Feel the burn

Heights-area studio lights a fire for fitness-minded Houstonians

Fyre is the first studio in Texas to feature the Megaformer M3K+. Photo courtesy of Fyre Fitness

They say summer bodies are made in the winter, but Justine Vandenbrink is determined to help Houstonians keep fit year-round.

Actually, as the owners of Fyre Fitness, Justine and her husband, Justin, are focused on getting their clients LIT: Lagree Intensity Training. The exercise method — which is popular with Houston Rockets and Texans players, along with many Hollywood celebrities — targets slow twitch muscle fibers through low-impact, high-intensity workouts. The method concentrates on resistance-based strength training and combines elements of flexibility, range of motion, endurance, and cardio.

"Our method differs slightly from most studios, and our trainers spend a lot of time carefully planning their routines to ensure maximum effort and efficiency," says Justine, who is a Lagree certified trainer and holds a bachelors in biology. "We pride ourselves on serving up our own version of Lagree, which adds a little more cardio and ups the intensity in a safe manner without compromising form, which is why we refer to it as LIT."

Think of it as Crossfit-level strength training and intensity without the risk of injury or joint damage. The result is a 45-minute, complete and efficient full-body workout that delivers mega results.

Results — that's a key word for the Vandenbrinks.

"Anyone who tries this workout is stunned by how quickly they achieve results," says Justin. "And once they see those results, it becomes addictive."

Another keyword for the Vandenbrinks is "mega." The Lagree method uses machines called Megaformers, and Fyre Fitness is the first Lagree studio in Texas to have the latest generation, the Megaformer M3K+. For those experienced with Lagree, this newer version is designed with "Supra" handles and additional railings, which allow for quicker transitions, target additional muscle groups, and make the workout more comfortable for the wrists.

Method and machines aren't the only things that set Fyre Fitness apart from the rest. It's also the only Lagree studio in Houston offering a separate, private training room for those interested in one-on-one instruction. The large studio space is unusual for Lagree studios as well, and aims to make men feel as comfortable taking fitness classes as women traditionally have been.

Chad Ott, one of the lead male instructors, has seen results in his clients in as little as two weeks with just two to three sessions per week.

"One of my clients in particular was very skeptical about the workout at first," he admits. "But in about two weeks, she started to see a significant increase in muscle tone, especially in her core, which is a trouble spot for most people. She has two kids and says she's in the best shape of her life right now. She loves the workout because she's able to get serious results without a serious time commitment."

Justine herself had been practicing the Lagree method for nearly a decade when she decided to leave a successful career in oil and gas to pursue her passion for fitness. The results she experienced were not just physical but also mental, completely changing her outlook on life.

"I realized I was capable of so much more than I imagined," she says. "My mission is to bring Lagree to more people, so they too can realize their potential. When I have a client come up to me after class and tell me they are astonished that they're already seeing results, and that friends and family are even noticing the changes, it gives me life. To help people find the strength they never knew they had — that's everything."

Feeling a little intimidated? You shouldn't be. Fyre Fitness has classes that are suitable for all levels, and the instructors are well-trained in maximizing confidence in addition to muscle tone and core strength. First-time visitors can get a discount on single classes and packages, as well as two weeks of unlimited visits for a special reduced price. You truly have no excuse not to get LIT.

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Fyre Fitness is located at 300 N. Loop, Ste. 150, 77008. For more information or to book classes, visit the website or call 713-826-4469.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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