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Studio Spotlight: Train Like an Athlete at Tone House in NYC

Studio Spotlight: Train Like an Athlete at Tone House in NYC

Founded by a former pro athlete, Tone House offers community-oriented group fitness classes inspired by sports strength and conditioning

As the new year begins, many people set resolutions to break out of their normal fitness routines and get faster, stronger and leaner. Those in New York City don’t have to look much further than Tone House

Alonzo Wilson, a former professional football player and private trainer in NYC, founded Tone House in 2014 to bring sports strength and conditioning workouts to the mainstream, introducing a larger audience to the community-focused workouts that are common in team sports.

Tone House offers strength and conditioning sessions at various difficulty levels, along with larger events like its Lift Off and Turf Wars Competitions. Tone House’s Lift Off took place last month, showcasing female and male recreational lifters in an energizing and supportive competition to test their one-rep maxes in the bench press, back squat and deadlift.

credit: Tone House

Different from many other fitness studios, Tone House doesn’t market its sessions as the only workout you need (although they certainly could be). Wilson encourages members to complement their classes with other workouts; but there’s no doubt that after regularly incorporating Tone House into your routine, you’ll be stronger and more agile for other pursuits.  

Inside the Workout

One of the first words that come to mind after experiencing Tone House is community. It’s clear the studio has dedicated members, many of whom have been coming to classes for years. Not only are many of them dedicated to the workouts themselves, but also to supporting one another. That support not only fills the class with positive energy, it feels essential to getting through such a tough workout. 

credit: Tone House

Tone House is challenging, particularly its intermediate and advanced-level classes. I was sore for several days after a Tone House conditioning class I attended. I found that the exercises impacted muscles I rarely use. For example, we did “gallops,” which were inverted jumps, conditioning drills, “runners,” where we used sliding discs to push ourselves hands-first across the room, and jump squats with vertical trainers.

Many of the workouts, even the weighted ones, were not, by default, tailored to each person’s size or strength. This created a sense of teamwork and camaraderie through the challenging class. At the beginning of every class, the coach asks the group about any injuries or discomfort and workouts can be tweaked accordingly.

credit: Tone House

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However, compared to more individualized classes, Tone House conditioning felt more difficult to modify due to its team-oriented nature. For example, many Tone House conditioning classes begin with running and jumping drills over cones, and one person slowing down would stall the progress of the rest of the class.

Similarly, many of the exercises are done in rounds, where the next group of participants can’t begin before the last group ends. This creates accountability but might be difficult for those who need a lot of modifications or breaks. Tone House provides several class levels to account for such differences, but those in between levels could encounter some discomfort in this regard. 

The Verdict

Overall, Tone House has palpable and contagious energy, and challenging workouts that will likely make you reconsider the effectiveness of your current fitness routine. If you’re looking for a new workout to shake up your new year and are based in New York City, check out the studio. 

Learn more about Tone House here.

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