SLT: strengthen, lengthen, and tone
If you’re looking for a new, challenging workout, look no further than SLT.
Often referred to as “the hardest workout in New York City,” (although they have locations across the east coast), SLT stands for strengthen, lengthen, and tone.
Each 50-minute long class is a hybrid of cardio, strength training, and toning. The method focuses on activating slow-twitch fibers to enable longer endurance. Through slow-paced movements, long, lean muscles develop. Oh, and it’s all done on a Megaformer™, a sprung counter-resistance machine that uses the weight of the carriage to build muscular strength.
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Don’t sweat your first class
All you need to do is sweat during the workout. It can be overwhelming to walk into a new studio for the first time. Don’t worry, Rani Vance has you covered.
She recommends eating something light beforehand (like RXbars) and staying hydrated before getting sweaty. Once you walk through the doors, a warm welcome awaits from the client services team ready to check you in.
Vance breaks down the pre-class basics:
“For your SLT class you will need grip socks to ensure safety on the machine, accompanied by your favorite workout fit! I’d recommend coming 10-15 minutes early. Your instructor will give you a machine demo for you to better understand how the machine works. Bring water and a positive attitude!”
The science behind the workout
An SLT class maximizes the effort required for both directions of a movement by removing any possible momentum, leading to muscle failure faster. Yes, muscle failure is a good thing!
Lynsey Price describes a class in her own words:
“You know you and your instructor are doing something right when your muscles begin to quiver and shake! This workout is designed to work your total body to complete muscle failure, and that’s what it feels like! Slow and steady wins the race at SLT, since this “time under tension” workout is designed to activate the slow twitch muscle fibers.
Don’t be fooled: slower doesn’t mean easier. In fact, for many, performing steady, controlled movements proves to be more challenging than a fast-paced class. And this challenge comes with numerous benefits like more defined muscles and increased stamina.
“Your instructor will pace you through each of the moves on a slow and controlled four-count pace. Your challenge is to fill-up all of those “slow four-counts” with your slow and controlled movements. Ultimately, you’ll leave feeling #bettersorethansorry!”
So, who is SLT for?
The answer: everyone. No matter your fitness level or experience, you can enjoy an SLT class. Instructors offer modifications and adjustments for beginners, pregnant class goers, and people with injuries. Since you will be in plank a lot (and we mean a lot), Vance suggests you practice on solid ground first before hopping on the Megaformer™.
SLT offers three levels of challenging classes:
- Essentials: Perfect for an SLT newbie. This class is done at a slower pace with a breakdown of the basics. Instructors will pay extra attention to your body positioning and technique so you’ll get the hang of things in no time.
- All Levels: As the name suggests, this class is for all fitness levels. Using a combination of cardio, strength training, and Pilates, instructors will walk you through fast-faced transitions and a variety of movements.
- Hardcore: Last but not least, this class turns up the heat. Ready for a challenge? Book your spot on the Megaformer™ and be prepared to sweat.
Each class is intense, but the low-impact element makes it perfect for anyone looking to become stronger and healthier. Price weighs in:
“Although the workout is challenging, we pride ourselves on creating an experience that is personalized and accessible to clients of all levels. Not only that, but the method is core-focused and low impact, making your spine and your joints healthier and happier!”
If you have any more questions before your first SLT session, read their website FAQ.