ONLINE SIX-WEEK TRAINING COURSE:
CHARLOTTE THOMPSON, UK
Having taken a couple of years break from BODYCOMBAT™ due to injury and pregnancy, I wanted to return to teaching and several options were offered to me to re-instate my certification. With a five-month old baby and a five-month post-partum body, the option of completing the Online Advanced Training was appealing to me as I could fit it around my family life; there was no intensive physical weekend (and the associated costs); and it was a completely new training experience for me.
The journey was an interesting and poignant one. It was a journey of self-discovery for me at a point in my life where I had just turned 40, became a Mother, stepped away from my work and Instructor routine - a completely different life to when I first became an Instructor in 2004. I loved the deep dive into my “‘Why’” and “‘Values’” and reflecting on how these have changed over the years to carve a clear path for the future. It had an immediate positive impact on my classes. Overcoming my limiting beliefs was emotional and challenging and my amazing coach, Jess, went above and beyond with incredible support. She helped me to reframe my thoughts and use this positively in my coaching, helping me believe that I really could be the “fitness leader” that I wanted to be.
My development as an Advanced BODYCOMBAT Instructor is just beginning; some elements of my teaching improved instantly, whereas other areas will be an ongoing process.
For me, the positive effects of this course span wider than just my time in the studio. If you fully immerse yourself in this, it’s a little bit life-changing.
"I have come away feeling empowered, confident, excited to put everything I've learned into practice, and most of all I just feel so happy. I honestly feel like I've had an epiphany this weekend, with confidence I can take away from this course not only to make me a better Instructor, but that I can take into all areas of my life too. I would recommend Advanced Training to everyone, and have been doing so! I can't thank you enough for the most amazing and empowering course, it's been an absolute gift.”
- Helen Drake, UK
PAULA ISHAM, USA
I signed up for Advanced Training on the day I received the initial email from Kylie Gates and Dr. Jackie Mills. I had been teaching BODYPUMP™ for about seven months, and with a full-time career and busy family life, I knew two days away for an in-person training would be difficult to swing. When I saw the option to try the new online format, I knew this was the right option for me.
In January, I began the six-week journey, coinciding nicely with the one year anniversary of my certification. I decided that I would invest in the course with full energy, focus and enthusiasm, and quickly realized my intentional effort would help me successfully define my own success as a BODYPUMP fitness leader.
My class of 12 met virtually for the first time with our coach, Adam Bramski. He introduced us to the training format, online classroom, materials, and expectations. Our international group celebrated the fact we were the first online training to launch in the US! The online classroom allowed for personal introductions and we were quickly connected through our love of the program.
During the six weeks, I enjoyed the self-directed learning as it allowed me time to digest the information. Sometimes I did a 20-minute session having my morning coffee; other days, I set aside two hours for personal reflection and activities.
The thoughtful, bite-sized videos from the program directors and Les Mills Instructor Tribe were interesting and entertaining. The content was informative and meaningful, touching on a variety of topics such as finding your strengths as an Instructor, tapping into the essence of the program, and enhancing the workout experience for participants. Hearing from relatable, seasoned professionals first-hand was just what I was hoping for.
Along the way, I was able to put the new skills I was learning into practice. I had the opportunity to film at three different times, trying out new ideas, experimenting, and receiving valuable feedback from Adam. As a mentor, he was observant, encouraging and supportive.
My biggest take-way was how to blend the three dimensions (connect, motivate, educate) in a way that is authentic to my teaching style, and how to show my personal values of adventure, self-belief, determination and freedom.
Before each class I teach now, I take five minutes to center myself, breathe, visualize the Ultimate Me, and think about my participants. I do a handful of clean and presses, focus on one thing I want try outside my comfort zone, and greet every participant with a smile. I am aware of how I can connect with others with the end goal being their return to another class.
If you are considering Advanced Training online, the outcomes are directly tied to the effort you put into it. The time you invest in yourself as a fitness leader will come back to you threefold, which is ultimately a gift to your future participants.
As a fitness leader, I know why I do what I do and am anchored in my core values and empowering beliefs. I am encouraged to be myself. As a natural educator, I learned it's okay to let the script go, open my eyes, and respond with enjoyment in the moment. As Diana says, “When you show enjoyment, they will enjoy it more!”
I will continue to revisit the 54 pages of notes I took along the way, with the goal of refining my leadership skills as the beautiful journey progresses.
“After this weekend my mind changed completely thanks to Advanced Training! Never have I felt greater connection and emotion with my participants. If you want a boost in your teaching attend Advanced Training straight away.”
