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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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Joe Holder Masterclass Review: Is It Worth Trying?

It seems these days like there’s a Masterclass for everything.

The large range of topics that you can engage with through Masterclass makes the subscription more than worth it – no matter what you’re interested in, there’s a fantastic Masterclass for you. This also includes fitness. 

Earlier in 2022, Masterclass released a series from Joe Holder focusing on wellness and fitness, and they’re not the heavy-duty workouts that you might expect.

Holder takes a far more holistic approach to wellness, as well as functional movements for people at any level of fitness. 

Like the majority of Masterclasses, this series seeks to guide you through the fundamentals of wellness, so that you can take what you’ve learned and apply it to many more situations throughout your life. 

But how does the Joe Holder Masterclass stand up compared to other series? Is it worth your time? Well, that is what I intend to let you know in this Joe Holder Masterclass review. 

Who Is Joe Holder?

The most important thing about deciding whether Masterclasses are worth your time or money is who the host is. How are they qualified to be leading this class? 

If you don’t know much about the world of fitness or wellness, you might not have heard Joe Holder’s name before, but his credentials are pretty stellar. 

Joe Holder made his name as a Penn Football player and personal trainer. He is a three-time marathon runner, Nationally recognized Master trainer, private fitness coach, Nike Master trainer, and GC columnist. 

Most interesting is that he is the founder of the Ocho System, an overarching fitness philosophy.

The Ocho System features positive thinking and intuitive movement, which contradicts a lot of other fitness systems that focus more on negativity and punishment. 

Holder explains the Ocho System and other holistic approaches to wellness throughout his Masterclass.

He is generally very well-received as a bit of a darling of the fitness community, as well as the plant-based community, as his vegetarian/vegan lifestyle plays a huge part in his take on wellness to focus on a specific HIIT workout.

He is one of the most influential coaches in the modern era who lives a healthy life and his fitness goals led him to a more purposeful life.

What Is Promised In This Masterclass

This Masterclass promises to teach you the fundamentals of fitness and wellness in a positive, emotionally responsive way.

The way that Joe Holder phrases it is that “Everyone is built differently, but everyone can be healthy.” 

As mentioned above, this Masterclass is an introduction to the fundamentals of fitness and wellness, from the perspective of an expert.

But Holder isn’t just focused on how far you can run or how many push-ups you can do. 

Throughout this class, Holder puts a lot of emphasis on viewing wellness holistically i.e., something that is completely interconnected with everything else going on in your life.

He incorporates nutrition and exercise, of course, but also emotional well-being and community, as well as spiritual and environmental health. 

There will absolutely be those of you out there for whom the phrase “spiritual well-being” in relation to fitness will be an immediate turn-off.

If that rings true for you, you can probably give this class a miss, as the holistic nature of wellness does come up throughout the course a lot. 

That said, I would still recommend giving it a go, as you never know how effective it will all be. 

Joe’s holistic approach to food hacks is all about actual workouts and good health.

How Long Is The Masterclass?

This class is amongst some of the shorter series, coming in at just two hours and 36 minutes long. There are several videos, but none of them are longer than half an hour. 

This means that you can easily break it up into manageable chunks, without having to feel intimidated by the volume of information being given to you. 

Though there are some workout routines, they’re actually more like they lay the groundwork for the kind of movement you can bring into your life, and not really meant as a full workout. 

You’re also not expected to take a bunch of notes or make your way through a workbook. These classes are a lot more about changing thought processes, rather than teaching straight facts. 

Joe Holder Masterclass

What Does It Cost

Unlike a lot of Masterclasses, this one you can get as a one-off for just $15 to get unlimited access, rather than having to pay for a full subscription.

This increases the accessibility so much because, even if you can’t afford a subscription, you can still watch this. 

Ocho System

Although I went into it briefly, you might be wondering what the Ocho system is really about. 

The name comes not only from Holder’s old Penn football jersey number, where he was number 8, but also stands for “one can help others, others can help one.”

This dual system refers to the perspective that helping others, and accepting help from those around you is a form of wellness and one that will impact your health. 

Picking up the phone when your Grandma calls? That’s a wellness activity? Switching to a more sustainable diet or making the effort to cut down on your waste? That’s a wellness activity. 

Allowing health to mean more than just how strong your muscles are encouraged participants to engage with a broader definition of health, instead of focusing on tiny, barely achievable goals. 

You might care about your appearance, and Holder acknowledges this, but fitness is not the only, nor the most important aspect of your health. 

The Ocho system isn’t about your body fat percentage, it’s about your whole life.

Is It All Whimsical? 

No, occasionally Holder does discuss fitness in a more familiar way, including encouraging students to track weight, blood pressure, and BMI. 

The issue with this is that a lot of this stuff is practically pseudoscience, and can be a slippery slope for views you deal with disordered eating.

It’s very common to find in fitness communities, and metrics like your BMI can be general indicators of your health, but they’re not an exact science and shouldn’t be treated as such. 

That said, Holder is certainly a lot more forgiving than the majority of other personal trainers, and that is something that can’t be taken for granted.

Joe Holder’s masterclass is all about high-intensity interval training with a positive mindset, physical health goals, and the mobility workout.

He never suggests that you should restrict your eating in a dangerous way, and encourages you to listen to your body, and move intuitively.

In his own words from an early part of the series, he’s not “going to hit you from a self-loathing perspective, about things that are wrong with you, to try to get you engaged into fitness. That’s not what I do.”

Does It Deliver On Its Promises? 

I would say that it does. I came away from this Masterclass with a solid understanding on how to move my body to see specific improvements, as well as having some small, easily digestible tips that I can take on throughout my daily life. 

My favorite thing that I’ve taken away from this is the “exercise snacks” which is just a micro-effective workout you can practice throughout your day if you don’t have time for a full-strength workout. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the motivation to kick-start your fitness, or you want to try looking at everything from a new perspective, then you should absolutely check out Joe Holder’s Wellness Masterclass.