Originally from New Zealand, Les Mills was an Olympic athlete in the 1960s and ’70s. In 1968, near the end of his competitive track and field career, he and his wife opened a gym in their home country, utilizing many of the training and fitness techniques Les used during competition. In the 1980s, Les’ son, Phillip started the Les Mills program in US gyms. The program gained in popularity and is now used in more than 15,000 gyms in 80+ countries around the globe.
Today, Les Mills is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and is one of the most popular workout programs in the industry.
Accessibility and flexibility is a major benefit of the Les Mills program; it’s available in more than 15,000 clubs and gyms in the US and more than 80 other countries across the globe. More than 100,000 certified instructors lead the classes at some of the most popular gym networks in the world, including Gold’s Gym, Powerhouse Gym and 24-Hour Fitness.
There are a bevy of Les Mills classes available to meet your personal fitness goals and workout preferences. Series like Bodypump and CXworx focus on strengthening muscles through repetition to build a lean, strong body. If you like a high-energy, cardio-based workout, try Bodycombat, Bodyattack or Bodystep. If you prefer to burn calories during a dance class, try Sh’bam or Bodyjam. If you’re a cycling enthusiast, try RPM. Or take a Bodyvive class for an equal mix of strength training, core exercises and cardio.
To keep workouts fresh and challenging, the class programs are updated with new choreography and music every three months. Instructors also receive educational updates on the same timeline, which helps them stay up-to-date with the latest knowledge in the fitness industry.
The cost of the Les Mills program can vary depending on where you live and where you are taking classes. Oftentimes, access to the classes is free with your monthly or annual gym membership. Les Mills also offers a home program, Les Mills Combat, which can be purchased through Beachbody.com without a certified instructor license.
Les Mills instructors are certified to ensure that their classes are both safe and effective, and many participate in follow-up programs to continue to develop and learn new fitness techniques.
If you can’t make it to the gym, video sets of these aforementioned classes are also available for purchase from Beachbody.com. The videos start around $35, plus shipping and handling, and most of the video purchases can be broken down into a few monthly payments.
Les Mills has regional community sections on its website, each including message forums, articles, FAQs, motivational tools, blogs, surveys and educational materials. Through these online tools, you can stay motivated by learning more and connecting with others in the Les Mills network.
Nutrition and healthy eating is also part of the Les Mills program: nutrition information, advice and recipes are available in both the Knowledge and Newsfeed sections of the site. Les Mills has also published a book titled “Fighting Globesity,” which details strategies to help you become more active, lose weight and eat healthy.
Les Mills just recently has created On-Demand work outs for home users to participate in.
While there are Les Mills videos offered on the website, they are only available for purchase for certified instructors. If you want access to the full video programs you will have to enroll in a Les Mills class, or become an instructor yourself. You can purchase the Les Mills Combat program through Beachbody.com, but none of the other Les Mills DVD programs are available for purchase on the site.