· Fitness,Lifestyle

Hello and happy Monday!

Earlier this month the new Les Mills programme was launched and I got back into the country just in time to attend it. For those of you who do not know, Les Mills is a company that started in New Zealand and has rapidly become the world's largest provider of choreographed exercise-to-music fitness classes. There are a number of group fitness programs provided, four of which are HIIT (high intensity interval training.)

I attended my first Les Mills launch earlier this month at my local leisure centre after experiencing Les Mills classes before and kicking myself that I couldn’t attend the previous one!

The launch lasted from 1pm-4pm with 10 minute breaks after each 40 minute taster class. The launch at my local centre begun with Body Attack then Body Combat followed by Body

Step and Body Balance.

The first and most important thing about exercising in a group and that I felt from the launch was the atmosphere. Everyone is excited, pumped, friendly and ready to work hard and sweat harder. Everyone participating is given glow sticks as they enter the dimly lit hall, ready for an intense afternoon of exercising.

The second thing I loved about the launch was how interactive all of the instructors were. Doing HIIT workouts where you are physically dripping with sweat, it is important to have that motivation from others to keep going and to push harder with every move. I have always loved HIIT workouts for this reason, along with spinning, there is a lot of team spirit and interaction with one another to keep motivated.

Below I have made a brief summary of what each class is that I experienced at the launch for anyone looking to try new things or tone certain areas.

Body Attack: burning up to 730 calories, body attack is a HIIT fitness class that works the entire body like crazy for 30, 45 or 55 minutes (depending on where you go.) The moves contain a mixture of running tracks, jumps and lunges to build up strength and tone muscle. I religiously attend this class once a week as I love it for a full body workout and it is a perfect class for those who don’t have as much free time and can only make it to the gym once or twice a week but still want a full body workout.

Body Combat: in this martial arts- inspired workout class you can burn up to 740 calories. The moves are a mixture of Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Kung Fu. Although this class is a full body workout, the main focus is on arms and abdominals, which is a strong reason of why I love it, as these are my target areas. This class is so much fun with repetitive movements that really get you in to the beat of the song and make you focus on every move. I would recommend this class to people who like me, have arms and abs as their target areas, people looking to relieve some stress and have fun doing it.

Body Step: during this class you can burn up to 620 calories through a mixture of exercises involving a step to focus on toning your thighs and bum. The basic step movements are combined with push ups and burpees to incorporate the upper body in a cardio workout. For me I did not find this class as fun and intense as the first two and I need to be really pushed during a class in order to maintain my focus and energy and not get bored. Whilst doing this class I ended up getting a lot of the moves wrong because my heart wasn’t in it and I had lost interest, of course I still carried on and made the most out of it to work my body as much as possible but for me it is not one of my top picks. I would recommend this class to an older generation and beginners as the steps are simple and you work to your limit and your own abilities.

Body Balance: this yoga-based class aims to stretch and gain flexibility through a mixture of Pilates and Thai Chi moves. Breathing control is a large part of this class in order to feel centered and calm whilst stretching. Again as before this class was not suited to me as low impact classes do not grip my attention and engage me as much as HIIT workouts. I also stretch at home using certain moves in order to become flexible as a dancer, which usually only takes me up to 10 minutes rather than a full hour. I would recommend this class to people who are looking for an escape to not think and feel in a calm environment. I would also suggest this class more towards ballet dancers who need to gain flexibility and strengthen their body.

I hope my little insight and knowledge of a few of these classes has inspired you to do something or enlightened you on the range of classes available and what is most suited to you and your ability. Here's the link to their website for you to check out yourself.

http://www.lesmills.com

Until next time

J

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