For Pryce Brown, lack of confidence had contributed to years of stress and anxiety. When his mental health hit an all-time low, he retreated to his garage and discovered BODYCOMBAT – sparking a chain of events that have since taken him from strength to strength… Read on to uncover his remarkable journey.

“I’d always been a hard worker and a high achiever – I was a competitive swimmer and surf lifesaver and professional dancer – but when lockdown hit my world was turned upside down and I started to spiral.

My confidence plummeted, I felt like a stranger had taken over my body and I was in a pretty low place. This is when I Googled online workouts and retreated to my garage to try and exercise.”

The early years: life before group training
When I was young, I was a swimmer and surf lifesaver. My parents were both swim coaches, so I grew up around the pool. This is where my competitive nature and drive first started. My parents encouraged me and taught me about hard work and commitment. Swimming was before school, from 4-6am and after school, from 5-7pm every single day. Then we had swimming club on Saturday and surf lifesaving on Sunday. The joy wasn't exactly sucked out of it, but you did feel worked to the bone.

Academically I worked pretty hard too. I wanted to be a forensic scientist and I was a straight-A student, doing extension English, maths, physics, chemistry and biology. But when I decided to jump out of physics, the only subject I could move into was dance. I found it extremely easy to get an A+ in dance, so I rolled with it. After school, I auditioned for the Queensland National Ballet. That's where I did three years of full-time training before I started dancing on cruise ships and teaching up and down Queensland. But then during lockdown, the dance industry pretty much shut down – and that’s when I discovered Les Mills.

a new way to move

I had no idea that discovering BODYCOMBAT™ would be such an amazing emotional release. It was the perfect escape. Just one hour of exercise could switch a bad day into a great day, and having the endorphins released throughout my body suddenly made everything feel better. Sometimes after just doing the warm-up or first combat track, I would have a cry and then feel 10 times better. It would reset everything within my body and I would be good to go. In those early days, I would listen to all the little things the presenters would say throughout the workouts, they would stick in my head and help me to become a much more confident person.

My shyness meant I didn't post in the LES MILLS+ community Facebook group at all when I started. But I kept an eye on it, and was inspired by how brave and honest everyone else was, so I started sharing my workouts to stay accountable. Not being able to see people's faces meant I wasn't nervous, so it was the perfect outlet – a really safe space.

The positive feedback from the group was so lovely. I had people telling me I was helping inspire and motivate them, which was something I’d never experienced before. It got me thinking that maybe I could become an Instructor and inspire more people. But then I would get inside my head and start telling myself I wasn't good enough. It was only when a friend in the group insisted I do the Instructor Training with her that I made the leap.

Jumping into the Instructor world

To be honest, it was daunting, and the first day of the training was pretty full-on, but I knew everyone was in the same boat. I used to compare myself to others, but throughout the experience, I tried hard not to. We're all our own version of ourselves, so we should just choose to be that – the best version of yourself that you can be. Everyone is there to learn, no one is there to judge. The biggest 'woah' moment was getting the Instructor Book on how to read the notes. It was a little like learning Morse code – at first, it bamboozled me, but once I got the hang of it, I was away!

Taking to the stage (again)

After completing my Instructor training, I started team teaching with my amazing mentor Grace. Sharing the stage with her and motivating others brought back all the happy feelings I had from when I was dancing.

I know it sounds dramatic, but truly the best part is seeing people's faces. You never know, it could be someone's worst day of their life, but as an Instructor, you can be that one little thing that just flicks the switch and makes them happy again. I had one girl tell me she'd been really struggling with her mental health, but that just coming to the classes had helped her so much and she was so grateful. It was so amazing to hear that I could help someone's mental well-being in the same way that Dan and Rach had done for me. That is definitely the most amazing and fulfilling part.

No one knows your journey, your struggles, and what you've been through except you. So it’s your chance to get on stage, take those experiences and use them to motivate and inspire others to do what you love.

“It was so amazing to hear that I could help someone's mental well-being in the same way that Dan and Rach had done for me.”

Unlocking a new level of confidence

I've been a competitive swimmer, and a Queensland surf lifesaver, I graduated from a prestigious ballet school and became a professional dancer. But despite this, feeling confident has been a constant struggle. I always held back because I was afraid of what others thought, but now I have the self-confidence to be myself and hold my head high.

Recently I was at the shopping center with my fiancé, he and I were walking along holding hands when a man looked at us and started laughing and pointing with his friends. For the first time in my life, I turned around and said 'Is there a problem?', and then they pooped their pants and scarpered away. In the past, I would have kept my head down and kept walking, but now I no longer let others bring me down.

“I have the self-confidence to be myself and hold my head high. I no longer let others bring me down.”

Traveling to the heart of it all

When I learned that BODYCOMBAT 100 would be filmed in New Zealand at the start of May, I knew it would be the perfect birthday present to myself. I had no expectations when I got on the plane from Melbourne to Auckland. But it was INSANE. On day one, walking to the Les Mills Auckland City gym, hearing the music, sitting at the back of the studio waiting for the class to start, I had tears in my eyes because I was so excited.

I was surrounded by some of the world's best Instructors and everyone was so lovely. I looked to my left and Dan Cohen was saying to me: ‘We appreciate you being here’ and Rach came over to me in the warm-up and said ‘When did you get here?!’ … I was like ‘What the hell, how do these people know who I am?’

“I just cried tears of happiness … I have never felt more welcomed, accepted and excited. I have never felt this happy.”

Finding a new comfort zone

Surprisingly, working out alongside all these amazing people didn't take me out of my comfort zone. If anything, I felt more in my comfort zone, because I felt like I was in such a safe place.

In that first class with over 250 people in it, the energy was insane, everyone was excited, and everyone was welcoming. It wasn't just in the studio but the whole Les Mills facility. Even just walking through the weights section (usually the part of the gym that intimidates me the most), I felt such positive energy.

This sounds corny, but after struggling with my mental health, coming to Auckland for filming felt like a full-circle moment. There were many times when I just cried tears of happiness. I kept thinking how I’d never felt more welcomed, accepted and happy.

I felt like I’d found a family and a second home.


  • I would either have my workout clothes on under my work clothes or have them ready on the kitchen bench as soon as I walked in the door at the end of the day. I would also have my house ready (I have to move the furniture to make space for my workout). If I move all the furniture in the morning, have my clothes on the bench, and know what release I am going to do … everything is ready. There are no excuses.
  • There are days when I don't feel it. But I just press play and aim to do 5 mins. Most of the time I end up doing the whole workout.
  • BODYBALANCE is always a great way to reset. Even if you just do the meditation sections. I didn't realize how much I needed meditation sometimes!


  • Go for it! Go to as many classes as you can.
  • Find yourself a good mentor, I can’t stress that enough. I went from being very nervous, but my mentor gave me this newfound confidence. She was there telling me 'You've got this’ and that changed the entire journey.
  • If you’re worried that you’re not going to be fit enough, it’s not that you’re not fit enough, it’s that you’re not confident enough. Fitness isn’t everything, it’s all in how you coach the class.
  • Have faith in yourself. I didn't have faith in myself from the start, and that’s what held me back… If I had confidence from the start, I could have been doing this six months sooner.