I’ve been hearing about Les Mills classes and programs for years but never attended one. Now that I’m a group fitness instructor, I find myself looking for other fitness formats to add to my teaching schedule. And Les Mills is one of the formats that I’m continuing to see more and more about.
For those who aren't familiar with Les Mills, he’s a former New Zealand track & field athlete and Olympian. He opened his first gym in the late 60s, and his son Phillip started Les Mills International using his name. They developed high-energy aerobics and strength classes that have evolved into 18 fitness programs. One of these programs is BODYATTACK, which I’ll be reviewing today. Les Mills has over 130,000 instructors worldwide, and you likely have a gym in your area that offers some of their programs.
Luckily, Les Mills now offers Les Mills On Demand, which allows you to do Les Mills workouts from the comfort of your home. There’s a 10-day free trial for all first time Les Mills On Demand users. I’m currently using it to try out some of the programs.
I decided to try BODYATTACK first. BODYATTACK is available as a 55, 45, or 30-minute workout (I opted for a 55-minute video).
Here’s the description of BODYATTACK from the Les Mills website:
"BODYATTACK™ is a high-energy fitness class with moves that cater for total beginners to total addicts. We combine athletic movements like running, lunging and jumping with strength exercises such as push-ups and squats. A LES MILLS™ instructor will pump out energizing tunes and lead you through the workout – challenging your limits in a good way, burning up to 730 calories** and leaving you with a sense of achievement."
I went with BODYATTACK first because it sounded like a lot of HIIT, which is one of my favorite ways to work out. It also doesn’t require equipment, which is a huge plus for someone who enjoys working out at home. I did this 55-minute video in my basement.
Les Mills programs have new releases every 6 to 8 weeks. So, you should expect to see the same classes for a few weeks before the choreography and music change. The release that I did in this workout was BODYATTACK #99. Overall, I really enjoyed it! I found it to be pretty challenging, but they offered modifications frequently. This class is suitable for people at all fitness levels.
Although it was a 55-minute workout, it went by very quickly. The music is really motivating and I could tell that all of the choreography was very well thought out. There’s a lot of running and jumping; if you're looking for a good cardio workout, then you'll definitely get it with BODYATTACK. The video is really fun because you have a group of instructors leading the session. They split up the blocks of the class so that it's constantly changing. The video also shows them teaching to a large group, which helps keep you motivated. I’d imagine that this would be a super fun class to do live!
I would’ve liked to see more modifications for the core track. One of the exercises was a side plank on your arm; this doesn’t feel good for me, so I ended up doing my own core exercises during this portion. This said, I really appreciated the difficulty of the core track.
The session included a very solid warmup and cooldown. Honestly, the warmup was one of the best I've seen in a group fitness class. You truly get a balanced full body workout with BODYATTACK; there are some compound movements like burpees, as well as more isometric movements. Each part of my body got a good workout. I was legitimately sweating after just a few minutes.
While I'd love to try a live class, I felt that the On Demand version of BODYATTACK captured the high-energy nature of the class really well. The instructors all had great energy and excellent cueing. I'll definitely come back to BODYATTACK when I'm looking for a HIIT workout that doesn't use any weights or equipment.
I'm looking forward to trying other Les Mills programs while my On Demand free trial is still active! The regular pricing for Les Mills On Demand is $12.99/month in the US (no sign-up fee). If you're someone who really enjoys home workouts, this is a very cost-effective option. Personally, I prefer live group fitness classes. However, Les Mills On Demand could be a great resource if I find myself in between gyms.
Be on the lookout for more posts reviewing other Les Mills programs! Since I don't have much equipment at home, I'll probably be trying another one of the no-equipment-needed programs next. BODYCOMBAT and GRIT are the two that I'm eyeing!
Have you tried Les Mills On Demand? Do you attend in-person Les Mills classes? What's your favorite Les Mills program?
Let me know your thoughts!
Other posts you might like:
Group Fitness Audition Tips
How I Became a Barre Instructor
How I Passed the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Exam
Dominique Cheylise, 25 year-old engineer and group fitness instructor.