Josh Holland is a force in the wellness world. He is a holistic trainer who created and trademarked the class “I Am Found”, which focuses on functional movement. With each of his clients, his goal is to understand functionally why something may be an issue for them, get to the root cause of that and fix it through movement and lifestyle shifts that create change. Josh recently re-launched his website, so don’t forget to check it out!
Josh – I’m so excited to chat with you today. Thank you again for taking the time! I’d love to start by hearing your story. How did you get into the health and wellness arena?
My background stems from my small town upbringing in Oklahoma, a very very small town. I think it really helped me to understand nature. I had access to farms and grew up with the small town mentality in which you connect with your neighbors, you play outside, you don’t have to lock your doors.
Along with that, I had an extensive martial arts upbringing, which started at the age of 4. I feel that really helped to shape who I am and how I view life. It involves a great deal of discipline. It also incorporates the importance of breath and understanding of where your energy comes from, both of which are important when it comes to stress. I got black belt at the age of 12, and then started to play sports, with basketball becoming a passion of mine.
Fast forward to college. When I was in my junior year, I broke my wrist and that is when I learned the role of a physical therapist and a bone specialist. Following the first round of X-rays, I was told there was no break only to then realize after rehab, that the bone specialist determined that there were two fractures. I realized that expert knowledge would have saved me personally a lot of pain if I had known the first time, and it got me thinking about how I could use this experience to help others in the future. Also, throughout college, I worked part time, with one of those jobs being at GNC. I learned a lot, primarily from having conversations with people who who were smarter than me at the time when it came to nutrition and supplements.
How did you end up in NYC?
I moved to NYC to try modeling and acting. I took a photography class in my last year of college and whenever someone needed a guinea pig for their assignment, they would ask me and this is a time when I didn’t mind being exploited for taking my shirt off (laughs). Some of those photos ended up being the photos I used to submit to various different magazines. I went to Walmart and put in the floppy disc, copied and pasted this series of photos. I picked up every fitness magazine and looked for any email I could send my photos to. I got a few responses back. I traveled to New York and ended up getting a verbal commitment from Men’s Health magazine that they would work with me. That’s when I moved to NYC and didn’t know how long I would stay, but I’ve been here for 15 years!
Walk us through what a typical day looks like for you.
My day to day changes as you might imagine. I’m excited and happy that I can’t be labeled and put into a box. A lot of marketers, publicists and PR people ask me to have a clear message and I understand that but what I do is not just one thing. I do a lot of physical therapy work but I’m not a physical therapist, and a lot of nutrition counseling but I’m not a nutritionist. My certifications allow that though. I’m considered a holistic trainer. I work with people to help optimize their lives.
My day to day always includes research (from listening to podcasts or reading articles on PubMed). I’m a huge book worm. I love to read. I try to find time to meditate, stretch, warm up and move. Movement is a big part of my day. I classify movement and exercise separately. I don’t consider myself to be an “exerciser” every day but I am a “mover” every day. Usually, I am doing some sort of movement / mobility work in the morning. I work on my breathing and keep present . I’m big on self-reflection and introspection because that’s the only way to truly understand ourselves. We have to have room for recovery and the days you just don’t feel well because we’re human. If I have in my schedule every day to workout, then I feel like a failure if I don’t. I’d rather say to take time for movement. I typically do all of my personal stuff in the early morning, and then by mid morning to noon, I start working with my clients.
I know you are interested in biohacking. Tell me a little about your experience with it.
I practice a lot of bio-hacking, but I don’t love that word. Some of the things that have stuck over the years have been red light therapy, grounding or earthing. Recently I have really started to understand the benefits of meditation. I think breathing is a simple hack that has been sorely misunderstood or undervalued. What we eat and drink is also very important.
It’s about seeing what works and how we can optimize ourselves. I learned what works for me based on personal experience. People ask me to teach them my ways. I tell them I can teach them what I’ve learned but unless you were born into my skin, my situation, it’s hard to say that will work for you. Biohacking is trial and error, and what works for every person is different.
Do you consider your class more movement or exercise?
When working with me, the idea is to move. I can imbed ways to improve your movement. My goal is always to have you feeling and moving better on the way out than when you came in. And with a certain series of movement protocols, I can guarantee that will happen.
I have a sectioned time for warmup and mobility work, and then a section for getting the heart rate up and fatigue in musculature, and then isometrics and cooling down. Throughout the class, the focus is on creating a strong foundation. The class I trademarked is called ‘I Am Found.’ My feeling is, what good is it for me to teach you how to do a double under when you can’t jump rope. I want a blank canvas and paint what I see once I have you in front of me.
Ben Greenfield Fitness
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I hate washing dishes so I try to make my meals with the least amount of tools as possible. I’ve mastered the art of cooking in one pan! Lots of veggies (frozen, organic mixed veggies) with protein and quinoa or rice.
Favorite Restaurants in NYC
When you are not doing one of your own workouts, what do you like to do for exercise?
Plays basketball at my gym!