"If I had to use one to word sum up filming over these last two and a half years during COVID-19, it would be… challenging!" says Producer Ross Peebles. "Nothing is ever certain and delivering new content for Instructors and consumers doesn’t seem to get any easier. While New Zealand is starting to open back up to the rest of the world, there’s never a dull moment during this global pandemic.
"The TV and film business remains busy in New Zealand, with many offshore productions continuing to shoot here. This means there's on-going pressures on studio space, crew, facilities, and equipment whenever we shoot. The pressures on music production as well as video and audio post-production are also significant. It’s definitely safe to say that COVID is still a regular and ongoing conversation!
"There’s always a silver lining though, and COVID-19 did throw up one great opportunity this round: we were able to secure Spark Arena as our filming venue.
"Spark Arena is a large 8,000-seat capacity venue in downtown Auckland which would not normally be available or within budget for Masterclass filming. With concerts, events and exhibitions still impacted by COVID, we were able to secure a booking within this world-class facility, which has hosted big names like Beyoncé, Bob Dylan and P!NK.
"Using Spark Arena meant we could go big! The Q3’22 Masterclass set was over 16 meters high and 45 meters wide, making it the largest set we’ve ever created outside of event-based shoots such as Sydney, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Stockholm. The creative concept involved a light and bright design made up of hundreds of meters of white fabric. A combination of heavy white fabric background, LED screens and sheer white fabric foreground created an ethereal feel for many of the programs.
"There were no audiences (except for LES MILLS GRIT and LES MILLS SPRINT) due to COVID-19, but from every challenge comes an opportunity! Not having audiences meant we could once again do a “wet down” of the venue floor. While pouring hundreds of liters of water all over the floor was initially met with some skepticism from the team, visually I think the results speak for themselves. The reflections were sublime and really added to the ethereal look of the round."
THE TRIP 30: THE TRIP Team
Presenter: Chris Richardson
‘T E M P U S’
Are we in the past, present, or future?
Ultimately, it’s up to each rider to decide as we explore the concept of time travel across three eras.
Each era commences with a tunnel that transports us to an ancient land. Initially, we’re dominated by speed, before being challenged by big climbs. Each era progresses musically and visually, and the intensity naturally ramps up in line with this.
We loosely define each era and their progression by using some simple elements: Era 1 is barren, and we encounter stone, wood, and fire elements. Era 2 is populated with vegetation and metal, mechanics, and tungsten light. Era 3 is blanketed with ice and snow and illuminated elements.
Now let’s bring our attention to the workout, which is once again a wonderful, continuous, free-flowing ride.
The mix of speed and climbs are occasionally broken by short breaks. Once we reach the back end of the ride, our breaks are a bit longer. Our fitness endurance will definitely benefit from the longer working phases this ride provides!
We also play with being ‘Athletic & Animated’ which, as we know, allows us to connect to the ‘Music & Visuals’ in a unique way. We anchor this concept with the idea of riding in a way that makes us feel good. This open and inclusive way of allowing each rider to move in a way that works for them is both empowering and engaging.
BODYATTACK™ 117: LISA OSBORNE
Presenters: Lisa Osborne, Bevan James Eyles, Sivi Rabukatoka
“This is a super special release for me because my son, Jackson, is shadowing for the first time!” says Lisa Osborne. “He absolutely loved filming and it was amazing to have him on stage with me. I had a fantastic team this round, which included one of the members from Les Mills Auckland City, Camilo. He’s not an Instructor, but I wanted to include him to represent all of our incredible participants from around the world who have so much love for our program.
“This release is full of uplifting and motivational tunes to inspire everyone to challenge their own fitness. We kick off with an energy-filled track in the Warm-up. You can add play, flava and dance into the OUT OUT Mixed Impact track and then bring the energy into the Aerobic track. The Plyometric track has been inspired by sports. The Skater and Straight-Jump Combo will hook everyone into the training effects of the track and the Lunges and Burpee combo will spike everyone's heart rates and get their legs burning.
“Bring the Energy to the Athletic Strength track. The focus is on core stability, hip strength and control to improve balance and load under tension, and the Pushups will challenge all fitness levels.
“Sing along to Cold Heart in our Running track and bring all of the happy feels. The Agility track is super strong with the Speed and Agility focus and highlights rotational power! The training effects are awesome.
“Belt out Never Let Me Go in the Interval track and then Here We Go is a massive peak in the final Power track!
“This is a great release to inspire all levels of fitness, and it's a great opportunity to get the family involved! All ages and all levels of fitness are welcome – share the energy!”
