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Workout Review: SLT NYC

I’ve been taking pilates for a few months now. So I was feeling pretty confident about my pilates skills going into SLT, which stands for “strengthen, lengthen and tone.” I was in for a rude awakening.

Megareformer pilates is basically pilates on crack. Seriously, you think you know what you are in for when you head into a pilates class and you are wrong. I’d watched the introduction video before I signed up for class, but still didn’t really have a clue.image1

The space is reminiscent of a NYC dance studio – one long room with mirrors on one side. There are cubes to store your things, and two restrooms for changing. There are no showers. We are talking minimalist at its finest.

There were quite a few newbies in the class, and Audrey took us through the paces of pilates on the megareformer. You can use both ends of the megreformer, you have your standard loops for legs and hands, and there are other fun little tools.

The bed has numbers on it (1, 2, 3) with little hash marks so you know where to place your feet, hands and knees when the instructor calls it out.

Right before class started Audrey said “I’m just here to kick your ass” and she wasn’t joking.image5

It’s a pretty fast paced class. You get a count down from each move so there are no true breaks. I don’t know how each class is structured, but this one took us through core, arms, legs and glute exercises.

I was quickly drenched in sweat. The move where we slid into a standing star position and then pulled our leg on the reformer back? Yeah that’s an inner thigh workout if I’ve ever seen one.

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The one where we did oblique twist/crunch (believe it’s called a mermaid), just about made me cramp up it was straining the side of my glute so badly.

There certainly wasn’t as much core work as my standard pilates reformer class – with the set of 100s and knee tucks, but the “bear” and “snake” moves did the trick.

This is either snake or bear, I can't recall
This is either snake or bear, I can’t recall

The website says that if “cardio, strength training, and pilates had a baby, it would be SLT” and that is probably the most accurate coupling I have ever heard.

also, great mantra
also, great mantra

Bikram Yoga Grand Central

I am a HUGE fan of yoga. It has helped me get through some tough training seasons and most of all actually taught me how to relax.

One of my favorite types of yoga though is hot yoga. So when a Dealist special came out for the newly opened Bikram Yoga Grand Central, I jumped at the chance.

I went to my first class the other day (11:00 AM on Sunday) and found the space to be AMAZING and the people there incredibly warm and friendly. They have a great sun deck that would be an ideal space to have a quick bite when the weather actually allows it.

The yoga studio has this super comfortable covering. I don’t even know what to call it, but it isn’t hardwood floor and is springy. The temperature is just right and I started sweating from just being in there.

I wasn’t so enthused with our instructor. I had such high hopes when she went around and wrote down all of our names so she would know who we are. However, as the class got started she pretty much stayed put at the front and barked orders at us. I like an instructor who is calm and helps you adjust.

The positions were great and I felt good after the workout. I have a month unlimited so I will be trying a new instructor this week.

David Barton’s Fight Club

A few weeks ago I tweeted about having my personal trainer seriously kicking my butt during a recent session. This prompted a childhood friend to invite me to a class at David Barton. Never one to turn down a good workout, I took him up on the offer.

While the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club, I just can’t help myself. Everyone needs to know about this one.

Let me start by saying the David Barton gym is ridiculously nice. It almost made me feel bad for sweating in there.  I didn’t checkout the locker rooms, but if the coat check was any indication I am assuming those showers are top notch.

The class itself was incredibly intimidating. The description on the Website “Mixed Martial Arts. All aspects of martial arts packed into one class with a focus on using your body weight and momentum to your advantage. Strike combinations,partner work,kick techniques,grappling,standing holds and leverage technique.” pretty much made me want to hide in the corner. The fact that you have TWO instructors (Robert Ramsey & Adam Razak) makes that nearly impossible. P.S. They are both incredibly hardcore.

They pack you into a tiny exercise room and get you going right away, throwing everything from jumping jacks to standing mountain climbers your way. At one point we were literally expected to do 100 push-ups consecutively.  Running in place, high-knees, plyo-squats and burpees were also on the list. I was dripping sweat about 15 minutes into the class.

Then they threw the mat down and asked us to do these power somersaults down it. I lost my headband and my balance. So much so that Alex literally had to catch me and tell me he had me. Yeah, I felt a little foolish, but it was nice knowing I wasn’t the only one.

After that more push-ups and then breaking us into two groups. One against the wall to hold a squat and some sort of knee strike thing. The other group punching on the mat. Then we switched. By this time I was begging to stop and my butt felt like I had been punching that instead of the mat.

Some more punching with weights and MMA-style kicking and  the class was over. A full hour and 15 minutes later that is. The music was fantastic and I enjoyed watching the giant muscle man next to me have just as hard a time doing the push-ups as me.

If you can get a guest pass to David Barton, I highly recommend it.