If, like so many viewers around the world, you’ve been transfixed by the Moon Knight series currently streaming on Disney+, you may have found your mind wandering to topics outside of character arcs and plot lines to that of Oscar Isaac’s physical transformation. Make no mistake. Isaac has always been a star in great shape, but his Moon Knight transformation is one that deserves to be put under the spotlight, not least because of the man behind it: a Mr Josh Holland.
If you haven’t heard of the name, consider it one to be aware of now. Hollywood is teaming with personal trainer’s promising to get stars in the best shape of their lives, but when it comes to Holland, not only does he deliver the goods, but he ensures that every aspect of wellness is catered to. You need only take a look at his resume which boasts such roles as that of a holistic trainer, cellular exercise therapist, biohacker, podcast host, certified trainer, EMS certified, primal blueprint coach, and movement specialist, to understand that Holland knows his stuff. Over the course of his career, Holland has helped transformed the bodies of countless individuals, ranging from actors through to icons of music preparing for a tour at 70. But despite the differences in his clients’ demographic and goals, Holland tells Men’s Health that there is one unifying similarity.
“Each one of them has a clear vision of their goals,” he tells the publication. To help get the most out of his clients, Holland sees himself as more than just a trainer, but rather someone who looks to optimise health across all aspects of life, including fitness, nutrition, sleep and longevity practices. When it comes to getting Isaac ready for Moon Knight, Holland stresses the importance of mobility and resiliency.
“Mobility is something that we incorporate in every program, but even more this time because we knew that he was going to have to be more expressive via the different characters he’s playing. And since he was going to be on screen a lot more this time, his body needed to be more resilient, and some of the best ways to do that is by building muscle.”
The pair incorporated a lot of crawling and parkour-type movements into Isaac’s workouts which were done at Brooklyn-based gym, Brooklyn Zoo. Here, the actor practiced jumping from high platforms and falling on crash pads.
If it doesn’t sound like something that might be attainable for the average Joe, think again. As Holland stresses, health optimisation is vital for everyone and isn’t just what goes on in the gym. “Basically, my philosophy is broken down into five optimal health and wellness “pillars”: awareness, quality rest and recovery, quality consumption, quality activeness, and quality exercise. And among those five pillars, to me exercise is the least important one.”
Holland stresses the importance of isometrics, which use raw strength rather than momentum. Completing things like wall sits and holding a plank which are the opposite of explosive movements helps people become leaning as they use just raw strength. From there, Holland builds a routine using other apparatuses like a yoga strap or even an Iso Chain.
As for advice for those looking to reach their fitness goals without a trainer, Holland suggests being more aware of your movement “because awareness is something that is gained with another set of eyeballs and a different perspective.”
“I think somebody who is going to try to go at anything alone, just be willing to create various perspective and vantage points. I would also say try and utilise video. There’s a different between thinking you’re doing something correctly versus actually seeing it,” says Holland.