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woman on a reformer Pilates machine

I'm nearly 50 and I'm more toned than ever – here's how

Lorraine Jenkins is approaching 50 but has never been fitter or more toned. Here's how she stays strong

Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
June 14, 2024
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As she approaches 50, Lorraine Jenkins is feeling stronger and fitter than ever.

"I have a professional dance background so I've always been slim, but in the last 10 years, I've become stronger and have seen more muscle definition – and faster – than ever before," Lorraine tells HELLO!

Her secret? High-intensity, low-impact workouts at her studio, Love Lagree.

Woman doing reformer Pilates
Lorraine is more toned than ever

Explaining the concept behind the Lagree workout, Lorraine says: "Lagree is a high-intensity workout with low impact, so it's super safe on the joints."

Lagree sees attendees perform exercises on a Megaformer bed (similar to reformer Pilates), switching quickly between moves.

"The quick transitions from each exercise keep your heart rate up, get you sweating and create a great workout," explains Lorraine.

Due to the low impact of the classes, Lagree is perfect for older people, but Lorraine noticed her older clients struggled with the ultra-fast transitions, so she created Gold classes for the over 65s – with attendees up to 78!

INSPIRATION: I'm stronger than ever in my 50s – here's what made me fitter, slimmer and more confident 

Gold classes

"My Gold clients are every bit as dedicated as my other clients, and perhaps even more so – they have a competitive streak because they want to prove they're still able to smash the workouts.

"They want to maintain their independence and longevity, and I am constantly blown away by their resilience and motivation," Lorraine says.

Woman on a megaformer Pilates machine
Lorraine has a dance background

An inspiratioN

One of Lorraine's Gold members is Jan Wilkins, 71, who has always been a keen exerciser but fell in love with Lagree the first time she tried it. "I've always been strong, but these classes reach muscles I never even knew I had!" Jan tells HELLO!

Of her motivation to stay fit, Jan says: "As I reach my seventies and beyond, I exercise because I want to maintain my independence.

collage of an older woman and a Pilates class
Jan says Love Lagree is her happy place

"My goal is to travel more, and I still want to be able to put my suitcase in the overheard compartment on the plane without asking for help."

Jan makes sure to book into both the regular classes and the Gold classes, to ensure she stays challenged and continues to improve with each session. "The Lagree studio is my happy place," she says.

 READ: I'm taking on the biggest challenge of my life at 51 – and you can too!

Lorraine reveals that her other members see Jan as an inspiration, realising that if she can keep at it at 71, they can too. "My members are so inspired – both by Jan's dedication, and by their own progress. I have women telling me they're seeing abs for the first time, and achieving waist definition they've never had."

Seeing results

The results are what kept Lorraine returning to Lagree in the first place, as she saw her body change impressively quickly

"I was already slim and strong when I took it up in my late thirties, but I got really nice muscle definition with Lagree," she says. "Your muscles are always engaged and they're working so hard, which means the results are pretty quick.

woman on a reformer Pilates machine
Lorraine is feeling more toned than ever as she approaches her fifties

"I saw the definition so quickly, and now I feel so strong. I leave classes and my core is still switched on even two hours after the session. My shoulders are back, my chest is open and I feel great."

Consider us sold!

Introducing HELLO!'s Second Act

Two women out shopping for the day, taking a break and sitting down on a couch in a clothing store together.© Getty

HELLO! wanted to create a space dedicated to sharing incredible stories from midlife; somewhere you can find inspiring stories of like-minded women, living their best life beyond 45.

Enter, Second Act...

For too long, we were expected to fade into the background when we hit 45, but we're here to reframe your Second Act as a celebratory, exciting new chapter with endless possibilities ahead.

From women who embarked on new careers in their fifties, to those who travelled the world alone after their children left home, to women who finally felt confident when they reached their forties, Second Act is devoted to celebrating the incredible stories of midlife, and we'd love to have you along for the journey - because being part of a community makes everything more enjoyable.

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