During the pandemic, an interesting trend was the move from big box gyms and fitness centers to smaller fitness boutiques, due in large part to social distancing. Sculpt Studio in Elkhorn, which opened mid-pandemic in August of last year, is an example of a fitness boutique success. Owned by Emily Burgat and Sarah Marshall, Sculpt Studio combines Lagree Fitness, a full body conditioning workout, for strength and Woodway curved treadmills for cardio, offering a complete body workout for all fitness levels.
Burgat has Nebraska roots but lives in Phoenix AZ, where she’s taught Lagree for the past 10 years. Marshall lives in Omaha and owns Elevate Cycling and Fitness Studio. The women met through a mutual friend and discussed ideas for a new fitness offering in Omaha. Burgat had seen studios in Los Angeles that combined Lagree and spin but not one that combined Lagree with treadmills. Before long, they decided to become business partners, enabling Burgat to regularly come back to Omaha to visit family and friends.
The women signed a studio lease in December 2019 with a scheduled March opening. Their equipment was delayed in shipping due to Covid, so they finally opened their doors in August 2020. From day one they’ve put safety first for their clients, ensuring equipment is cleaned after each use. The studio specializes in smaller class sizes, offering 11 Megaformers and 11 Woodway treadmills, which are manually powered for a higher intensity cardio workout. The Megaformers have some similarities to a Pilates reformer, such as the spring-loaded tension that activates various muscles at once in a low impact manner. They are designed to bring the most challenging elements of Pilates and combine them with strength training.
The machines target every body part—legs, arms, and obliques—by focusing on constant tension. “It’s very slow paced and low impact but high intensity,” Burgat explained. “We focus on burning out one muscle group, such as your abs, before moving on to the next muscle group.” There is even a term called the “Lagree shakes,” which signals muscle failure. Burgat said muscle failure is the only proven path to successfully achieving muscle definition.
According to Sculpt, some of the benefits from a Lagree workout include a stronger core, better posture, greater strength and endurance, a leaner physique, a shift in body composition, and improved body confidence and energy. Marshall said they don’t focus on weight loss, instead they want each client to feel good in their own body. “It’s a workout where you feel more toned and tighter and want to maintain your posture,” she added.
For example, a client attending their first class might not be able to a hold a plank. After only a month of classes, they can hold a plank for an entire 30 seconds using perfect form. “As instructors, we always notice the difference in strength first,” Burgat said. “They can hold a move longer than they could a month ago, or they need fewer modifications. The more classes you take, the less modifications you require. We also see how it builds confidence in our clients.”
Sculpt offers two types of classes: a 50-minute Megaformer class and a 50-minute Hybrid class, which is 30 minutes on the Megaformer and then 15 minutes on the Woodway treadmill, which adds an additional level of intensity. Marshall said their treadmills burn 30% more calories than a traditional treadmill and have less impact on the body. All new clients receive their first class free, and Sculpt recommends the 50-minute Megaformer class that can easily be modified for beginners. Both individual packages and monthly or yearly memberships are offered, with the unlimited monthly membership as the most popular. Reserving a class is easily done through the studio’s web site or app, and you can even choose which Megaformer and corresponding treadmill you want to reserve.
Burgat and Marshall said another benefit of Sculpt, in addition to how easy it is to modify the workout to any fitness level, is the sense of community and personal connection that occurs. “We can provide one-on-one attention, you connect with your instructor, and you become friends with people in class and share personal experiences,” Burgat said. Their instructors each bring their own creativity and fun by making their own playlists with upbeat music and designing their own routines. Marshall added, “We strive to create a clean, welcoming, uplifting environment that provides a low impact but challenging workout.” To schedule your first free class, visit thesculpt.studio.