Sometimes I think there’s a place you’ve just got to know about and my Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will give you the full skinny.
I was wary of trying SLT – I’m more of a jump around cardio girl when it comes to exercise. But when I received a freebie class through a friend, I figured I had nothing to lose. So there I was, having never tried pilates at all and going straight to extreme pilates.
Basically, SLT, which stands for Strengthen Lengthen Tone, is a 50 minute, full body class that uses a reformer machine (a gliding platform with various weighted springs and bungees) and simple movements to whip your body into shape. The studio is simple but cute, with their signature phrase “Better Sore Than Sorry” splashed across the wall. And when you want to splash something on your face, they’ve got Glossier/Into The Gloss approved products in the bathroom. You’ll break a sweat, but there are no showers there, so plan accordingly. Also, there are cubbies for your things but no actual lockers so leave valuables at home.
I went in quite nervous. Having never done exercise remotely in this way, I didn’t know what to expect. Would I understand how to work the machine and it’s many levers and pulleys? Would I even feel anything if I wasn’t doing hardcore cardio? Would I be able to handle almost an hour of this type of exercise?
But look at me! I actually enjoyed it! My fears about being able to do it right were quickly assuaged as Cristina, our instructor gave us plenty of individual instruction. There are only 10-13 megaformers in each class (studio size varies by location), giving the instructor the opportunity to actually walk around and offer one-on-one attention, noting when you need to re-position your foot or straighten your leg.
As for the intensity of the workout, it was hard…but not. It’s kinda hard to explain. The movements are slow and simple (think: lunges) but effective, particularly when paired with the machine. Every move was do-able, but by minute 40 I could definitely feel it in my glutes! This type of work (core work, mat work) has always been the toughest type of exercise for me to do on my own. I can never make it through a full ab routine on the floor; however, on the machine I was able to do it while still feeling results.
It’s not cheap. Each class is $40 so it’s not something I can do all the time. However, since nothing remotely similar is offered at my gym and this incorporates a type of exercise I have historically found difficult, it may be worth it to me to go every once in a while…maybe twice a month? If you’re not in the NYC area, plenty of cities have similar studios that use Megaformer machines. In Atlanta, for instance, people love Stellar Bodies. And from my research, it looks like all the other cities’ studios are cheaper than SLT, so there’s that. Just make sure it’s a Megaformer class vs. basic reformers.