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Tone House -- Yusuf Jeffers

Tone House — Yusuf Jeffers

Tone House -- Yusuf Jeffers

Last week, Meaghan and I took a class at a studio that I’ve secretly been avoiding since it opened. Tone House has been called New York’s Toughest Workout by multiple publications and even more fitness friends. When you hear that a studio’s warm-up is harder than the entire workout at other studios, you have a right to be intimidated. It was finally time to get over myself and show up for a class. I checked my ego at the door and was ready to work.

Tone House was founded by Alonzo Wilson, a former collegiate and professional athlete and current Wilhelmina Fitness Model and private trainer in New York City. He believes that movement training is the key to effective athletic-based, sports conditioning workouts, whether you are a competitive, elite athlete or just want to look and feel like one. Movement Training focuses on the utilization of many muscle groups, which expends more energy and results in more effective and efficient workouts rather than isolating specific muscles or exercising in a stationary position. Each workout, while drastically different, is structured into five sections–Breakdown Team Chant, Warm-up, Intervals, Stretch + Cool Down, Breakdown Team Chant.

Tone House -- Yusuf Jeffers

The class Meaghan and I took was taught by Yusuf Jeffers (formerly with Fhitting Room). It’s also important to note that Meaghan and I were two of three females in a class of about 15. I have never been in a class of that many guys. Bravo to Tone House for attracting the men. When we arrived, everyone was foam rolling in a large, mostly black studio filled with red light and serious fitness toys. Before long, we launched into the infamous warm-up. This included 15 minutes of sprints, hops, side shuffles, burpees, etc. over a series of about 20 hurdles. The girls were racing around the hurdles trying to keep up with the guys. This was a jarring warm-up. I probably should have done some dynamic stretching first. At least one guy made a trip to the bathroom to toss his cookies.

Next, we did a five-minute agility drill as a group. Yusuf called out back, front, left, right, up, down, etc. We moved as he told us to. My least favorite call out was down, up, down, up–a quick series of burpees into tuck jumps. After this segment, we ran more sprints in groups of two or three. Next, we broke into two large groups to rotate through four total fitness stations. I started in an 80-pound harness doing inchworms, bear crawls, atomic pushups, and other exercises across the gym floor. Next, Meaghan and I moved to the TRX for some shoulder press work. Then it was back across the gym to take on the battle ropes while shuffling right and left. Finally, we returned to the TRX for a few squat variations. After completing the four stations, we ran more sprints and completed the agility drill one more time. It was beyond challenging.

Tone House -- Yusuf Jeffers

The class ended with a great stretch and the Breakdown Team Chant. I really appreciated how supportive the group of guys was throughout the workout. Meaghan and I agreed that it was probably the toughest boutique fitness class we had ever taken. However, I would have liked to see more form corrections and modifications called throughout the workout. When you’re growing tired from giving a nonstop 100% effort, it’s important to be reminded of both. I highly recommend this class for former high school or college athletes. I can imagine it being like a flashback of a tough team workout. I’ll be returning when I’m ready for another major ego check.

Tone House -- Yusuf Jeffers
Trainer images via Tone House

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  • Reply Kayla

    I think the warm up alone just about killed me…

    October 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm
  • Reply Nick Bardsley

    As a fellow NYC trainer and a new blogger I just came across your website in search of what others are doing and I have to say it’s awesome! Really like how you are trying out different types of workouts and not just claiming to be the expert who know everything and not willing to learn. Definitely have a new subscriber in me!


    December 5, 2014 at 11:55 am
    • Reply Evann Clingan

      Hi, Nick! I really appreciate your comment. Since I’m not a certified fitness professional, I enjoy working with fabulously talented trainers in NYC to have new active experiences. I find that readers feel more confident trying a new type of class if they have the chance to read about it from the perspective of a non-professional. There are too many people claiming to be “fitness professionals” on social media these days. I’d rather let the real trainers do the training. Best of luck on your new blog!

      December 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

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