Do you remember what it felt like to take your first steps into the cycle studio?
Chances are, you didn’t feel as confident as you do now. As Instructors, it can be difficult for us to remember just how intimidating that room can be! But there is a huge number of people out there for whom making that transition from the gym floor into the group fitness studio just feels way too scary.
Enter the LES MILLS VIRTUAL BIKE. This is a brand new product which has been designed to make the Les Mills cycle programs accessible to a wider group of people – and by extension encourage these people off the gym floor and into our live classes. Les Mills has partnered with Stages Cycling to create this stationary bike on which riders will have the choice of RPM™, LES MILLS SPRINT™ or THE TRIP™.
So, what does this mean for Instructors? Are live classes going to become redundant?
No way! Les Mills knows that nothing beats the energy of a live workout experience, and that personal connection we create with our members. After all, a Virtual Glen doesn’t know when it’s Hayley’s birthday or that Rob is trying to lose five kilos for his wedding… The live class is still the premium experience, and that is never going to change.
The LES MILLS VIRTUAL BIKE has been designed to complement our classes by:
- Allowing new people the autonomy to try a Les Mills cycle class by themselves, without having to venture into the studio
- Giving our regular participants the flexibility to do a workout whenever it suits them, meaning they stay connected to the program and are more likely to keep coming back to live classes
Consider this: last year, 36.1 million Americans rode a stationary bike, and 8.9 million participated in a group cycle class. The difference is 27.2 million people who could be in our classes, experiencing the magic of group fitness! The rise of boutique studios and at-home cycle products means that cycle fitness is riding a wave of popularity right now – so it’s the perfect time for us to invest in this space with innovations like THE TRIP and THE LES MILLS VIRTUAL BIKE.
Furthermore, this new product is a great way to introduce the Les Mills cycle programs to clubs who may not yet license our programs. The long term goal is that clubs will upgrade and license their studios with our programs – once again increasing the opportunities for cycle Instructors.
I’m super excited about this new product, and the potential it has to grow attendance in our live classes. In fact, research* shows that 75 percent of Virtual users also attend live classes, and there is a 12 percent increase in live class attendance when Virtual and live workouts are both offered in club. It’s just one more way that we can introduce Les Mills cycle classes to new participants – and give them the confidence to take the step into a real life class.
* Wexer global consumer survey 2016.
Josh Berrier has been teaching for 11 years. He is a Trainer and Presenter in THE TRIP, LES MILLS SPRINT, RPM, CXWORX™ and LES MILLS TONE™. He also teaches BODYCOMBAT™, BODYPUMP™ and LES MILLS GRIT™. He is based in New York City, USA.
The LES MILLS VIRTUAL BIKE will be available from October in the US and UK, and will be followed by the rest of the world in 2019. Read more on the bike here.