9 April 2021
As is often the case with great events, nothing in the beginning suggests that neither they nor the participants involved will go down in history. Les Mills’ system of training to maintain good shape and physical health is no exception.
It all started in 1968. Four-time Olympian Les Mills and his wife, also an athlete, opened a small family fitness club in their hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. Their business ambitions are modest – they simply offer basic strength and cardio training to the local community by healthy men and women.
Hardly then did they imagine that today, 50 years later, this fitness club will be at the center of a real world revolution. They hardly suspected that it would become a place where the greatest fitness talents develop new programs for keeping fit, based on a combination of music and movement, so that they can then present them to the world.
The great credit for this actually goes to Philip, the son of Les Mills. While still a student, he worked in the family gym after school – without much enthusiasm, to be honest. He earns pocket money by bringing magazines to the athletes who pedal the exercise bike and motivates them to keep training. The inspiration that this place could become a successful business project came years later while studying philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles. In the United States, the phenomenon of aerobics is emerging and gaining momentum before his eyes. Back home, in 1980, this time he eagerly entered the family gym to develop group workouts guided by the rhythm of contemporary music. The result of these first aerobic programs is queues of people waiting in front of the club in Auckland and the insight that the future belongs to group fitness.
Together with his wife Jackie, a doctor and former gymnast, Philip Mills has spent years developing the concept of group fitness, learning firsthand what makes a successful workout and thus failing a good workout. In 1990, the two changed the rules of the game to include weights. This is how BODYPUMP is born. Philip and Jackie hire, train and practically create a whole community of young and talented instructors to travel the world and present in other clubs the possibilities of group fitness and the results achieved with it. But they are not limited to this. The family of Les Mills programs continues to grow and yoga, cycling, dancing, martial arts, HIIT and many more are gradually being added to it.
The result to date is more than impressive – 20,000 fitness clubs around the world that offer Les Mills programs. Every three months, new music and new movements are developed, which guarantee the achievement of top results. Thanks to the children of Philip and Jackie, the future of fitness is a reality here and now, and the formula for success includes not only music and movement, but also science and innovative technologies.
Bulgaria is pleased to be on the list of countries that can take advantage of the system of innovative training. In Bulgaria, the Les Mills program is available in fitness clubs of the Next Level chain.
Next Level fitness chain is located in the city of Sofia and has 9 halls. Apart from fitness training, the Next Level sports chain is the only one in Bulgaria that offers Les Mills training programs with certified instructors.