“Sure, it takes an entire team of people to be able to succeed”, Sebastien Lagree and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Bodybuilding has prepared me very well to be successful in business. The tools are the same: patience, commitment, discipline, accountability, persistence and faith. You need them all no matter what you want to build for yourself; a body, a beautiful life, a successful enterprise. As a part of our series about “How Athletes Optimize Their […]

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Bodybuilding has prepared me very well to be successful in business. The tools are the same: patience, commitment, discipline, accountability, persistence and faith. You need them all no matter what you want to build for yourself; a body, a beautiful life, a successful enterprise.

As a part of our series about “How Athletes Optimize Their Mind & Body For Peak Performance”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sebastien Lagree.

Sebastien Lagree, the founder of Lagree Fitness, has been making waves in the fitness industry for years, and recently, he has come out with two new products, the micro machine, and his at-home fitness app. As Hollywood’s go-to celebrity trainer, Sebastien’s long list of A-list devotees includes Meghan Markle, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Chrissy Teigen, Rihanna, Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Obama, and many more who swear by his method to stay fit and toned. With more than 500 studios in 30 countries and 80 patents on his celebrated machines such as the Megaformer, Sebastien is a fitness tech entrepreneur who is always developing new ways to advance the industry.

Sebastien and his team at Lagree Fitness have recently come out with a new machine, the Micro, which is specifically designed for home use. The Micro was made to strengthen, tighten, and tone the muscles, and the exercises focus mainly on core, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. The Micro is small, compact, portable, and less expensive than a new or restored Mega machine, which makes it more accessible to a broader group of people. Compared to competitors such as the Peloton, the Micro makes home fitness affordable and extremely accessible, shipping to customers worldwide. Sebastien also just released the Lagree at home app, which is the perfect accompaniment to the Micro. It features more than 200 video demonstrations of exercises that can be performed on any Lagree machine, as well as on your own.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Sure, I was born in France. I spent most of my young life in the French countryside not too far from Versailles. I started lifting weight at the age of 11 and got into bodybuilding at the age of 13. I moved to the US at the age of 17. I moved to LA at 24 to pursue acting but quickly changed direction and pursued personal training instead.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as a high level professional in the fitness industry? We’d love to hear the story.

Well, I grew up watching Arnold, Sly, and Jean- Claude. I wanted to become just like them. It had always been my childhood obsession to become an action movie star. That’s why I moved to LA when I finished my education. However, the reality did not work out as I had hoped. Acting is very competitive, and within the 1st 30 days I made the choice to abandon that dream. I didn’t want to wake up one day at the age of 50, still hoping for an acting gig. Personal training is second nature so I focused on that instead. It turned out to be effortless for me to gain clients and succeed in the fitness industry.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Sure, it takes an entire team of people to be able to succeed. Yes, I have had a few “moments” in my life that changed everything; one of those moments was my friend Matt Richardson who was the person who convinced me to get into personal training. Matt and I still remain the best of friends. We ended up doing a doc on fitness together.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Well, some funny moments cannot be shared here unfortunately. One of the biggest mistakes I made was the “Exclusivity” in my license. I will never execute another exclusive deal. Exclusivity is not worth it unless you are covering ALL your opportunity costs.

What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your career?

You must have very thick skin and have 100% faith in what you are doing. People will try to bring you down all the time. In addition, people will make the most outrageous claims against you and you have to be able to carry on despite all the negative publicity. You must believe in where you are going no matter what. At the very beginning, only my mom supported me to make my own equipment; everyone else thought I was wasting my time and my money.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

OMG, I am working on so many new ground breaking machines and methods. I am working on a carriage that levitates; mind control fitness machines, etc… I am very excited about the future. People love to work out on fancy equipment; and one of the reasons for people not engaging in physical fitness is a lack of motivation; if I can bridge that gap, I am 1 step closer in getting more people to exercise.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As an athlete, you often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

Sure. #1 breath #2 find an activity that can clear your mind #3 educate yourself about the situation, explore options #4 focus on a solution, repeating a problem over and over in your mind isn’t going to do crap

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques to help optimize yourself?

Yes, deep inhales and exhales. I also meditated and hiked a lot. very useful.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

I like to visualize myself succeeding. I’ll do that on my hikes. I try to hike every morning before going to work. It’s a great way to reset the mind each day.

How about your body? Can you share a few strategies that you use to optimize your body for peak performance?

Sure I work with therapists who help me recover faster and put me back together. I love to lift heavy weight, and that comes at a price. I do a lot of active release therapy and PNF stretching. I’ve come to realize that there is a difference between Rest and Recovery; you need both. Rest is not enough.

These ideas are excellent, but for most of us in order for them to become integrated into our lives and really put them to use, we have to turn them into habits and make them become ‘second nature’. Has this been true in your life? How have habits played a role in your success?

Bodybuilding has prepared me very well to be successful in business. The tools are the same: patience, commitment, discipline, accountability, persistence and faith. You need them all no matter what you want to build for yourself; a body, a beautiful life, a successful enterprise.

Can you share some of the strategies you have used to turn the ideas above into habits? What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

Baby steps, in order to make an idea a permanent habit, you need to break it down into smaller, actionable steps (“baby steps”). I am the king of routines, my life is very regimented, from taking my supplements, taking care of my body, etc.. I lift around the same time every day; I eat around the same time, I go to bed at the same time, I wake at the same time. The only time I am not on a “routine” is when I am on vacation. Your body loves a routine.

As a high performance athlete, you likely experience times when things are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a mind state of Flow more often in our lives?

Yes, I love when everything is flowing. If you make the right decisions, you will flow, as a matter of fact you will fly over all the obstacles, everything will feel effortless, money will find you when you flow. I think the strategy depends on what you want. For me, money is secondary; I value happiness before all. Every decision must make my life easier. I will not complicate my life to make more money; that’s just silly. I have passed on so many deals which would make me a very rich man. I value happiness and health above everything else.

Do you have any meditation practices that you use to help you in your life? We’d love to hear about it.

I like to meditate when I work out and hike. I don’t have a particular style. I like to visualize.

Many of us are limited by our self talk, or by negative mind chatter, such as regrets, and feelings of inferiority. Do you have any suggestions about how to “change the channel” of our thoughts? What is the best way to change our thoughts?

You need to reset your mind and the most effective way is to exercise. I think that movement is perhaps the best treatment for the mind.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Yes, I started to work with https://www.usea-diving.com a company dedicated to preserving and enhancing the life of Orcas. I have a profound love for the seas and all its inhabitants. We recently produced a series of educational videos about the Orcas.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Abraham Lincoln said that the best way to predict the future is to create it; that is something that resonates with me every day and the reason why I am so involved in R&D.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Sure, I love bodybuilders in the Golden Era of sports. I have already interviewed one of my favorite BB: Lou Ferrigno. I would love to sit down with Arnold and listen to the stories when they were training at Gold’s. Through my doc “The Future of Fitness” I had the chance to talk to many people involved in fitness at the time. I think it’s fascinating how these guys pioneered a new industry.

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