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.

H-Town Run Tourist

Are you an H-Town Run Tourist?

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

You may have noticed that I have begun calling my column: H-Town Run Tourist. H-Town Run Tourist describes my relationship with the city I live in, the sport of running, and myself. Below is a list of the characteristics of an H Town Run Tourist. Read and decide if you if you are a run tourist too.

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You are super curious.

If you are anything like me, you love to discover new running or walking routes. What is this? What is that? Who painted that? When did that open? What does that taste like? Sometimes I feel like I am a dog that has her nose in the grass ready to smell just about anything.

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You started running to find yourself.

A lot of people spend a lot of time running away from themselves. But, if you are like me, you starting running to run into yourself. (Clever, huh) If you missed it, what I mean is that maybe you started running for your health, a mid life crisis, a divorce, or for your mental health.

When I was in Africa, I asked many of the other runners why they were running in Victoria Falls. I got many answers, all of them were amazing. However, one gentleman answered that he and his wife always wanted to run a marathon. She had died the year before and he was running for her. (I know, I need a tissue too.)

You are just not that competitive.

When I thought about it, I found that I am not competitive with other runners as to be the best. I am more interested in how well I can beat my best self. I am always competing with myself. I feel that once you make it to the start line, you have already won. (many things can happen before the start line.) Many times, I "compete" with how much I can enjoy the experience of the race and still stick to a timetable. I love reading signs, taking pics with new friends, and chatting with people at the before and after party.

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You love to think and dream. BIG.

If you are like me, you love to dream and think BIG. If you are running a long distance, you have time to dream. I quickly found that I could let my mind go. When you are on the open road for hours training, you find that it is the best place to solve problems. Then, I began to dream big. I quickly decided that I wanted to run around the world. I set the intention and I was able to achieve that goal. I also use it to meditate. I love studying flowers and trees for their fractal patterns. It helps get the best endorphin high.

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You have wanderlust.

Let me get this straight. If I strap on my running shoes, walk out of my door, and just keep going, I'll end up in this cool place. If I can do that here, where else can I go? This rabbit hole is worth going down. Where is the next race? In Houston? In Austin? In a national park? In a jungle? Overseas? It never ends.

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You can totally put yourself first.

This sounds crappy. Co-dependent people confuse this with being selfish. Healthy minded individuals know that true self care means to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others. Others will try to get in your way by guilt tripping you to spend more time with them, but know that you have to be in a good place to help others or it just will not work.

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You are truly grateful for......everything.

Chances are, you don't even know that you practice gratitude. It just comes naturally. If you are anything like me, you starting running out of hardship, almost necessity. But, along the way, you could not help but notice the trees, the flowers, and the birds. You just had to stop and smell the roses. Gratitude comes naturally to you!

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You are Houston Proud and Houston Strong.

If you are like me, you love you some Houston, Texas. Whether you are running in Memorial Park to Buffalo Bayou Park or in the Chevron Houston Marathon. You could be running downtown Houston passing by originals by Gonzo 247, David Adickes, or Daniel Anguilu. You know one thing…..You would not live in another city in this country. In fact, you can't wait until this weekend to do your weekend long run and enjoy all the Houston craft beer that goes with it.

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