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Entries in Les Mills International (19)


Fitness Brands Leverage Technology to Create Multimedia Experiences 

Technology has infiltrated consumers’ every day lives, and their workout experiences are no exception. Some innovative companies are leveraging cutting-edge technology to create multimedia, sensory experience for members.

The January issue of Club Business International reported on how several fitness brands are using LED technology, video projection,  and program prerecording to revolutionize the health club experience.  

Les Mills Immersive Fitness Adopts LED Technology

An instructive and exciting example of what the future holds for many clubs is a David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) facility in the Raynes Park section of London, the first permanent site of one of the Les Mills Immersive Fitness (LMIF) installations.

LMIF cycling classes are held in a purpose-built studio that features large, side-by-side screens that stretch upwards of 80 feet, and utilize the latest projection and LED technology.

Michelle Dand, DLL’s group health and fitness manager, was looking for “something new, refreshing, and enticing, something with an appealing wow element” to add to the club’s program lineup.

“We launched LMIF cycling at Raynes Park, and we’ve had a great response,” she said. “We had an extra 250 members sign up for group cycling when we first put it on the schedule. We found we were able to recruit people into the studio who’d never tried cycling classes before—they were intrigued and eager to try it.”

Wexer Virtual and Fitness on Demand Capitalize on Projection, Prerecording

Another approach to combining engagement, entertainment, and exercise in one compelling and competitive package is offered by companies such as Wexer Virtual and Fitness on Demand (FOD). Both make use of sophisticated audio and projection systems, and prerecorded programming featuring world-class instructors, to provide users with a virtually unlimited choice of fitness experiences.

Wexer supplies video-based cycling and group exercise programs produced by its partners, including Les Mills and Zumba, to clubs and studios in more than 30 countries on five continents. FOD currently offers over 1,200 titles from more than 40 providers, which are utilized by approximately two million end-users at some 1,500 locations.

“We’re working with technology that gives clubs the option of streaming their group classes to their membership base,” said Paul Bowman, CEO of Wexer. “Maybe a class is fully booked, or maybe a member has a work conflict and simply can’t make it to the club on time. We want to give clubs the ability to share their live content with their clients outside those four walls.”

Read the full “Sensory, Multimedia, Success” article in the January issue of CBI


Value Proposition: Les Mills International, Limited

Like many businesses in the health and fitness industry, this one was born in a club environment.

In 1968, Les Mills, a four- time, track-and-field Olympian, and his wife, Colleen, opened the first of the Les Mills World of Fitness gyms in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1980, his son, Phillip Mills, took over the reins as CEO. Today, you’ll find 11 Les Mills facilities scattered throughout New Zealand, and a 12th is slated to open at the end of this year.

In addition to growing the club side of the business, Phillip Mills spearheaded another innovative—and potentially huge—growth opportunity for the brand: licensed programming. The seeds for the idea had been sowed in the late 1960s, when he attended UCLA on a track scholarship. While in California, Mills couldn’t help but notice the rapidly growing popularity of aerobics. Coincidentally, he’d also been managing a rock-and-roll band with the hope of breaking into the music business in the U.S.

The aerobics trend and his back-ground in entertainment provided him
with the model for a program, and a way
to combine fitness and dance with his
love of music. It took some time for the concept to gel, but, working with his wife,
Jackie, a physician and former gymnast,
he developed BODYPUMP, a program
that combined aerobics, weights, and
music. The 60-minute class, introduced
at the Auckland club in 1990, featured
eight separate muscle-group-specific
songs, or “tracks,” along with opening warm-up and closing cool-down tracks.

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The Fun Factor

There’s a nasty little secret in our industry, and it has nothing to do with pricing, or contracts, or trainer certifications, or the cleanliness of your club.
The secret: Most people don’t enjoy exercising. In fact, many of them actually dislike working out. That’s the naked, unvarnished truth. Fortunately, there is a solution: making exercise fun and entertaining.

Turning club-based physical activity into something that’s engaging and enjoyable will keep members coming through your doors over and over again. That’s good for them—and it’s good for you.
We know that’s true, in theory, but how can you make exercise and entertainment synonymous in reality? For suggestions, CBI interviewed six industry thought leaders to get their take on how to achieve that golden goal—with and without the use of technology.

