Les Mills is a name that often comes to mind first when you think about group classes, and for good reason. If you were unaware of where it all began, the fitness brand known as Les Mills was founded in the year 1968. This global phenomenon did not sprout from a few locations and a coordinated launch, but rather stems from a single gym situated in Auckland, New Zealand.


A brief history:

Leslie Roy Mills, who is a retired track and field athlete, breathed life into the localised fitness facility, however it was his son, Phillip Mills who drove the drastic change by establishing Les Mills International as a company in 1979. In the early 1980’s Phillip developed an exercise-to-music choreographed set of exercises, licensed them to the brand and trained instructors to present these programs to the public. It was at this point that the concept bloomed, as these initial Les Mills classes drew queues of people who were eager to try out an exclusive training session.


Having witnessed the success, Phillip, together with his wife Jackie, a doctor and former gymnast teamed up and through careful study, further evolved the program. It was in 1990, through the introduction of using weights during a choreographed set that they gave birth to BodyPump. Since then, Les Mills offers a plethora of different programs specifically tailored to focus on either Strength, Agility or Stamina, which are now being developed and presented by Phillip and Jackie’s children, Diana and Les Junior.

What you can expect: 

It is easy to see where the dynamic changed and what made the incremental difference in propelling Les Mills classes into their current stature. It was, and always will be about bringing people together and unifying them through a shared motivator, which can only be described as pushing the boundaries of conventional exercise routines and compounding them with the universal language of rhythm through music and the application of technologically advanced fitness equipment.


A study was undertaken through the Les Mills Lab to identify exactly what makes fitness fanatics “tick”. They aimed at leveraging their findings to assist them with fine-tuning their approach to their active programs, which has led them to either evolve or introduce a new program every quarter of every year in the past.

The study surrounded the subject of “groupness”, which is a scientific term that relates to the level to which someone feels that the group impacts their workout.


Study indicators highlighted that when members perceive that they rely on others in the class, groupness levels were high and on the other side of the scale, a lack of group interaction reflected low levels of groupness. This means that groupness represents a feeling that you are exercising with others and not just beside other people in a class.


The main motivators behind groupness include having a shared sense of purpose, simple structure, basic rules and a cooperative focus. These factors were found to enhance the attraction to being part of the group.


With 54 years of solid experience through tried and tested methods, Les Mills prides itself in offering some of the most challenging and physically exerting group class programs, that focus not only on the benefits of the individual but rather the wholistic gain of everyone participating. The success of these classes is measured through groupness, with the payoff being visible results both mentally and physically.


Proudly partnering with the best

Body Action Gym is proud to be an officially licensed Les Mills partner and it is through this partnership that we were honored to play host to the first quarterly event of 2022, which took place on 12 March and saw over 60 officially licensed Les Mills master trainers and instructors in attendance.


Having further identified a shared mindset in the well-being of our members, we are committed to presenting the most advanced and modern group classes available in the fitness industry. This mindset is amplified through our highly skilled fitness instructors, led by our group training coordinator and officially licensed Les Mills master trainer, Mooky Frank.


Les Mills classes boldly hybridise multiple disciplines to present an entirely unique offering. Les Mills group classes traverse and splice together workouts that explore cardiovascular activities such as cycling, athletic conditioning, martial arts-inspired sessions, balance, boxing, synchronised strength training using weights and even high-intensity interval programs.


There is no substitute for the groupness effect. It only takes having to attend a single Les Mills group class to understand what we mean. If you have considered attending one of these Les Mills group classes, take the next step by looking at the group class schedule on our website and booking your spot through Mywellness. We hope to see you soon and cannot wait to welcome you into our world of groupness.