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A – Z of Les Mills

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X was really hard  

APP: Downloaded the Les Mills Releases app? If you haven’t, you might be killing yourself with separate music, chorey notes and masterclass files. At the push of a button, you have all release resources mentioned as well as the latest education literally in the palm of your hand. Skeptical? Download and have a play.  

BODYPUMP: It’s no surprise that BODYPUMP is the most popular Les Mills program in Australia and Southeast Asia (and in fact, the globe). Can you guess the second most popular? It might surprise you… 

COMBAT: Familiar short-form for BODYCOMBAT, the second most popular program in facilities across Australia and Southeast Asia.  

DEATH STARE: The look you get from participants when you are covering a class for the most popular instructor.  

ENGAGED: When that one heavenly engaged person in class laughs at your jokes, responds to your questions and listens to your cues – you latch on to that person like your life depended on it.  

FEEDBACK: Sometimes hard to hear, sometimes unsolicited but always essential for us to evolve as instructors.  

G: The one man at Les Mills that can be identified by a single letter: BODYJAM Program Director Gandalf Archer Mills.  

HARD: Some days teaching is just hard work. We’re only human (except when we remember 55 minutes of chorey – that’s just awesome). Coping mechanisms include crying on the inside and showing options (again), but in all seriousness, on days like these, focusing your thoughts and energy solely on the people in front of you will give you the motivation and strength to get through rough patches. The good news? Tomorrow will be better.   

INSPIRATION: There is someone (and many someone’s) in your class who think you are an inspiration and the reason they come to the gym. Even if you don’t think it of yourself, even if you just tried to get out of your car with your seatbelt still on, and even if your members have never explicitly told you. YOU ARE an inspiration. Handy to remember on those HARD days; see above.  

JACKIE MILLS (DR): The matriarch of Les Mills (Chief Creative Officer and Co-Program Director of BODYBALANCE) and all-around remarkable mind: Jackie is a specialist in nutritional medicine, an obstetrician and general medical practitioner. She completed her post post-graduate studies in nutrition at the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) and has been practising nutritional medicine for 25 years. She is also tertiary qualified in Physical Education.  

KEEP GOING: My motivational cue of choice. Not that useful. Send help.  

LES MILLS: The 51-year history is peppered with trials, tribulations and triumphs (and fun facts like Les Mills, the man himself, managed a rock band). The story is a fascinating one and you can read it here 

MOTIVATIONAL CUES: See ‘K’. Still send help.  

NEW RELEASE: Every 3-months. New moves, new combinations, new music. Everyone has the following 2 releases in their library: the ‘Go To’ release (the one you can teach at the drop of a hat), the ‘Favourite’ release (no matter how much time and space passes, this is the greatest release of all time…BODYPUMP 70 y’all).  

ONE HUNDRED: The next program to reach the milestone one hundredth release is BODYJAM. BODYJAM 100 will be released in Q1 2022 (followed by BODYBALANCE a couple of quarters later and then RPM). 

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY: Where many Les Mills studies take place. To date, there have been 13 articles published in scientific peer reviewed journals investigating the various effects of Les Mills programs. These studies have ranged from the effects of high intensity training on heart disease, BODYPUMP’s effects on bone health and how to get kids motivated to exercise.  

QUARTERLY WORKSHOPS: The quad-annual (is that a thing?) event that takes place for Les Mills instructors where you can experience the latest program releases for the first time (participate for a change – yay! Also a confusing time having to start on your actual right leg), gather the latest information about your program and catch up with the crew for longer than the 3-second change over between classes.  

RPM: It doesn’t stand for what you think it does…any takers? Raw Power Motion.  

SHADOW: The most important rule about being a shadow is this: You are the Destiny’s Child to the Beyoncé. You may not outshine the lead instructor. You may not do the options (unless explicitly specified). You are contractually obliged to laugh when Beyoncé tells a joke, nod when she asks a question and generally look like you are enjoying the shadow experience.  

THE TRIP: is immersive fitness. Immersed by a cinema style screen as you ride through fantastical worlds. Down glaciers? Sure. Up Volcanoes? Definitely. Through Santorini? Well we hear it’s a delight this time of the year. You are so distracted by the visuals you don’t realise how hard you are working. Which leads to the question: Is the art of distraction the most under-utilised technique in modern training to date?  

UNDERWEAR: This is a hot debate – shorts with the built-in underwear; does one put on underwear under these shorts? The answer is always YES. The views expressed here are not those necessarily of Les Mills Asia Pacific.  

V: That little V you see in your chorey notes next to the time stamp? That stands for Verse. You know what PC, C, BR stands for? Check the KEY section at the back of your chorey notes.  

WASH: Asking for a friend – but it’s totally acceptable practice to not wash gym clothes and just dry them in the boot of one's car for a second wear, right?  

CXWORX: Totally taking artistic license for this one.  We mean seriously, YOU come up with an ‘X’ word (didn’t think we could make X-ray or Xylophone work in this instance).  

YESTERDAY: The day you should have probably started learning chorey :/ 

ZZZ: Those super early morning class feels!