Les Mills classes never change.
Sure, they update the music, but it’s fundamentally the same experience. Don’t take that as a slight, it’s kind of the point. You know exactly what you’re in for when you arrive. A Saturday morning Body Attack class is something I hadn’t experienced for some time. Between injuring three of my favourite limbs, to getting back into drinking again, peaceful (relatively early) Saturday mornings haven’t been in abundance. However, a quiet night at home with my girlfriend cooking soup and marathoning Big Mouth was the ideal recipe for a 9:30am Body Attack.
I’ve been going to Les Mills classes since I noticed a trail of spandex clad butts walking upstairs at Auckland Les Mills aged 16. Like the pied piper, the siren song of teenaged gawking was enough to get me into the room. The class was fun enough that I kept going back for all the intended reasons: Spunky instructors cultivating a fun environment. Upbeat tracks that motivated me to keep moving. A low barrier to entry and the promise of an efficient workout within an hour.
It’s still the same moves with slight tweaks. Repeaters (standing on one leg and bringing the other knee up and down), jumping jacks, running on the spot, running with high knees, running with ankles to butt, high kicks, skaters (jumping from foot to foot, pausing on each side), tricep push ups, shuffles. It’s all the same. Just add music and an overly jazzed instructor. Sure, the order changes sometimes. Maybe there’ll be a small addition like mixing jumping jacks with squats. Really though, there haven’t been any serious shifts in the past 15 or so years I’ve been going.
Even the archetypes are the same. In every class there’ll be someone trying it for the first time. There’s always a frail elderly woman who you’re not sure actually knows there’s a class going on. She’s kind of just doing her own thing, which is amazing at her age. Maybe she lives there, who can say? There’s also another older lady (old dudes just don’t seem to show up with the same regularity) who’s been going for 30 years and knows all the moves. She’ll move into the advanced stuff before the announcer even brings it up. She’s perfectly optimised the whole moveset and has no interest in slowing down for anyone else’s sake. There’s someone for whom it’s not their first time, but they’re still having trouble with the choreo. There’s the overly enthusiastic dude (oh hey, it’s me) who adds some extra little flair into his moves, but is also a bit clumsy. A group of three girls in their early 20s who are going out for coffee after class. One of them doesn’t seem to like it as much as the others, but probably just wants an excuse to grab coffee with mates. Someone young with a dead set stare taking it all way too seriously. They never miss a rep and don’t bring water or a towel.
It’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. They’ve cottoned onto a successful formula and it’s all for the best. Honestly, I love being able to sweat a bunch in the morning (especially if I’ve had one or two drinks too many and I’m pushing out those toxins), then have the rest of the day to slowly meander home via coffee. Maybe even see the group of three at the cafe.
Oh Les Mills classes. Never change.