Photos courtesy of Sally Torreggiani
Hudson Valley native Sally Torreggiani, the face of “Sweat With Sally,” teaches core-building Lagree fitness on dynamic megaformer machines.
It’s easy to get moving in the Hudson Valley.
For starters, there are a ton of beginner-friendly hikes in the region. Plus, local rail trails accommodate runners, cyclists, and speed-walkers alike. Similarly, this area boasts many indoor fitness centers. Calming yoga studios, energetic spin classes, and MMA gyms provide many styles of workouts.
Of course, exercise is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice. Certain movements and training approaches can wreak havoc on knees, lower backs, and other sensitive areas. In addition, joint pain and minor injury can impede even the most motivated.
According to local Sally Torreggiani, Lagree fitness combines the cardio of Pilates with the strength-training of yoga.
“I found Lagree Fitness in 2016 and thought, ‘Oh wow, this is like me as a workout.’ It was intense. It was high energy. It was a lot of fun,” Torreggiani says. She owns Poughkeepsie Lagree fitness studio Sweat With Sally (formerly known as Studio 8). “I like the constant challenge of the workout. I did gymnastics my entire life and, after my first session, I was sore for four or five days, which can be intimidating.”
Her fitness journey in the Hudson Valley started back in 2014. First, she earned a 200-hour yoga certification to teach. Torreggiani taught her first students at Gold’s Gym in Fishkill. Next, she started a Pilates/sports training center in Red Hook. There, she earned a 450-hour certification.
“I really loved teaching Pilates and yoga together, because I felt like you could just do it for your entire life. It’s really low-impact. It’s good for your joints, and strengthens your core and all the right muscles,” she says.
Torreggiani’s father owns a business in Poughkeepsie, and found the perfect space for a fitness studio. Since childhood, Torreggiani dreamed of owning her own fitness center or gymnastics school. She named the place Studio 8, as a nod to the Hudson Valley’s 845 area code. In addition, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized her efforts through a “40 Under 40” award in 2017.
Eventually, she opened a space in Fishkill. Many of her clients lived in Beacon and Garrison. In addition, Fishkill offered tons of foot traffic. However, when the pandemic hit, she closed her southern Dutchess doors for good and rebranded the Poughkeepsie space.
And, so, Sweat With Sally was born.
She teaches about 20 classes per week in-person, and several more online through Zoom and on-demand video classes. Torreggiani equipped her studio with six state-of-the-art megaformer (M3S) machines. Each machine has two beds and a carriage that slides back and forth.
“It’s all resistance training with spring loads instead of actual weights…it’s essentially a full body workout on one machine that you don’t step off of,” Torreggiani explains. “So it’s mainly core. There is a lot of planking and then we add leg moves, [also] working our glues. Then, we do some arms and oblique workouts.”
@sweatwithsally Self care looks like Megaformer classes #selfcareisntselfish💖🥰 #fitnesstips ♬ Forever – Labrinth
She caps Lagree fitness classes at six. Certainly, Sweat With Sally creates a balance between private sessions and group classes. Everyone gets plenty of instructional attention, but no one has to feel the burn alone.
The full-body class, titled “Arms, Abs, and Ass,” immerses studio-goers in the challenging but rewarding Lagree fitness method. Torreggiani motivates with 50 minutes of heart-pumping music, and plenty of laughs along the way. In fact, she honed her sense of humor on the standup comedy stage—at the suggestion of her friend, Alexandria Gilleo. (Gilleo is a Hudson Valley makeup artist and the owner of multiple health and beauty businesses, including Bridal by Alexandria and My Zen Den in Beacon.)
For Lagree fitness first-timers, Torreggiani offers a $10 first-class special.
“I want people to get on the machine at least like three [times] so they can kind determine that it’s absolutely for them or not. The first time can definitely be a lot to learn. However, they’ll see results in six weeks,” she says. Above all, Torreggiani wants to help her clients get stronger and more in tune with their bodies. For nearly every move in the Lagree fitness workout, she offers a less-intense modification. Sweat With Sally designs exercise regiments to be effective on your muscles, while being low-impact on your spine, joints, and connective tissue.
“Changes never mean you’re weak. They mean you’re a great listener and you’re listening to your body. Everyone is allowed to have their own boundaries on the [megaformer] machine, and in the class.”
Initially, when Torreggiani found Lagree fitness she had experienced lower back issues. The high-cardio workout didn’t hurt her back or her knees, and there wasn’t any jumping involved. She was able to get sore without injuring herself. After that experience, she was determined to share these techniques with people of all ages and fitness levels.
Above all, Lagree exercises slow-twitch muscle fibers. These fat-burning muscles focus on smaller movements and posture control. Through Sweat With Sally classes, students develop muscular endurance, which can be a great complement to yoga. Improved core strength improves balance overall, and improves controlled breathing practices.
For instance, Torreggiani’s emphasis on plank work leads to success in poses like Warrior 2. When steamy hot yoga classes can go beyond 90 minutes, stamina is essential. In addition, Lagree Fitness helps distance runners and avid hikers open their hips.
“Often, they start competing with themselves for which moves they want to accomplish, which is fun to see,” Torreggiani enthuses. “I want them to feel stronger and really empowered after classes, whether it’s on Zoom or in-person.”
@sweatwithsally Use my Code: SWEATWITHSALLY to save $50 on your micro purchase. Head to www.lagreefitness.com 🔥 #oneminutefitness #fitness #tiktokmademebuyit #meme ♬ The Chicken Wing Beat – Ricky Desktop
Her Zoom classes range from 30-minute to 60-minute sessions, and include live Zoom classes and pre-recorded instructional videos. She offers instruction in Lagree fitness, as well as yoga, Pilates, personal athletic training, and more. At-home students use a smaller version of the M3S machine, dubbed the microform. They can purchase these machines from the Lagree website. However, Torreggiani also promotes a lower cost alternative. With a set of resistance bands, gliders, and light weights, students can achieve a full-body Sweat With Sally workout.
In fact, Torreggiani trains British actress Emily Mortimer several times a week from her place in New York City.
“Sally is quite simply the best trainer I’ve ever had. She’s so incredibly kind and personable, but also sets high standards and wants you to see positive results quickly,” Mortimer told Hudson Valley magazine. “Because of her former life as a top gymnast, she has an expert knowledge of anatomy and knows how to pin-point certain muscles, making effective changes safely.” Mortimer is known for her work in films like Lars and the Real Girl, Shutter Island, and Hugo. (For Studio Ghibli fans, she also voices the lead role in the English dub of Howl’s Moving Castle.)
@sweatwithsally I don’t have a 6 pack bc i love pizza 🍕 but this will make u sore i promise #fyp #fitness #italiangirls #coreworkout ♬ Buss It – Erica Banks
As Sweat With Sally builds a community online, Torreggiani takes her expertise and sense of humor to outlets like TikTok. Above all, she strives to cure a space where everyone can feel comfortable sharing embarrassing stories or awkward situations at the gym. Plus, it’s always beneficial to have a laugh about the uncomfortable positions she often puts her students in during a session.
“I love the fitness industry, but I think there’s so much focus on a specific body type or being cut—and, I mean, it’s a billion-dollar industry. People should feel good after they leave. I want them to open up, and I want them to smile,” Torreggiani says. The challenge of Lagree fitness is for everyone.
“If you’ve never worked out in a day in your life, or you work out every single day, you’re going to be humbled by Lagree fitness every single time,” she says.
Related: Get Your “Om” on at These Hudson Valley Yoga Studios