Star Les Mills trainer Romain Prévédello arrives for a video shoot at the Les Mills City Gym in Auckland, New Zealand, full of apologies. He’s not late, he isn’t pulling out – he’s just sorry about his English. “It’s not good,” he confesses. “Do you speak French?”

Luckily his English is better than my French, and we get by just fine. Working out is an international language, after all.

Hailing from Toulouse in the south-west of France, Romain combines his work as a Les Mills instructor and trainer with managing a local gym. Teaching across a range of classes – BODYATTACK™, BODYPUMP™, BODYSTEP, LES MILLS GRIT, RPM™ and BORN TO MOVE™ – he is always busy and always happy.

How did you first come across LES MILLS™ classes?

My first experience was when I trained at the gym and I watched a class. I watched a BODYATTACK class, and I stopped and I stayed there and I watched, and when I looked at my watch, 30 minutes had passed. I thought, wow, I want to do that!

When did you decide to become an instructor?

At school – because I loved sport, I loved sports clothes. So I searched on the Internet, what job I can do to wear sport clothes and do sport? Boom! Fitness instructor – this is my future job!

Were there challenges along the way?

The big challenge is, don’t be shy. Because each day, maybe three or four times a day, you are in front of forty, fifty, sixty, one hundred people. You are like an actor … so don’t be shy.

Tell me what you loved about the LES MILLS programs.

I loved the challenge. You can challenge yourself mentally or physically. So you take pleasure with the workout. To have fun is very important for me. Not just push hard to push hard – push hard for fun!

What is the secret of that combination of working hard and having fun?

First, I think the music is the most important thing, because the music creates an emotion during the workout. You feel something special during the LES MILLS classes, and I love that.

What would you say to someone just starting out?

First, don’t be afraid. Have fun. Just take pleasure. It’s not really important if the person can’t finish the exercise, but just take pleasure, and stop when you can’t do more – but try.

It’s about the group thing, isn’t it?

For me it’s a great experience, a great sensation a body sensation, a mental sensation. So you share energy with the group, like a team. I love that. I played football, and for me it is a little bit the same as the feeling you could have during a good training session.

So how do LES MILLS classes help with sport in general?

You use a lot of functional movement that you can apply to another sport. If you play football, BODYATTACK can help, because you have jump, agility, speed training, core training, with the interval training. It’s very good. I trained a rugby player in France with LES MILLS GRIT in my gym. It’s cool because it’s fun for him. Rugby players prepare a lot on the ground, so when they come into the gym and use the music and train with this workout, yeah, a lot of fun for us!

What’s a good mix of classes for someone wanting general strength and fitness?

For me, I think BODYPUMP and RPM is a good mix, because you have one for strength and for muscle, and another program for cardio training. These two programs are very easy to follow. You can choose your intensity, too – so your weight or your resistance. You can find your own level.

What’s the key to a successful training routine?

I think it’s the regularity – not too much working out, then nothing. Train your body two times, three times a week, but every week, all the time.

If I said you could only do one move, what would it be?

Burpee! Because with the burpee you use your whole body – your arms, your back, your core muscles, your legs. I love this move – it’s a very functional move. Everyone can do this move, fast or slow, but it’s the best, simple move to become fit.

What is the secret to being a good instructor?

First, love people, because it’s your only focus – to help people to become fitter and help people for their health.

And the rewards?

Maybe sometime you change life for another person, just during one class, maybe you can change the life of one person.

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