Helthcare & Wellness

Jun 1, 2017


Born in 1934, Leslie Roy "Les" Mills was a professional athlete that made a name for himself, having represented New Zealand on the Olympic Games on four occasions and on the British Empire's Commonwealth Games throughout 20 years, winning a gold medal on 1966. 

Two years later he would open its first gym in Auckland, which would lead to a real empire on fitness and well-being that today goes by the name of Les Mills International, founded by his son Phillip Mills.

The Les Mills gyms have won an international reputation and went global thanks to the creation of several choreographed exercises with music. If you usually go to a gym you surely already took a class, or read an advertising, for BodyStep and BodyPump; well then, those exercise programs are two of the 14 invented to date by Les Mills International.

Currently the Les Mills programs are present on more than 15,000 gyms with 130,000 certified instructors spread out through 100 countries all over the world, with an average weekly attendance of six million members.

Phillip Millis joined his father's business full time on 1980 and immediately started creating innovative ways to motivate people to exercise. Since he had a few friends on the entertainment industry they quickly thought about group exercises under the beat of modern music. Thus were born the first coordinated aerobics exercise, attracting crowds to the Les Mills gyms to a point of having, so the legend tells, lines on the streets. The success spread through New Zealand and Australia and, on 1997 with BodyPump, to the whole world.

After this first success there was BodyBalance and BodyCombat, the later adding martial arts to its exercises and rhythm.

Pretty much of all the exercises developed by the Les Mills gyms are currently a mandatory presence on gyms throughout the world. The secret of its success? To always be on top of the subject. After all if we are talking about programs that combine modern music with physical effort, how innovative it would be on 2017 if the program would still include the songs used on 1997? Did you think the songs you listen to on the gym, be it a Les Mills or one of the thousands that licenced its programs, are random or according to the taste of the instructors?

You're wrong, the Les Mills programs are updated every three months to avoid any sort of monotony, adapting the rhythms of the exercises to the hits of today's most recent modern music. After all its main objective is to inspire its members.

Besides working constantly on new choreographic exercises, having designed several options for adepts of all ages, starting at two year olds, the Les Mills also partnered up with the recognized brand Reebok, creating a line of clothing that shares its responsibility amongst the two brands to make sure that the Les Mills members have at their disposal the best and proper wear and shoes for their weekly exercises, never has science and rhythm pared up so symbiotically to promote a healthier world.

The Les Mills created up to date BodyAttack, BodyBalance (BodyFlow on North America), BodyCombat, BodyJam, BodyStep, BodyVive, CXWorx, RPM, Sh'Bam, Les Mills Grit, Les Mills Sprint and Born to Move. Not satisfied with that and always paying attention to the new technologies, since 2015 it started The Trip, an immersive exercise program on a digital 3 Dimensional environment that also a challenge to the senses, transporting the users to different spaces and even different worlds. 

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