BODYBALANCE™ 97: JACKIE MILLS AND DIANA ARCHER MILLS
Presenters: Kylie Gates, Fraser Beck, Joash Fahitua, Khiran Huston, Yayoi Matches
Hello to all you wonderful international BODYBALANCERS! I know we say this every time, but this release is truly a special one.
Some of the music made us weep as we were choreographing. A lot of the movements, challenges, optional advancements, and potential transitions made us laugh uproariously. But most of all, when it was finished and we went through the workout over and over, it just went by far too quickly. We think it’s a sign we’ve made a class that will transport you somewhere else, as it does us.
Every track is a highlight! Every option that you can choose to take turns the workout into something different each time you do it. Take this release and have fun with it. Play with your class, encourage the joy of the options, and hopefully it doesn’t go by too quickly.
Lots of love,
Jackie and Diana
BODYCOMBAT™ 92: DAN COHEN AND RACHAEL NEWSHAM
Presenters: Dan Cohen, Rachael Newsham, Vili Fifita, Antoine Sagne, Natasha Vincent, Erin Maw, Benjamin Siolo, Marlon Woods
“Coming back to present on BODYCOMBAT was an unexpected blessing and it felt so natural to join the team again," says Benjamin Siolo. "The last time I filmed BODYCOMBAT was on release 78, back in 2018, which means I'd been away from the filming stage for four years. I love how the program has evolved since then and I was determined to come in ready to throw down and bring the tracks to life."
"It felt amazing to be part of the team joining Dan, Rach, Erin, Antoine, Marlon, Tash and Vili. What was so powerful for me was being on stage with Vili and Tash. We started our journey as teammates at the New Lynn club and, as the Group Fitness Manager at the time, I had the opportunity to mentor them early on in BODYCOMBAT. In my own BODYCOMBAT journey, Dan and Rach have given me incredible opportunities for growth and development, so to be on stage with them as well as Tash and Vili really felt like things had come full circle. There was an amazing level of trust between the team and a shared spirit of wanting to bring the very best of ourselves to the program.
"My favorite tracks are 2, 4, 5 and 8.
"The music in Track 2 is absolutely banging and the combos feel amazing! They're hard-hitting and powerful, and they create an incredible cardio lift early on in the workout. Vili brings this track alive – I can’t wait for everyone to get into it.
"Track 4 is leg heavy and the music is emotional. The focus is about overcoming struggle, which resonates with me powerfully because I've worked hard to overcome some dark moments of struggle in my personal life over the past 18 months.
"I presented Track 5 with Antoine and it's a high energy, playful, MMA-inspired circuit training track. It has a combination of core and bodyweight strength exercises on the floor with power boxing combos. It brings challenge and innovation to the workout, whilst remaining achievable for all fitness levels.
“Track 8 is the pure essence of BODYCOMBAT: it will make you feel unleashed, empowered, and give you that sense of achievement that comes with finishing the workout.”
BODYJAM™ 101 GANDALF ARCHER MILLS
Presenters: Gandalf Archer Mills, Meno Thomas, Dannielle Lally
BODYJAM 101 is BIG LIT ENERGY but you knew that already eh? It’s BODYJAM so what elsewould it be? Am I right?!
Track 1 sets up some simple Heels Taps and a whole lot of butt work. Track 2 might actually be TOO MUCH – the legs, the whacks, the feels. The HYPE is real!
Track 3 starts up with Big Lit Energy – an easy bounce side to side, some quirky twerky armlines overhead, then more of those delicious Heels before the even more delicious remix of DJ Turn It Up. This is gonna make your class go BOOM!
Trampoline introduces the best new arm combo I’ve made up (since BODYJAM 100 at least).
Then, our big moves spark up some major flavas when combined with the banger of the year, Big Energy. There is this crazy Spanish track called Chicken Teriyaki, which is where we combo the combos.
The Rave introduces the best new arm combo since, well, Trampoline.
Then the actual greatest track of the year, Edamame, makes 85 separate appearances with the Radio Edit (the remix of all remixes), then an Instrumental, and then, hey, why not bring it all home with the Radio Edit again!
Ziki Ziki is actually the Korean phrase for ‘funnest Recovery track ever’ which is a remarkable coincidence because guess what the Recovery track is...
LEETTT'SSSSGGOOO, Curazao will challenge your expectations of how much cardio can be produced from a single dance combo. This New Wave track called Beam might actually be too heavy – maybe turn it down a lil? Jokes.
A stunning new track, Say Nothing, gives your class all the space to learn some serious dance moves. Then Industry Baby is super playful to dance out what we've learned so far.
We Are One is next and might be the happiest song I've ever heard. OMG, I LOVE THIS SOUND!
