You thought you were fit… until you tried LES MILLS GRIT. If you’ve experienced this program, you will know that it tests your fitness to the limits – and then some. You know that feeling when you’re on your knees gasping for air and think you can’t do one more Burpee? The good news is that that kick to the heart rate is propelling both you and your members into an elite athletic zone.
LES MILLS GRIT was founded on athletic training. The original concept was to take the components of an athlete’s program out of the sports field and weights room, and deliver them in a HIIT format. The performance attributes needed by athletes – speed, strength, and explosive power – became the three formats CARDIO, STRENGTH, and PLYO. Glen Ostergaard, Lisa Osborne and Mark Nu’u-Steele were the original choreographers, and they took the pure athletic elements out of their programs and developed LES MILLS GRIT from these components.
With these athletic foundations in mind, the research team at Les Mills International wanted to see if the program could enhance the performance of not just regular gym goers, but of real life athletes.
The researchers took a group of elite women soccer players and manipulated their pre-season training. For six weeks, eighteen elite women soccer players replaced eight hours per week of their training program with five hours of a unique training intervention. They completed two hours of soccer-specific cardio training, two hours of BODYPUMP™, and two 30-minute LES MILLS GRIT sessions. The LES MILLS GRIT sessions meant they were spending an hour in the 85-100% heart rate zone – the “red zone” where we can shift our fitness fast.
The point of difference is that these study participants were a highly unique population. Remember, these women were not your regular gym-goers or group fitness enthusiasts – they were top-level athletes.
The results were awesome, and give this program credibility as a fantastic training option for athletes.
In just six weeks, the players managed to increase their lean body mass by an average of 2kg and increased their VO2max by 10%. This is a highly significant shift in such a short space of time – a 10% increase in VO2max will instantaneously take your training to whole new level and increase the intensity across all your workouts. This result proves that HIIT enhances athletic performance, as both of these factors are directly correlated to output.
So what does this mean for us as Instructors? Well, first off, you can tell your members about the athletic benefits of the class. You know that guy who is training for a marathon? You can tell him that LES MILLS GRIT is going to improve his efficiency to deliver oxygen to the muscles which will improve his overall endurance.
You can also share with them that participating in 2x HIIT workouts per week will instantly increase their output in other classes like BODYCOMBAT™ and RPM™. In fact, you can see these results in the graph below, where a participant in our study at Penn State on active adults increased his performance in RPM after only 6 weeks of HIIT training. LES MILLS GRIT is not just about delivering the aesthetic benefits of toned arms and a tiny butt (although this is definitely a great benefit!)
And, of course, we Instructors are athletes too. Including LES MILLS GRIT in our training regime is a great way to enhance our own performance and ensure that we are staying at the top of our fitness game.
To help you share this research with your participants, please download these social media resources and suggested teaching cues here.