How long do you think it takes to create a new program from scratch?
I mean, from Phillip, Jackie, Diana and Les thinking about it, to your club licensing it and you becoming an Instructor in that program?
If you guessed over a year, you’d be right. In fact, the average length of time the team will spend working on a new program imagining, testing it, and refining it will typically stretch to two years. That’s the investment, time and money that is put into every single Les Mills program to ensure that when it shows up for you, we know we’ve got it right.
As a Les Mills Instructor, you know that this company is all about innovation. We are constantly looking for ways to improve, evolve, and disrupt the traditional norms of the fitness world. And because we want to ensure that YOU are the first in the world to hear about our innovations, we wanted to share the news that we are currently testing two new programs, CEREMONY and CONQUER, at Les Mills Auckland City.
The club itself has been through a major reconstruction over the last 18 months, with an expanded 100-person LES MILLS GRIT studio and a new 100-bike Immersive Cycle studio that is getting 2,500 rides a week!
The most recent additions are a newly-developed functional training area designed specifically for CEREMONY:
With a new two-level space designed around new boxing conditioning workout CONQUER:
So what are these workouts?
CEREMONY is a 45-minute functional training workout using different exercises and multiple pieces of equipment. The focus is on whole-body, strength, cardio and conditioning within a shared community experience.
“Functional training is the future of resistance-based exercise,” says Les Mills Product Innovation Team member, Ezra Fantl. “But the barriers of intimidation can be quite high.
People want to do this style of training but want to feel like they belong, without risking injury.
“CEREMONY is our take on functional training. We use all sorts of equipment; SkiErgs, rowers, agility ladders, sleds, kettlebells … but we aren’t stuck in a mindset that doesn’t let us innovate. We also incorporate explosive exercises, balance and coordination drills, and whole-body flow-based movements like bear crawls.
CONQUER is a 45-minute complete boxing conditioning workout that uses a trio of treadmill running, aquabag punching, and resistance-based cardio exercises like ball slams and skipping. Blending these components gives you an experience unique to Les Mills, the workout is structured like a boxing match: three minutes of work, with one minute to recover and transition to your next station.
Boxing training has been an effective style of training for centuries, but again, there is an intimidation factor. CONQUER seeks to lower those barriers and bring this kind of workout to a wider market.
“We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate as you walk into the room, the lights are low and the workout is completely your own,” says Les Mills Product Innovation Team member Adam Lazarus. “You can be a professional boxer, or never have thrown a punch, and you will get a great workout.”
Will these workouts coming to your club?
At this stage, Les [Mills Junior] and his team are still honing and refining the workouts in Auckland City. They will then be tested with a few select clubs overseas before a decision is made on whether they will be rolled out worldwide.
It’s this testing in the Auckland Club that ensures that the home of Les Mills is leading the market. As Les says, “This is our flagship gym, the home of Les Mills, and it is our testing ground. If you talk about the ‘Les Mills Lab’ or a center of excellence, this is it right now.”