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.
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.
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.
Trainer images via Tone House