, the EVO, and the EVO II. The Mega is a patented piece of fitness equipment that uses varying degrees of tension. The Supra is the first digitally controlled fitness machine that inclines and tilts.
Additionally, Lagree is the only person in the United States to hold patents on fitness equipment and a fitness method. Sebastien currently holds 135+ patents and believes persistence is a crucial ingredient to successful innovation. Lagree has over 500 studios in over 30 countries and is continually expanding.
Sebastien’s latest launches–namely the Microformer and Miniformer–revolutionized home fitness in 2020 and again in 2022, and Lagree Fitness continues to lead the industry’s expansion into the future of fitness with the launch of Lagree on Demand, the virtual platform for all things Lagree.
He has been featured in countless media such as Forbes, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Refinery29.com, Insider.com and more. With billions of media impressions every year, Sebastien is the media’s go-to fitness expert.
Thank you for making time to chat with us. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about your professional background?
“Thank you for this opportunity. My professional background is as a fitness trainer and an entrepreneur. I have an MBA, but I originally began personal training in 1998 and shortly after that, I created my fitness method and invented machines to go with the Lagree Method.”
Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?
“The first experience would be moving to LA. I came to LA to be an actor, but of course, that did not work out; however, it worked out for the better. Sometimes not getting what you want is better. I have a much better life today than if I would have become an actor. This has changed my life because I am in control of my life.”
“The second experience would, of course, be having my kids. Having children transforms you and makes you a different person, either for the better or, the worse, but for me, it was for the better. In what I do today, I always think about how it will affect my kids.”
We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?
“I always believed that if you loved doing something, like work, then it won’t feel like work. That is not true at all. You do get burned out, but the thing is, when you do something you are passionate about, you don’t mind doing it.”
“The other thing is, if you are going to work hard, you will eventually succeed. I don’t believe this, but instead, working smart will lead to success and be more effective than working hard.”
How has your definition of success changed?
“Today, I am more about balance. I like to make money, and like most people, must pay bills, but for me, success is balance. A balance between personal, family, and work life is what I am striving for. We put a lot of importance on work, but that should only be one part; it should never be your entire life.”
“If your entire life is work, you are missing out, you’re missing out on living. You’re working so that you can enhance your quality of life. So, for me now, I’m taking time off, taking more time for myself, and knowing my limits. I know I can work effectively in eight hours, not the 16 hours I used to do when I had no life so that I can enjoy my life more. I will never retire; I will always be working in some sense, so for now, I need to have that balance.”
The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post-pandemic?
“The pandemic made me realize how important it is not to have all your resources in one area. I had already begun production on an at-home fitness machine to get into the e-commerce market in 2019 to expand the business model. This opened the second form of revenue and ultimately led to even more significant opportunities. So as a society, I think we need to be prepared for anything and never limit ourselves to something so specific it can be taken away at any moment.”
What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.
“I have had a very different experience than most. I had just released a new at-home fitness machine, The Microformer, so I was thriving while most people were struggling during that time. It was luck since the machine was put into production in 2019 without knowing what was coming.”
“People say timing is everything, and I’m always thinking forward about the company, and this was indeed the case for myself and the company during the pandemic.”
We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?”
“I went to school to study business because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. If not for everything I learned in school while earning a master’s in business, I would have never read anything about these topics because it bores me.”
“I believe that the best way you can redefine success would be to use common sense. Common sense goes a lot further than book smarts these days.”
“Additionally, you need to believe in your product, and yourself, and have faith. Faith is so important, not faith in God, but faith in yourself.”
“Next, you need to have self-confidence. I blame social media for that because people are always comparing themselves to others and it makes them insecure about themselves. Yes, social media is helpful for business and marketing, but for personal use, it is destroying people’s confidence and faith.”
“You must have certitude about your business; the same as the certitude you have that your favorite Starbucks will still be there for you tomorrow morning. You don’t question that it will be there when you’re driving there, you just know it will be. That’s the certainty you must have for success.”
“Lastly, success should not be defined in terms of money. About twenty years ago, I thought success meant being rich. Today, no, successful means having time for myself and more time with my kids.”
How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?
“If we change our definition of success, we can have a more balanced and happier life. Success is very personal for each person; it is also broad, but the definition often changes as you get older.”
“For me, it’s having more time with my loved ones and being able to provide for them. I have two kids so it’s important for me that they have success. My dad pushed me to have success, but his definition meant having money. Today, I tell my kids, I don’t care what you do. I just want you to be happy.”
“I think we really need to eliminate the concept of money with success, that is probably why people are not successful. Happiness must be somewhere in the equation of success because I know a lot of very rich people who are miserable. Money does not make you happy. So, including happiness and health in your definition of success matters.”
Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?
“It just happens naturally. Working on my machines and advancing my method, gives me great pleasure to continue doing what I do and ultimately makes me very happy, and allows me to be successful. When I take time off, I go diving and that is the other time I find inspiration and time to reflect on business, life and success.”
Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch and why?
“That’s a great offer, but no. I honestly, don’t care one way or another, there’s no one I would want to meet. I’m just living my life. Growing up, of course, I had idols like Jean-Claude van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I would love to see and meet them being that they were my childhood heroes, but I’ve grown to be my own person. I think that when you have your independence and you are happy, you don’t look at others to be your heroes, you become the hero of your own story.”
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