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by Les Mills Asia Pacific


The goals that we originally set for LES MILLS® Virtual were what I felt our club needed at the time, to give us a much-needed post-COVID lift. Little did I know that the effects of COVID-19 on our business would go on for so long, or that we would take another hit when the borders opened in December 2021. COVID arrived on the first flight in, and with it came the requirement for Tasmanians to wear masks everywhere! Restaurants were deserted, and our city became a ghost town because the locals all stayed home.

So once again, our member deferrals soared, and a decline was apparent in our Kid’s Club and class attendances. One pay period in April, I recall we had 25 per cent of our staff members absent with COVID, and another 10 per cent absent due to being a close contact. This obviously flowed through to members, which resulted in club attendances lower than we expected.

Many small businesses here in Launceston temporarily closed or significantly reduced their open hours. Thankfully, because of LES MILLS® Virtual, at no stage were we under any pressure to reduce our club’s offerings. Access to the club was available 24/7 with a mixture of Live, Virtual and On-Demand classes from 4am to midnight, 7 days a week. Classes could be scheduled to accommodate those wanting to train on their own in off-peak times, and any Instructor absence (even those with very short notice) could be saved by a Virtual class.

Although the stats do not reflect a lot of growth or high attendances for the most recent three months, I have definitely sensed a change in the past few weeks. The kids club is busier, class numbers are increasing, and LES MILLS Virtual numbers are most certainly increasing. Six months ago, I would walk past the group fitness room and see one person attending an On-Demand class, but now there will be three or four friends attending together.

One of the strengths of our club has always been the quality and the passion of the Instructors delivering our group fitness classes. RPM®, LES MILLS SPRINT®, BODYPUMP®, LES MILLS GRIT® STRENGTH are currently our most popular programs. We have lost a few members to LES MILLS+, which can appeal to those who have been isolated and who are used to training at home. We do consider online fitness programs as just another competitor, and we understand that it is our responsibility to provide and deliver the best live experiences to compete.

Of course, one way we do that, is by ensuring our members have access to SMART TECH (which they have done for many years now). They expect the best equipment, and we believe there is no better. One of our Instructors, Rachel, recently said, “I love the ease of use and how quick it is to change between sets. The different step height also caters for any member; safety is a priority for me, as I have seen many a weight slide off the end of a bar when not secured properly. But this doesn’t happen with a SMARTBAR®.”

To explore how LES MILLS Virtual can help your club during pandemic times and beyond, chat to your local Business Partnership manager in Australia or Southeast Asia. Or to read the previous updates in this article series, click the following links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Australian-based clubs should enquire about third-party finance options for new LES MILLS Virtual installations and/or SMART TECH equipment packages. Connect with your local Business Partnership Manager to learn more.