When a friend told me about a new workout place from LA, now a New York outpost called SLT (acronym for Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone) I was intrigued.
Tell me more I said…after all who doesn’t need to strengthen, lengthen, tone?
When you go to the website (sltnyc.com) it says IF CARDIO, STRENGTH TRAINING And PILATES HAD A BABY, the powerful hybrid would be named SLT. I recently tried it and they couldn’t be more right. I spin 5 days a week so I consider myself pretty strong, and after my first class at SLT I realized how many muscles my endless hours of spinning just couldn’t reach.
The music was fast and fun and the pace was quick enough so you don’t get bored but slow enough that anyone can do it. It definitely targets all of the individual muscle group. It’s like a Pilates class on overdrive. Your heart rate goes up and you sweat. Two things I never experienced in my past Pilates sessions, although the reformer is similar to the machine they have you on. With all of its straps and springs, the machine takes a little getting used to but once you get the hang of it you have no choice but to sit back and enjoy the ride. If the sign of a good workout is being sore, let’s just say it took me awhile to get out of bed the next morning and walk the next few days. I stuck with it though and I felt myself getting stronger, longer and leaner with every session.
We recently caught up with Amanda Freeman, the co-owner of SLT to learn more…
What made you decide to take this idea to NY? A friend had sent me to try the class during an LA business trip and I fell in love. I was amazed at how challenging it was and yet how quickly the class went. I was sore for days each time I took the class. Everyone taking the class was in amazing shape – lean and toned. There is a huge following for the workout out there with over 25 locations and I was shocked that there wasn’t one studio in NY. I selfishly wanted the workout in NY so I could take classes, but I also saw the business opportunity.
What are your passions? I’m passionate about wellness, innovation and karaoke! Ha! I love walking the aisles of Whole Foods for new healthy food discoveries, I love trying new workouts and I love to sing karaoke (even though my voice is awful). I also get excited about new ideas and companies.
How did you get started? Before SLT there’s been Vital Juice. I co-founded the healthy living daily email VitalJuice.com which immersed me in the wellness world. I’ve always been someone who pays attention to what’s new and interesting, but now it was my job to be on top of all that stuff. It was while I was at Vital Juice on a trip to LA that I started doing LA’s version of SLT.
I eventually decided I wanted to bring SLT to NY and had to work out a deal with the creator to be the exclusive fitness studio in NY with the Megaformer (the machine that the workout is done on).
Greatest challenge? Greatest Strength? Honestly, the greatest challenge with this business for me is the hours (early and late). I work 7 days a week starting at ungodly hours (for someone without kids) and working late into the night.
I’ve always been a people person and this is the perfect job for me. I love my clients and just want them to enjoy the workout and see results.
If you could do anything else and be a success what would it be? Either be a professional singer or run a hedge fund. Different, yes!
Who do you admire? Why? I have been lucky enough to have a mentor throughout my career. A woman named Jane Buckingham. She was my first and only boss and she’s always had the ability to do it all – entrepreneur, wife, mom, friend – and not need to be perfect at anything. She’s witty, smart, beautiful, generous and savvy!
What are the qualities you most admire? The ones you detest? I admire risk takers. Putting yourself in a position where failure is a likely outcome isn’t easy. I also admire loyalty. I detest people who are unreliable.
Most memorable meal? I’m obsessed with the gnocchi at Sette Mezzo. I remember it every time I go!
What are your three always-in-the bag beauty products? I’m low maintenance and drugstore when it comes to beauty. I can’t go anywhere without a tube of Aquaphor for my lips…addicted. I’m a big sunscreen person and Neutrogena does the trick. And I’m Cetaphil all the way for facial cleanser and moisturizer.
Friends come to town and I always take them to… Dylan’s Candy Bar
What’s in your closet that you should get rid of but just can’t? A t-shirt I wore for a Jello wrestling contest during high school. It’s so soft and kinda see through at this point and it has my wrestling name on it.