SLT “Pilates on Steroids”

After hearing lots of buzz this summer about SLT, I finally got to try it out for myself. When asked what to expect, my friend told (warned) me: “it’s like Pilates on steroids.” Yes, that’s just about exactly right. I was sore for days and days…which means…it works.

photo 4SLT’s Water Mill studio is new and clean, but the reformers of all reformers, Megaformers (aka torture chambers) aren’t particularly welcoming. Lucky for me, I got there early enough to see the previous class wrapping up. Each and every one had that clenched look of pain across their face…that got me a little nervous for what was to come, not going to lie. And I was right, pain was to come.

photo 3As you can see, the Megaformer has lots of tools and toys to sculpt in different ways. Various moves allow for heavy resistance for weight-training or lighter resistance for Pilates. Don’t try this at home, folks. We worked our abs, legs, glutes, obliques, back, triceps, biceps…is that all? It was a different sense of toning, more like pinching. The Megaformer creates motions we don’t usually perform with the body.

Did I mention how sore I was? I did like the fact that we packed so much in, just when your muscles wanted to explode and the pain became unbearable, it was time to switch to a new muscle group. Sweet relief.

It’s definitely impossible for this workout not to shape and tone. Good form and precision is key here, both for safety and for results. If you’re looking for a social workout, SLT isn’t it. You don’t go to this class to chit chat, you go to strengthen, lengthen, and tone. Good thing the music was good because it was the only distraction from the pinching pain.

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One Healthy Breakdown: Consider this ‘the Mega-reformation of Pilates,’ if you will.

I Adore Norma Jean Pilates

NJP Norma Jean Pilates 51 Division St Studio 2012-2014
Three things I love about Norma Jean Pilates Studio in Sag Harbor: the instruction, music, and setting. NJP is a small and cozy, bright oasis on Division, full of Pilates toys and sunshine. In chatting before class, one of the first things Hayley said to me was “Do what you love, it’s that easy.” Hello words of wisdom. The combination of Hayley’s positive words and her contagious bubbly demeanor instantly made me feel light and happy. I didn’t realize I’d be getting a life-lesson and a dose of good energy before class even began, but I’ll take it!

The 30-minute Pilates core class pushed me just past my limit, to the point that I was able to keep up, but definitely felt that painful burning sensation we all love to hate. You know, the one that speaks to you, saying things like “you think this burns now, wait until you wake up tomorrow,” but you push through because bikini season is just around the corner. Pushing through was only made possible by Hayley’s enthusiastic coaching, mantras like “honor your body TODAY!” and the incredible music playing in the background. Those oldies but goodies we all know and love, one after the other, think “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The combination of great tunes and the bright spring sunshine shining through the large windows transformed me right into a summer mood.

We packed a whole lot of Pilates into those 30 minutes, that’s for damn sure. Beginning with planks, planks, and more planks, (ouch) moving into some of the more traditional Pilates moves (the hundred, single and double leg stretch, teaser, etc.) and finishing using the “power tower,” every move was clearly calculated, allowing the class to flow smoothly, feeling the burn throughout. Once the half hour was over, it seemed like it flew by and I was instantly glad I’d done it. This is the perfect 30 minute class to tone that tummy, and more, for summer. If you’re looking for a burn that doesn’t quit, an insanely sweet (and wise!) instructor to make it as pleasant as can be, and fun classic jams, head to Norma Jean Pilates!  From tower workouts to Aromatherapy Fridays, with Jess (AH-mazing!) there’s a mat for you!

One Healthy Breakdown: awesome classes, fabulous instruction, even better tunes.

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