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Make Your Members Fall In Love with Fitness

Christophe Andanson“Growing membership is about building exercise adherence,” said Christophe Andanson, CEO of Les Mills Euromed, in a presentation at the 4th annual ChinaFit/IHRSA China Management Forum. Noting that the industry has a serious retention problem, he urged attendees to focus on getting members to visit the club at least once a week. “Two or more times would be even better,” he said.

Andanson contended that people join health clubs because they need help getting motivated to exercise. “They are looking for entertainment, community, and results – in other words, motivation,” he said.

“Attendance is the most important metric in the industry. You pay commissions to sales staff for signing up new members,” he continued. “Think about incentivizing your group exercise instructors based on how many people they have in their classes. The relationship between the instructor and participants is important – instructors make people fall in love with fitness.”

Also critical to motivating members is educating them about the health benefits of exercise, the importance of eating right, and abandoning unhealthy habits such as smoking, Andanson said. “If we don’t educate our members, we will lose them.”  

Andanson also emphasized the importance of club design and décor in creating a high-energy workout environment that would help to motivate members to visit the club and take classes more often. “Get rid of the mirrors in your group exercise rooms; people who feel they are out of shape do not want to look at themselves while working out.”

Finally, he said, focus on building community. Make the club a place where members can do things other than exercise. Help them connect to members with similar interests.


Les Mills Now Has Protein Supplement 

Les Mills is venturing into a new area that should pair well with its high intensity, energy sapping workouts.

The New Zealand-based company has introduced a protein supplement - Les Mills Good Protein. The product has only six ingredients, is sweetened with a natural sweetener and will provide energy and help with recovery.

“After asking our instructor tribe, we found many of the sports nutrition products they were using contain added sugars, fructose, fillers, and artificial sweeteners,” says Dr. Jackie Mills, Group Fitness director, Les Mills International.

Check out the Les Mills website for more on Good Protein.


Les Mills GRIT to Be Offered at 24 Hour Fitness

Business Wire photoLes Mills’s high intensity interval training series GRIT will be exposed to thousands of more people after a new deal with 24 Hour Fitness.

GRIT will be offered at more than 200 24 Hour Fitness locations beginning in December. There are three GRIT options:

  • LES MILLS GRIT CARDIO – Designed to burn fat and rapidly improve athletic capability.
  • LES MILLS GRIT PLYO – Combining the principles of plyometrics and power agility training, this program utilizes an exercise bench to build a powerful, agile and athletic body.
  • LES MILLS GRIT STRENGTH – This workout combines jumping exercises with agility training to increase explosiveness and build a lean and athletic body. 

“With the visionary support of 24 Hour Fitness, Les Mills can confidently say we are advancing our mission to create a fitter planet,” said Randy Drake, vice president of Business Development at Les Mills. 

For more information, visit Yahoo! Finance.


West Wood Clubs fight slow economy with Les Mills

A Les Mills class at West Wood Club.West Wood Clubs, in Dublin, give Les Mills programs a lot of credit for the facilities thriving during a slow economy.

Its Clontarf Road location has seen a 55% increase in group exercise class attendance and 1 in every 3 visits will attend a Les Mills Class.

"During the recent economic downturn in Ireland when many clubs were losing members at a staggering rate, Clontarf bucked the trend and improved its attrition," said Alan Leach, general manager. "I believe the huge improvements in club usage, group X attendance, and retention is 100% down to the amazing product that Les Mills provides.”

Visit for more on the clubs.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: new program by Les Mills

Photo courtesy Les Mills YouTube channelYeah, we know we say this all of the time, but, really, this may be one of the more diverse editions of This Week in the Fitness Industry. To wit:

  • Les Mills workout puts you 'in the zone'
  • Iraq vet becomes personal trainer to help others
  • Health club chain offering chance to meet KISS
  • Private equity firm sells off clubs

More on each can be found at This Week in the Fitness Industry.


Les Mills introduces new weights; giving away a set

To celebrate the ability to now purchase Smartbar through it's website, Les Mills will give away a 10-piece set to a fitness club.

Clubs can register through June 29 on the Les Mills Facebook page. A winner will be announced on June 30 on its Facebook page.

Starting June 30, Les Mills will begin selling the barbells that have a new ergonomic design and can be used as dumbells, too.

Les Mills is also introducing a new step system, Smartstep.



Video: Les Mills plyometric workout at Club Industry

Les Mills showed off its GRIT: plyo workout - an intense plyometrics-based workout - Thursday at Club Industy Live, a stage at its trade show.