Every time I pass SLT, I always read it in my head as slutttt. As a result, I naturally start to doubt myself — “I’m not slutty! Wait, am I? Are they judging me?” Luckily, SLT actually stands for Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone, which you’ll do plenty of in this class.

If you DO want to stick with my initial word association of this place, you can do that here! One of the super-challenging inner thigh exercises involves spreading your legs on the Megaformer and then slowly closing them, aka your college years in a nutshell. This is a better inner thigh workout than that weird machine at your regular gym where you open and close your legs a bunch of times and try not to make eye contact with anyone. But more on the workout later.

The Studio

SLT’s exterior and website all have a very chic, minimalist design–their spring-y logo is super cute, and the white and sky blue color scheme is super calming. However, when I went to check out their UWS studio, I was underwhelmed. Maybe that was partially because of the time of day I went (6:30pm aka pitch black because it’s winter), but it was kind of dark in the studio and honestly a bit messy. The decor wasn’t as bright as I’d hoped, and the amenities were minimal – no locker rooms, just a bench where you can hang out before class and some cubbies. Also, the UWS studio’s check-in spot is awkwardly all the way across the studio, which isn’t ideal.
I was a bit underwhelmed with the decor and amenities given the hefty price tag for classes here, but I’ve seen photos of their other studios and they look a bit nicer. I’ll have to check out the location by me in UES.

In addition to UES and UWS, SLT has locations in Midtown, Flatiron, and Soho, as well as locations outside of the city in the Hamptons, New Jersey, Westchester, Roslyn, and Philly. Also, as of today, SLT has merged with Brooklyn Bodyburn, meaning you can grab your cold brew and head to class in Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, and soon, Park Slope! I’m not sure how I feel about this merger as it monopolizes the Megaformer market in the city, but we’ll see how the transition plays out.


The Instructor

I took class with Ian, who was super friendly and helpful to all of the new students in class. He did a good job of both encouraging students and also pushing them to their max, and he made adjustments throughout class.

The Class

For those new to class: Picture your standard strength training moves such as lunges, side planks, and arm curls. Now imagine doing them as slowly as possible. Now image tons of extra resistance from a crazy machine that makes each move 10x harder (but also 10x more effective). Welcome to the Megaformer!

You’ll jump right into the aforementioned exercises, along with other Megaformer-specific moves with fun names like “bear,” “mermaid,” and “scrambled eggs.” I had to learn the hard way that “Scrambled Eggs” does not mean “BYO Breakfast to Class And Eat It While Sitting On The Megaformer.” Just a word to the wise and to those who had preemptively purchased a breakfast burrito and/or filled their water bottle with a mimosa.

The SLT workout focuses on fatiguing entire body parts one-by-one, so you’ll work your entire right side (i.e., right leg and right glute) before switching. There’s tons of ab work thrown in, too–planks, pike-ups, push-ups, and more. The moves are, again, done SLOWLY and without letting the reformer springs close completely. I found that some of the moves here are similar to barre (think holding a lunge or a squat and pulsing), which I liked. Even for newbies, it’s easy to follow along and check your form thanks to the numbered lines on the Megaformer–the instructor will tell you where to place different body parts, which helps with alignment and minimizes confusion. It’s like Twister but much, much more painful. I preferred SLT’s six placement spots to Brooklyn Bodyburn’s 11+ placement spots (talk about confusing!)

Class at SLT is 45 minutes, which I also thought was fantastic. It’s long enough to feel the burn (ok, five minutes on the Megaformer is long enough to feel the burn) but not so long that you give up. Plus, you can easily squeeze in 45 minutes before brunch, where you’ll get your real scrambled eggs.

image via Well+Good

The Vibe

I took class during the UWS studio’s birthday week, so there were a ton of newbies taking advantage of their free class special (myself included). This makes it hard to gauge the vibe of the studio. That said, any studio with $40 classes will probably have some fancy clientele.

The Damage

Drop in classes are $40, which is on the high end for NYC classes, but this workout just might be worth it. Your first class is $20, though, so definitely take advantage of the intro special!Sadly, the studio isn’t on Classpass or FitReserve.