You know what’s dumb? How long it has taken me to write this review. Mark is the bomb diggity. But As 1 is more of a formula than a single class, and the participants are OBSESSED. With good reason. If you follow this program for a month, you’ll see results. I guarantee.
Mark is the co-founder of As 1 (in partnership with George Vafiades).
- Mark is a big, fit dude with a stoic demeanor.
- He is a consummate professional. Yeah, once in a while you'll catch him cracking a (measured) joke or secretly smiling when a student is verbal about her pain, but snap your finger and he'll be back to Mark.
- He's a family man, and often talks about his daughter in that "tough guy who talks in a monotone voice but is incapable of hiding how proud he is" kinda way.
- Mark is also easy to make fun of for the above reasons. "Can we get a rise out of Mark?" is a game my friend and I like to play.
In all seriousness, the best example I have of Mark's character is when he and George let me bring Bloomberg TV into their studio to film a segment on RateYourBurn. When I got there early with the crew, there was still a class going on. Mark gave a pleasant hello and made small talk for approximately 90 seconds (the class was out running stairs) but the instant they got back he cut off the conversation completely and went back to teaching. As though we weren't even there. I know very few people who, when a Bloomberg reporter and crew are about to film his studio, could stay so totally focused.
Mark puts his students before everything - it wouldn't matter if MAYOR Bloomberg was standing there. He would have to wait for Mark to tend to the paying customers.
For those of you who are unfamiliar...
...A quick recap on the As 1 method. As 1 is a formula that is sometimes reminiscent of Crossfit, but also very different.
- The focus is on functional movement – exercises that mimic the true movements of everyday life - but Mark and George designed this method to keep the potential for injury at a minimum.
- The exercises are simpler, you won't see a lot of open-chain stuff, and the segments are all designed so that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time.
- If you're more advanced, you just do more reps than the others.
Exercises you often do at As 1.
- Squats (weighted, or not)
I haven't been to the new studio yet (I know, I KNOW, I need to go) but I also hear they have tons of new equipment like a Jacob's Ladder.
A word to the wise.
This class is hard, really hard....and even harder if you're one of those people who feels guilty if they don't actually do everything the instructor says. "Teacher's pet syndrome". I haz it. But hey, you came to get whipped, and you will.
If you're new to As 1, I'd definitely hit up a class with Mark or George. These guys are the real deal.