SLT NYC: My First Megaformer Workout Experience
What: Pilates, cardio, strength training hybrid class
Where: SLT NYC, They also have various studios in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey.
How much: $20 first class, $40 for a drop in
Worth It: No Doubt!
While I was in New York (Found a great flight deal here, maybe your next trip should be to NYC!) last week, I knew I had to try one of the many unique workout classes that are available. I looked at various different types of gyms and workouts from yoga to HIIT to cycling. I finally ended up deciding on SLT (Strengthen-Lengthen-Tone).
SLT is billed as cardio, yoga, pilates, and strength training rolled into one class. While I have already tried a Pilates class, (Read about my first pilates experience here) I knew that this class was going to be a little different. As the lovely Lara Kalayjian, SLT’s Marketing Director, told me that SLT was more, “Pilates on crack.” I thought Pilates was an insane workout, but Pilates on crack? Let’s just say I was hooked and eager to try out a class!
Lara also told me that the machines that SLT uses are different than traditional Pilates classes. Instead of using reformer machines, SLT uses MEGAformers. Sounds intense right? Absolutely!
I booked a class for 10:30 AM at the Williamsburg location, told to come 10 minutes early, and ready to get my ass kicked (I made that last part up :))
The day of my class, I arrived at the Williamsburg location and I immediately noticed how different it was than Flex in Chicago. While Flex uses light tones for their room and soft music, much like a yoga studio, SLT was darker and had hip-hop remixes blaring from its speakers. It felt more like I was walking into a Crossfit box than a Pilates studio. The vibe alone was way more intense than any traditional Pilates class. Regardless, my instructor, Jason, greeted me and I told him that it was my first time at SLT.
When the class before us had finished, Jason told me to pick a machine, but in between two regulars so I could follow along in case I got lost (I am glad he did that because I was lost within the first 30 seconds of class!) He quickly explained how the machine worked and just like that we were moving!
The first exercises we started with were all core work, transitioning into legs, then to arms, and finally going into full body exercises. What I immediately liked about the class was there was a flow component much like yoga. Once you do the right side, you will work your way through the sequence until you do the left side. This made it easier to follow along since I more or less could figure out what was going to be next. However, I still know none of the terminology..I’m not even going to try!
In between various exercises, we would be told to remove a red spring or add a yellow one. This was a lot like Pilates, but the other Pilates class I took was way more chill. You still had to move slow and precise for most of the movements. There was a point where my body was actually shaking and I was sweating my butt off! Good thing I took some Allmax BCAA's before class to get me through!
One aspect I did not like about the class was sometimes how quickly it moved. I’ve had surgery in my right knee so sometimes, I like to take my time getting into certain exercises such as lunges. At SLT, there is more emphasis on cardio than traditional Pilates. Maybe I would be more comfortable with the MEGAformer with more classes, but there were certain exercises I felt a little shaky on and I could see how someone could get hurt. However, Jason did ask at the beginning of class if there were any injuries he should know about, so next time I know to speak up. I would recommend traditional Pilates to someone that is using the method as a form of rehab from their injury.
That being said, 50 minutes flew by! The music, a good mix of various pop and hip-hop remixes featuring The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran, kept me moving and pushed me through some tough moments during the class. I loved that the class is really no bullshit. Some people like taking their time getting into a class, but I am more about jumping right into things and putting in work!
At the end of the class, there was a quick 5 minute cool down and stretching period, which was a nice way to finish up and send us off into the weekend! (In all honesty, I was looking forward to one of these tasty snack boxes after class.)
Overall, I would highly recommend this class to any athlete that is looking to tone up their body and strengthen their core. I would not recommend it to someone coming back from injury due to how complicated the machines are and the pace of the class.
For any guy that thinks that Pilates or a class like this is a joke, go try it (BTW, Pilates was invented by a guy, Joseph Pilates). It is an awesome complement to jiu-jitsu (Here is 5 reasons the sport is great for traveling!) and I would recommend SLT to any martial artist as it combines core work, strength, and flexibility. All of these aspects are needed for any sport, but especially martial arts.
I want to give a big thanks to Lara, Jason, and the whole SLT community. You guys are amazing and I encourage you guys to keep getting people hooked on “Pilates on crack”. I definitely am now!