Since starting SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen and Tone) with one studio in Midtown West in 2011, Amanda Freeman has successfully hooked New Yorkers on her workout sensation, based on the Lagree Fitness method of Sebastien Lagree. The 50-minute hybrid class combines elements of cardio, strength training and Pilates into a muscle-shaking, sweat-inducing, sore-for-days workout. Freeman became a huge fan of the classes while on a business trip in L.A., vowing to bring the method back home to New York City with her.
With less than a dozen Megaformer machines at her first space, Freeman couldn’t possibly accommodate what she calls her “Pilates on crack” devotees (including Sofia Vergara and Kyra Sedgwick), so next came locations in SoHo, Water Mill, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Roslyn and Short Hills, New Jersey. In late 2014, the Harvard Business School graduate opened a modern, spacious Flatiron flagship and a studio on the Upper East Side.
“The boutique fitness craze continues to be popular with lots of people trading in their gym membership for a handful of specialty workout classes,” Freeman explains. But she isn’t resting on her laurels.
“As our clients become more familiar with the Megaformer, we increase the challenge with longer and more difficult classes,” says Freeman of the Hard Core and Interval classes, where each move is repeated several times to fatigue the muscles.
It’s not for the faint of heart, but the proof remains in the (incredible) results.