My regular routine revolves around yoga, and I typically shy away from boot camps and the like. So you can imagine my reaction when I got my assignment to take a Lagree Fitness class at a studio called The Butcher Shop.

I'll be the first to admit I'm easily intimidated by intense workouts. My regular routine revolves around yoga, and I typically shy away from boot camps and the like. So you can imagine my reaction when I got my assignment to take a Lagree Fitness class at a studio called The Butcher Shop. "I'm going to die," I thought to myself. It didn't help that when I walked into the black-walled, one-room studio in a small strip mall off High Street in German Village, the class before mine was breaking a sweat to Lana Del Ray's "Born to Die." Spoiler alert: I survived.

Melodrama aside, the class was completely manageable. The website recommends beginners start with a fundamentals class, so that's exactly what I did. The only wardrobe requirement is that you wear grip socks, so I came in comfortable workout clothes, brought a water bottle and a towel (that I didn't use) and bought my socks at the studio for $15. The idea behind Lagree Fitness, created by Sebastien Lagree in 2001, is to build strength, endurance and flexibility using the Megaformer, a flatbed machine with a sliding carriage and resistance bands. Participants stretch, squat, lunge and lift through the 50-minute class. Mine was a small class of mostly women and a few men, ranging in age from 20-something to 60. My only complaint was I couldn't hear my instructor, despite her yelling into a mic on a headset. The sound was muffled and the music loud, so I was left to mimic the class members around me, most of whom were also beginners. "That wasn't so bad," I thought as I hopped off the machine and retrieved my belongings. The kicker came the next day, when muscles I didn't even know I had ached every time I moved. thebutchershopfitness.com