L'Officiel Arabia: Where did you grow up, and what in your early years sparked your passion for the world of fitness?
Sebastien Lagree: I grew up in the French countryside outside of Paris. I used to watch action movies with Arnold and Jean-Claude. I wanted to be just like them. I began to lift weight at 13. I am an introvert, bodybuilding is perfect for me.
LOA: When did you realize that fitness was more than a hobby, and instead, something you could monetize and develop into a business?
SL: Fitness turned into a business when I moved to LA and I was looking for work to support my acting ambition. The personal training business grew so quickly that I decided to devote my entire time to it. I grew my biz one client at a time.
What are your tips for growing a brand effectively, especially when you're a global business entity?
Hum, I don't think I am an expert in branding. I am lucky in the sense that the business of fitness is effortless for me. I don't have to think about how to run it, which direction I need to go, what products I need to invent. It all comes very naturally to me. In addition, I am very lucky that my methods and machinery are very popular and basically sell themselves.
How has 2020 changed your approach and belief system about fitness?
2020 did not change or confirm any beliefs system about fitness but 2020 did point out a new opportunity to invade the home market and that's what I am doing with the Micro and other machines coming out.
You previously made a documentary, the Future of Fitness - it seems that 2020 has brought about so many unprecedented changes. How do you now foresee the future of fitness looking?
Very good question. No one could have anticipated this major disruption in the fitness industry; many studios have closed permanently. It really is a tragedy because we need fitness more than ever! People need to remain fit during a global pandemic. Virtual classes are now part of the future of fitness, many will not return to a studio after Covid.
How do you balance fitness and family?
My kids are getting older now. My son and my daughter are both actively engaged in the family business. My son is coming out with his first product next year and we are lucky enough to have our own private gym, so we all workout together a few times a week. Balancing work with fitness and family is happening effortlessly.
What are your current fitness goals? Are they always changing?
My fitness goals: I am returning to bodybuilding. I miss it. I am also using bodybuilding as part of my anti aging program.
My fitness goal is to be 240 LBS @ 10% bodyfat.
I am currently at 225 LBS and 18% bodyfat so not very far off.
What's next for Lagree in 2021?
2021 is a big year for us, we are continuing to add more products to our at home line such as the Mini, the Ab-roller, the Rhino, and the Little Black Box; and we are launching a new commercial unit called the EVO 2. Lagree Apparels will also come out and we are going to put more effort into our subscription workout (www.lagreehome.com)
You've been continuing to bring the Lagree name to the UAE. Do you hope to continue expanding in the region?
Yes, the middle east has been a great market for us and we will continue our expansion there.
What do you love most about the UAE's approach to health and wellness?
I love that UAE likes to offer only the best in the business and are very forward thinking. I should be visiting very soon.
Production: Emily Blair Media @emilyblairmedia
Public Relations: Emily Blair Marcus @emilyblairmarcus
Photography: Dan Grab @dangrab_
Styling: Rachel Bentley @rachelbentley_
HMUA: Soreya Yann @beautyhausla
HMUA Asst: Nicole Oheb @styledby_nicci
Glam Tools: UVé Beauty @uvebeauty
Set Asst: Haley Josephson @haley_josephson