Crash Course: POWERED class at The Movement fuses strength, conditioning, and functional movement into one 55-minute total-body toning class. Expect a serious focus on proper body positioning and technique while completing various rounds of bodyweight exercises and dynamic movements such as burpees and jump lunges. Oh yes, and don’t forget about the creative uses of fun toys like resistance bands, bodyblades, and gliding disks. The result is one seriously sweaty workout that changes every time you walk through the door. For a full list of class times, check out The Movement’s website.[line] [left]where: The Movement | Flatiron
perks: creative, full-body workout
sweat score: 7 out of 10[/left][right]wear: no shoes
instructor: Joshua Holland
cost: $32 drop-in[/right][line]
I first encountered NYC celebrity trainer Josh Holland during my sweaty workout tour of the Technogym store in SoHo. He was the one who put me through my paces on the kinesis machine, social-media-synced treadmill, and power-generating spin bike. While the equipment I worked out on was seriously swanky, you might remember I was most impressed with Josh’s know-how, technique, and sincere personality. Seriously, I’ve trained with a lot of folks over the past three years, and I was super impressed. The guy knows his stuff.
So when I discovered that Josh teaches a class over at The Movement fitness studio, I jumped at the opportunity to train with him again. My one-on-one experience was fantastic, but could he translate that into a group setting? Could that personalized attention really shine through in a regular class? We shall see…
The Movement is located in the Flatiron fitness district, just a stone’s throw from Tone House, City Row, and SLT. It offers a varied schedule of group classes including yoga, dance, HIIT, and total body conditioning. For every person who signs up to take a class, The Movement donates $1 to the National Brain Tumor Society in honor of the founder’s late mother. A very cool concept and touching tribute, if you ask me.
The entrance is clean and bright and houses a small gear boutique, a front desk sign-in area, and a fully stocked fridge. Other little amenities include hair ties, bobby pins (I’m always hunting for those suckers before class), gum, and mints for some post-class refreshment. I love a studio that splurges on the details, and having a little set up like this really wins points in my book.
Travel down a long mirror-lined hallway to the back of the studio space, where you’ll find a tight but workable locker area (it gets really tight before and after class, so breathe deep and keep your eye on the prize), water dispenser, and a few changing rooms and bathrooms. There aren’t any showers, but the bathrooms have a few key items in them for sprucing up after your workout.
I really had no idea what to expect in Josh’s class. I mean, the only classes I take shoeless are yoga and pilates, so I assumed it was some sort of mix of the two. But I was oh-so-wrong.
Josh is hyper-attentive to proper form, body alignment, and technique. For example, we don’t wear shoes because he believes this is the safest way to train, allowing your feet to naturally bear the load of the exercises without any distracting foam or laces. This attention to detail is a great thing in any fitness class, but particularly in a class with dynamic movements like jump squats and lunges. As someone who has a wonky knee, I’m especially grateful for the extra TLC.
We started class with a series of warm-up moves to get the body ready to work. This included a few deep squat static holds (so hard), jumping jacks, twisting yoga-like stretches, and more deep squat static holds. Have mercy. Why is it that some of the simplest moves are the most profanity-inducing? Who knew I felt so strongly about the deep squat until I was in it for 30 seconds, sweating bullets, with hip flexors crying uncle. Curses!
The class then got right into a long and creative series using resistance bands. These bands are unlike any I have seen in other gyms: they’re extra thick, stretch extra far, and have the gooey consistency of flubber. At least that’s the best description I could think of, and I’m pretty sure if you slingshot one to the ceiling it would stick. But regardless of the consistency, they do a bang up job making all of the tiny muscles in your body feel all the feels.
Maybe that’s because Josh is a resistance-band whisperer. Never in my life would I have been able to think up all of the many ways he had us wrapping those things around body and limb. At one point, we double wrapped it around our arms and in front of our chests to use as resistance for pushups. It looked insane. It worked insanely well.
After getting our heart rates up in a cardio circuit involving lunges, jumping jacks, and squat jumps, we picked up these crazy weighted body-blades and shook the living daylights out of them. Or at least tried to. My arms were jello as I flailed them miserably in a bold attempt to get the band to powerfully undulate back and forth. Looks simple enough. But simple is so deceptive.
We then folded the bars into a U shape above our heads and in front of our bodies to complete a weighted arm sequence. Again, moves that looked easy but left me weeping for mercy. Josh weaved his way through the room, correcting form when needed and doing his best to distract us from the crazy burning sensation in our arms.
We had done cardio, a leg and butt focused resistance circuit, more cardio, and an arm-decimating weights sequence. What else could we possibly do?
Oh yeah – abs. Slow, methodical bicycles that got deep into your sides and then quick, small butt raises that obliterated your lower core. Josh was always one step ahead, guiding us through with huge energy till the very end. Just when I thought we had burned our last burn, we topped everything off with one last round of burpee-laden cardio and called it a night.
To me, the class feels like a mash-up of cardio boot camp, extreme mat pilates, and functional movement training. I loved it and really think it provides a little bit of all the best worlds.
And as for any question of Josh’s ability to translate his skill and expertise into a group setting, I think you can guess where I’m going with this. He is a natural people person, which makes him perfect as a one-on-one trainer. But put him in a room packed with people, and his energy multiplies accordingly. He’s got an incredibly contagious drive and is motivating to the entire group in a positive, can-do way. The 55-minute class flew by and I left feeling uplifted, wrung-out, and happy. I don’t think it gets much better than that!