Then I don't even know how to describe this last track, Crush. Like what type of music is this? Is it Trap? Is it Hardstyle? Is it EDM? I don't know, I don't think anybody knows. But what I do know is that THIS GOES HARD!
Bring it down to Better Days and just imagine the world around you if you didn't have BODYJAM 101 in your life. That makes me sad to think about – lucky we do have it in our lives. I think we might be the lucky ones.
BODYPUMP™ 122: GLEN OSTERGAARD
Presenters: Glen Ostergaard, Kylie Gates, Ben Main, Vili Fifita, Des Helu, Khiran Huston, Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u, Marlon Woods, Diana Archer Mills
"I can’t pick a favorite song in this release," says Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u. "The whole playlist is just phenomenal. I think people are going to love BODYPUMP 122 because it's very strong and grounded. It's kind of old school BODYPUMP with a 2022 feel.
"My favorite track is the Biceps Track. I freaking love the song, Humble. It's really grunty and motivating. Khiran and I know the entire rap part off by heart! There's a brand-new move, the Preacher Curl, which is inspired from the gym floor. It brings a fresh and different feel to the workout – my arms were burning on stage while I was trying to smile and look pretty!
"I presented the Squat track with Glen, and we had a fun idea to play 'Paper, Scissors, Rock' in the middle of the track to see who had to add more weight to their bar. You'll have to watch the Masterclass to see who was happy with their outcome!
"The Shoulder Track introduces the I’s, Y’s and T’s. I found it really interesting to see which letter we were the strongest at and which we found the hardest; it's a great way to identify areas of weakness you may need to focus on."
Khiran certainly agrees. "The shoulder track is amazing. It’s got that real PUMP feel when you transition from the plate work to the bar work: you pick up the bar, stand your ground and start moving on the drop – goosebumps!
“I teamed with Vili on the Back Track. Now I’m the first to admit – I’m not the best at silence. However, over filming week we worked really hard to make this incredible training set “pop”. We found a really good sync and almost reversed “roles” in parts of the track with me channelling his strengths, and vice versa.”
BODYSTEP™ 128: MARK NU’U-STEELE
Presenters: Mark Nu’u-Steele, Lisa Osborne, Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u, Martine Matapo-Kolisko, Otto Prodan
“Release 128 is a fun, vibrant class,” says Mark Nu’u-Steele. “It has a strong focus on simple step patterns to cater to new people, but with a strong connection to musical feel and uplifting energy to keep our regulars happy. My favorite tracks are Peak 2, Enemy, which has a superhero theme, and the Party Step where we created our very own BODYSTEP sassy TikTok routine to Do It To It.”
“Track 2, Beware of the Dog, is an old school banger,” says Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u. “As soon as it comes on you know it’s going to be a good time!
“We have speed taps in Track 4 to this really heavy bass, which feels really motivating. We also have a new walking plank burpee. It’s super inclusive though, so participants don’t have to go to the floor if they don’t want to.
“Track 7, Party Step, is super freaking fun! Lots of cool armlines, very dancey, and it may or may not have a Krump move in it… if you want to see my father and Lisa krump it out on stage then you MUST watch the Masterclass!
“My favorite track is 9, Scandalous. No matter how tired I am, when I hear that song it makes me move automatically – like a rush of energy through my body. It gives me goosebumps every time! It’s fierce, it’s super motivating and tons of fun. I love it!”
Mark adds: "I was working through an ankle injury at the time of filming. Unfortunately, that meant I had to pull out of filming LES MILLS TONE, but I was able to make it through BODYSTEP as 'options guy'. As everyone knows, injuries really suck, and this one has required 3 months of physiotherapy and rehab to remedy.”
LES MILLS CORE™ 47: CREATIVE TEAM
Presenters: Corey Baird, Erin Maw, Otto Prodan, Natasha Vincent, Vili Fifita
"This release has a real mix of strength, coordination, balance and endurance," says Otto Prodan. "There are long sets of work in Tracks 2, 3, and 4 which build core strength and endurance. Track 6 is super cool and will definitely test your stability and balance. There's also an epic animal track which improves our cardio fitness and coordination.
"I love the new move in Track 4, the 'fire hydrant'. It's a fantastic exercise to strengthen our Glute Medius. This track also has a LOT of squats, so we hope you love the burn!
"There are lots of sing-along songs in CORE 47. As well as recent hits like Bad Guy, there are also classics such as Jolene and Daddy Cool. Singing along may also provide a good distraction from the challenge of the workout!"
LES MILLS GRIT™ 41: CREATIVE TEAM
Presenters: Erin Maw, Savannah Palmer, Tash Vincent, Joash Fahitua, Vili Fifita
LES MILLS GRIT 41 is in town and it’s got a side helping of Tabata to give you an incredible workout!