- Gabriel Hurtado Fuenzalida, The Nordics
LIVE 2-DAY COURSE:
LORNA FLINT, UK
Personal development has always been a big priority of mine and I strongly believe that Les Mills supports this. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into bad habits or become stale in our teaching (I think we’ve all been there at some point!), so I was intrigued by the new training and super excited to see what it had to offer. Having completed AIM 2 and become elite in two of my programs, I’ve already learnt a lot about myself as an Instructor. But I wanted to learn more, do more. What was this 80 percent new content? What could I learn? How would it make me go from Instructor to “Leader”?
Aside from downloading the manual, studying the videos, packing your bag with spare clothes/notepad/snacks, there is one more thing… tissues. Be prepared to dig deep and expose yourself to your past, present and future self. It’s not as physical as your Initial Training would have been but it is mentally challenging – in a good way of course. Start with an open mind and you will really benefit from what the course has to offer.
Finding my “why”
Rediscovering why we do what we do. WHY do I teach BODYATTACK™?
The WHY is at the core of what we do and is absolutely essential – it enables us to teach with intention. It’s “your calling”, as Kylie Gates puts it in the video clip. This was the hardest part for me – it was time to peel back quite a few layers… After brainstorming and support from the incredible Sam Russell (who coached it right out of me), I found it! It felt like a breakthrough, a relief. We linked our WHY to our individual values and beliefs – what fuels our why. Spending time on this just solidified why I do what I do.
I want to share my passion for my program with those around me, inspiring them to be a better version of themselves.
“For veteran teachers, it reignites the fire of WHY we teach. It's easy to burn out after years of instructing. This experience reminds us WHY we started teaching, WHY we continue to do what we do, and sheds light about bursting through our own barriers so we can be the best version of ourselves. This gives us longevity in this business and elevates the experience for our members.”
- Carrie Knight, USA
What is holding me back? What ARE my limiting beliefs? For me…
- I didn’t believe I was enough (I team teach with Instructors who can jump higher, make a class laugh, look more athletic than me).
- I overthink everything (constantly worrying if the class is having fun/getting something out of the workout. I could have said more/done more etc).
Once we’d found this, we had to transform our limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs. We had to step out of that negative mind space and actually give ourselves permission to be our own cheerleader. There’s a reason members attend your classes week-on-week: they come back for YOU. You ARE doing something right. Self-recognition is allowed and is necessary to empower your limiting beliefs. Again, for me…
- As cheesy as it sounds, I am enough.
- I’m mindful of my members because I care; that’s not a bad thing.
Being in the essence
We presented our given track three times over the weekend and received coaching. Unlike Initial Training, choreography was not a main focus; it was more about the overall presentation and being in the essence of your program by: your state of mind, what you do, what you say and how you say it. Are you demonstrating the essence of your programme and are you doing this AUTHENTICALLY? Are you being YOU?
This was done through self-analysis too, as we filmed ourselves with each presentation. There was a wonderfully warm and supportive atmosphere. We really were One Tribe.
Connect, motivate and educate
These are the three dimensions that ensure our members will keep coming back each week. We spent the second day analyzing the types of people who come to our classes and how to connect with, motivate and educate everybody in the room. We discussed teaching with external objectives and how this can shape our teaching, giving us real purpose. As Les Mills Instructors, we pride ourselves in delivering a quality experience to our members. The education on Day 2 was key to this.
The next day, I Immediately felt more positive and confident teaching than I had for a long time. I noticed how I cared about my members and how they cared about me (we chatted about our weekends and I was given a hug as I was going on holiday the following day – we are our own family). I applied different motivation cues, I connected with the music more, I looked around the room and actually responded to what I saw more. At the end of class, I felt amazing. My members felt amazing. I feel like I learnt so much in the space of two days and it’s already starting to land. Granted, it will take a while to fully apply everything I learnt and to accept my now empowering beliefs but it’s all a work-in-progress.
“It's easy to reach a level where you feel comfortable delivering a good class, but this training has given me an understanding of what I can do with the skills I have to take my class experience from good to great. And who doesn't want to teach a knock out class?”
- Sophie McIntyre, UK
For those thinking of doing Advanced Training, I would say…
- GO FOR IT – be bold and just book it!
- Approach it with an open mind – that way you’ll be able to get the most out of it
- Be mentally prepared and be emotionally ready to dig deep
- Take a notepad and write as much down as you can – you learn so much it’s impossible to absorb it all in the two days – you’ll be able to go back and reabsorb some information.
“To attend Advanced Training was probably the best choice I’ve done so far to be able to grow, both into a fitness leader but also on a personal level. During training you won’t get any exact answers, because there are none that’s true for all of us. You’ll get the help and guidance to figure out the answers that resonates to you. It will be challenging, and it may be scary at times, but in the end, what it’s all about is finding YOUR unique leadership.”
- Marika Berninge, The Nordics
Learn more about Advanced Training.