Les Mills Live: London, March 2016

Les Mills’s BODYPUMP was my first ever introduction to free weights back in my early days of exercise in 2008/9. Back then I’d wanted to “tone up” (hadn’t we all!) and knew that weights were supposed to be the thing to get me to where I wanted. On Saturdays I used to do an hour long spin class and then head straight into BODYPUMP before the walk home, by which point all my limbs would be trembling!

It wasn’t until I went on my first Fitness Fiesta weekend break (did anyone else used to go to those?!) that I branched out into other Les Mills classes, trying BODYATTACK and BODYCOMBAT along the way. After this I picked up BODYBALANCE as another regular class, this time with my mum in tow – it was fantastic for her back.

Sadly, I left Les Mills behind when I started running more regularly, and then moved into CrossFit. So when they invited me to attend Les Mills Live at the Excel centre last weekend I couldn’t have said “yes” quicker!

Les Mills Live

Les Mills started out in New Zealand, where they have dedicated Les Mills gyms. In the UK (and many other countries), classes are licensed out to gyms and leisure centres, with instructors learning the choreography from DVDs and seminars by Master Trainers.

The fitness event (formerly One Live), aimed at Les Mills instructors and fans alike, is designed to motivate and empower like-minded people through the celebration of group fitness. Ticket-holders are entitled to attend six classes throughout the day (and there are plenty to choose from!), with opportunities to re-fuel and shop at Les Mills’s best bud Reebok’s store in their down time.

I met up with Elle (Keep it SimpElle), Jess and Bex (Twins in Trainers), and Charlie (The Runner Beans), who joined us later, and, kitted out in Les Mills branded gear thanks to Reebok, we took the show by storm!

Fitness bloggers tackle @lesmillsUK Live! Find out which classes they loved... Click To Tweet

BODYPUMP

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First up for us was a 60 minute BODYPUMP class, sweating it out in an auditorium packed with people. I took the not-so-conservative route of piling the weights on before remembering that oh-so-familiar BODYPUMP burn… the chest and lunge tracks left me weak! As we left the room after the class that feeling of post-workout exhilaration took over and we scoured the timetable for our next class, which was…

Sprint

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A 30 minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) class on the bikes, Sprint was set to give us a sweaty, leg-trembling workout. Jess, Bex and I did our best to keep up, but the instructors were phenomenal – I’ve never seen anyone’s legs go so fast! But don’t let that put you off – the great thing about Les Mills classes is that everyone can work at their own level, each getting the best out of the class.

The Athlete Village

After Sprint, we grabbed some lunch before exploring the Reebok shop and challenge area. The “athlete village” looked out over the main auditorium, where what must have been one of the World’s largest step classes was taking place. We stopped for a group photo (and obligatory blogger pyramid!) before the girls convinced me to take on the Reebok #gymiseverywhere challenge… flipping a 58kg tyre as many times as possible in 30 seconds.

I had two attempts, matching the current top spot on my first (check out my Instagram for a video!). But on my second attempt (to the cheering and counting of the girls)… I beat it by two reps! If my record stood to the end of the day I would win £100 voucher to spend at Reebok!

We then hopped into the Reebok #breakyourselfie booth before heading over to my last class of the day before heading home…

GRIT Plyo


Recommended to me as being of a good intensity for CrossFitters, GRIT (another 30 minute class) was a class I was keen to try. The Plyo version was, as the name suggests, full of explosive jumping exercises. We had a step and a 5kg plate to work with, and launched into pyramids of exercises in a format I’ve never tried before. Short rests and lots of high intensity movements make this a really good blast of a class, though again it’s suitable for all as the moves can be scaled.

After finishing up, sweaty, hungry and ready for an evening with my feet up, I hit the car park to drive home.

And the winner was…

I had such a fun day at Les Mills Live with the girls. The classes I tried, as always with Les Mills classes, were pitched at the perfect combination of intensity and fun. I’m sad I missed out on trying CXWORX, as this looked like a great class for challenging movement in different planes – something which is often missed out of most people’s programmes – but hopefully I’ll be able to try that another time.

Oh, and when I got home I got a phone call to tell me I’d won the #gymiseverywhere challenge! What a brilliant day!

Keep an eye out for the next event… word on the street is it’ll be in Manchester! You can find classes on the Les Mills website – they are licensed out to gyms up and down the country! Also, check out Elle and Charlie’s posts about the event over on their blogs.

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2 Comments

  1. 18th March 2016 / 3:21 pm

    I used to go to Fitness Fiesta too 🙂 I thought about doing a blog post reminiscing about those weekends. I used to do crazy amounts of classes over the 3 days.
    Well done on your tyre flipping- smashed it!

    • Georgina Spenceley
      18th March 2016 / 5:04 pm

      Ahh I used to love Fitness Fiesta. We should totally do a bloggers trip 😀 That would be so fun! Definitely do the post – I’d love to read it. Thanks RE the tyre flipping! It was so fun!

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