Wellness

What Happened When I Tried Working Out Like Naomi Campbell For A Week

Celebrity trainer Joe Holder is now on MasterClass.

Here's what happened when I tried working out like Naomi Campbell via Joe Holder's new MasterClass f...
Joe Holder/Thierry Chesnot / Stringer

One of my favorite pandemic pastimes is watching models work out on Instagram at exclusive studios like The Dogpound while I sit on the couch snacking. My excuse for not joining in on the exercise has always been that I don't have access to a professional trainer — otherwise I'd be swinging kettlebells with the best of them. That's no longer a reason — enter: Joe Holder's MasterClass. In the streaming platform's first-ever holistic fitness and wellness offering, celebrity fitness coach and Nike master trainer Holder gives subscribers a taste of what it's like to train like a supermodel.

Holder, who trains celebs and models like Bella Hadid, Georgia Fowler, and Naomi Campbell, is an expert in all things fitness. His signature training method, called The Ocho System, promotes a foundational and science-based approach to exercise that leads to healthier habits in all aspects of your life, from your diet to how you move. As one of his over 126,000 followers on Instagram, I'm familiar with what his workouts look like through snippets he's posted over the years — so I was intrigued to see if I could keep up in a full session.

To get a feel of what it's like to train like Naomi (and gain some inspo for my own fitness habits), I watched the sessions and attempted some of Holder's workouts. Here's how it went down, and what to know if you're considering signing up for the MasterClass.

How It Works

The course is broken up into 12 sessions that include different types of workouts (one mobility, one HIIT, and one strength), nutrition classes, and classes that teach you how to listen to your body. Holder's overall goal of the program? To give users simple takeaways that they can bring into their everyday lives for smarter, more efficient movement.

Holder’s sessions are available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 100+ instructors with an annual membership of $180. Though it's on the pricier end, a membership gives you access to top experts in almost every industry you can think of, from writing to sports and technology.

Once you're logged onto Holder's page, the class begins with an introduction of him and an overview of the class. This is followed by a full session on the biomotor skills Holder bases all his workouts on (this touches on endurance, coordination, strength, and more), so you get a feel of his approach to fitness. You can jump ahead to the actual workouts, which are all less than 31 minutes long.

What Are The Workouts Like?

Mobility

Now for the real meat of Holder's class: the workouts. The first one is focused on mobility, which works to loosen your muscle fibers to increase flexibility. I've taken my fair share of yoga classes, but I'm certainly not the most bendy person, so I was a bit nervous going in even though it's meant for all fitness and mobility levels.

The stretch-based exercises were low impact with a slow and steady flow. As Holder states in the video, this class is especially great for people who work from home and may feel a little stiff or achy from sitting in the same position all day. It's also the perfect evening workout for days where you don't have the energy for a full-body session but still want to move.

I heard some cracking during the session come from parts of my body that have little to no mobility, like my ankles and shoulders, so clearly I needed this. After the 30 minute workout, I felt relaxed but also energized and much more open.

HIIT

The next day, after watching a few more of Holder's videos on listening to your body and working out smarter instead of harder, I tried the HIIT workout. This one threw me for a loop — I'm someone that usually runs away from cardio. The HIIT session was more high-impact and fast-paced than the mobility one, and I found myself cycling through three circuits of moves like high knees and squat jumps.

What I enjoyed about this workout was that it began with stretches that primed your body before getting into the harder part — like the hip circles, which are great for someone like me who hasn't done intense exercise in a while. Though I do work from home I have a fairly busy schedule, so being able to get in an effective workout in under 30 minutes was great. As a trainer, Holder is knowledgeable and very motivating; I can see why he's the go-to trainer for so many stars and supermodels. He explained the purpose and mechanics behind each move, and his positive reinforcement made me feel like I was getting a quality one-on-one sesh with a personal trainer.

Is It Worth It?

If you're looking to revamp your exercise routine and take a more serious and holistic approach to working out, this is a great program to start with. It also gives you plenty of tools for switching up your existing workouts or enhancing your recovery regimen, as Holder's offerings are something you can keep coming back to for intel and inspiration. While there are only three workouts in the course, the other videos and resources provide tips you can incorporate into your overall wellness routine, so you're getting more than a good sweat sesh.

As someone who tends to be inconsistent with my workouts, I can see this being a great resource for building a more consistent and rigorous routine that fits my lifestyle. That said, I like variety in my workouts, so I know I probably wouldn't stick with it. As a remedy to this, there are other athletic-based courses on MasterClass from experts like tennis champion Serena Williams and NBA player Stephen Curry. Those who jump at the idea of getting exclusive training from the sports industry's best will benefit from an annual MasterClass membership.

While it's easy to stream any type of exercise on YouTube, what makes Holder's classes worth it is his wealth of knowledge. For those who have specific health and fitness goals or want to learn more about their bodies, this is the jackpot.