It may look like a torture device, but the Megaformer might be the workout of your dreams.
That's the mantra of Amanda Freeman, creator of SLT, or Strengthen, Lengthen, and Tone, a 50-minute Megaformer workout that's evolved into a cult favorite for stars like Sofia Vergara and fitness fans alike. While classical pilates uses a reformer, SLT uses a Megaformer- a bigger, longer machine that uses a series of springs to produce resistance felt though a series of small, repetitive movements. Unlike a traditional reformer, a Megaformer has a wider range of movements, as well as a variety of attachments that allow deeper contact with the muscles.
"The simplest way to describe it is that if cardio, strength training and pilates has a baby, it would be SLT," says Freeman, who opens the new Boston SLT location on Nov. 2. "And the simplest way a lot of people describe it is 'it's Pilates on crack'."
Boston will be the company's 18th location across the country, and it's an area Freeman knows well: she became familiar with the Bay State as a student at Harvard Business School, catching workouts at Wellbridge Athlete Club and grabbing pizza at the (now-defunct) Cambridge 1. Now a busy mom of two living in New York City, Freeman utilized her business acumen to develop a workout that catered to her needs.
"The entire reason I started the business is because I was looking for a workout that got the results I was seeking: a long, lean body, but in the atmosphere of a group class," says Freeman, who practices SLT three to four times a week. "And I wanted sweat!"
While pilates certainly draws in more women than men, Freeman says men love the workout and find it super challenging.
"They feel it instantly, and are humbled by it," says Freeman. "Typically, they really rise to that challenge."
And while some folks hoping to get into shape may be intimidated by boutique fitness classes, Freeman says there's no need to feel that way, particularly at SLT, where everyone gets their own Megaformer and can work at their own pace.
"There's nothing to be nervous or embarrassed about because nobody is watching," says Freeman. "Nobody is looking at you because you have to be focused on your own workout and your own machine."
While the majority of SLT classes are all-level classes, instructors are trained in modifications and variations to help people who are injured, or first timers, or variations to make it harder for people who want more of a challenge. However, some intro level classes are offered as well.
Some may balk at the price tag for SLT ($32 for a single class, or $15 for your first) Freeman says that the results are worth the price.
"You can pay a little less for other types of workouts, but you won't reap the benefits that SLT produces from just three to four sessions a week," says Freeman. "You're getting pilates, strength training and cardio in one workout."
If you go:
SLT Boston, 341 Newbury Street, 3rd Fl. Boston, sltnyc.com/boston