Four Tabata tracks, each getting longer, gives this workout an epic feel and makes it easy to learn. Either side of this we have a 2-minute ladder to keep us all honest. The Warm-up continues where LES MILLS GRIT 40 left off: 30-second intervals in a simple structure, then we finish with a Core Challenge ladder.
LES MILLS GRIT Strength: The mix of compound barbell work with heartrate-lifting bodyweight moves (hello Burpee with a Renegade Row Pushup) will have you and your classes feeling INCREDIBLE! As you power through all the challenges that Release 41 has for you, one thing you’ll know is that you are going to be fitter and stronger than ever by the end of the workout.
LES MILLS GRIT Cardio: The mix of dynamic standing work and core-busting floor work will leave you and your classes feeling awesome! Watch out for the advanced options if you really want to take this workout to the next level.
LES MILLS GRIT Athletic: Get ready for some pyramid training! This time we combine with GRIT Cardio for an epic workout. The structure is simple and effective. We build up to long sets, then maintain intensity as we shorten the sets on the way down. There’s a blend of Speed, Power and Athleticism as we mix some cool new combinations with some classic LES MILLS GRIT moves. All of this, wrapped up with
some fresh new music, will ensure you and your team stay on top of your game!
Have an awesome time with this release – good luck and “kick some butt!”
Erin and the LES MILLS GRIT team
LES MILLS SPRINT™ 28: GLEN OSTERGAARD
Presenters: Glen Ostergaard, Khiran Huston
“The music is UNREAL in the first Power working block of SPRINT 18!” says Khiran Huston. “It’s so good that really it does the coaching for you.
“Glen and I really took team teaching to a new level for us in this release. When it comes to SPRINT, we’re really connected to the workout, which creates this organic understanding of each other’s coaching style and strengths.
“We almost went working set for working set the entire release, which was really challenging as we obviously need to role model the coaching layers. Sometimes team teaching can feel repetitive (for example, it’s easy to repeat Layer 1 over and over again and then go straight to Motivate, which can impede the journey within the track). I feel that not only did we do this well, we also brought a new perspective on HIIT that we hope to build on over the next few releases.
“The energy of the music and working sets are going to transcend your fitness. Glen has done an incredible job of maximizing our training in this release!”
LES MILLS TONE™ 18: DIANA ARCHER MILLS AND KHIRAN HUSTON
Presenters: Khiran Huston, Vili Fifita, Otto Prodan, Martine Matapo-Kolisko
“Soooo, Vili wasn’t originally part of the TONE team and we were both quite happy to have a little break from each other!” says Khiran Huston. “I’m obviously joking – we’re husband and wife and filming weeks are very full on; presenting four programs each is massive. When we film TONE together, we often end up spending our home life practicing, so the days end up being very long. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mark Nu’u-Steele and Kaylah-Blayr were unable to film so, ironically, we had to call on Vili last minute to join the team and “save the day”. He reminded me of this fact throughout the rehearsals… Even so, I was very glad to end up filming with him.”
“TONE has always been super athletic, but this release turns up the dial even more!” adds Otto Prodan. “The athleticism kicks in right from the start, and the first three tracks set the tone for the entire release. It’s a very functional, fun and dynamic workout.
“Track 3 integrates everything I love about TONE: high energy, big beats, dynamic cardio and an achievable challenge. Music wise, nothing beats the drop in the chorus of Track 2. The way the choreography builds with the journey of the song is just epic.
“Participants will get an amazing workout whether you teach the base or advanced levels. In the Strength tracks they have the freedom to choose bodyweight, resistance band, small or heavy weights. On the Masterclass, watch Martine absolutely boss the Lower Body Strength Track with both band and weights!”
RPM™ 95: GLEN OSTERGAARD
Presenters: Glen Ostergaard, Mandi Hirini, Tommi Wong, Laura Johnson, Elodie Rodriguez
“This release speaks one thing loudly and clearly and that's INCLUSIVITY!” says Mandi Hirini. “You’ll see this on the Masterclass in both our coaching language and how we delivered the tracks. It was a first in RPM to have the presenters team teach tracks, and we were able to channel each other’s energy to truly celebrate working out together. It reaffirms the heart of what RPM is about.
“The choreography is simple to deliver and follow. There’s heaps of contrast in the music, from absolute sing-a-long bangers, to emotive melodies where you don't need to say anything!
“Filming week was all about female energy! It was Glen and all the girls, AKA Charlie and the Angels hahaha. We all bonded well and came together on the day feeling like a real whanau. It was incredibly special!
“My favorite tracks are 2 and 6. They are raw, powerful and emotional tunes that create a journey in music and workout. They hit in all the right ways.”