Les Mills: The essential facts and why you should try it today

If you are a follower of fitness news and trends, you may have heard the name “Les Mills” being brought up again and again. The innovative workout program is sweeping the globe, with millions of dedicated members of the “tribe” achieving their health and strength training goals every day with the assistance of qualified instructors and trainers. But what is Les Mills and how does it help program members achieve their gains?

What (and Who) is Les Mills?
The innovator behind the program is Les Mills, the program’s namesake, a four-time Olympian and founder of the Les Mills World of Fitness chain of gyms in Auckland, New Zealand. Mills was a keen observer of the developing area of aerobics training and beginning in the 1980s, Mills started designing a specialized group workout program set to music. The music, Mills noticed, helped members stay motivated and made it easier to sync up with the moves being taught by instructors. Since then, Les Mills programs have exploded and are now available in clubs and gyms all across the world, as well as “On-Demand” home workout programs.

How does it work?
Les Mills offers a dozen different workout programs, each one customized to target a different fitness goal. Each is a multimedia workout experience, featuring aspects of dance, strength training, weight lifting, cardio, even combat and karate training into a uniquely designed exercise class. From its most popular BODYPUMP – aimed at getting members toned and lean through the use of scientifically proven moves and techniques – to the yoga-based BODYFLOW focusing on breathing control and flexibility, Les Mills offers something for everybody – and every body.

As part of our over 50 weekly group exercise classes, Ellis Athletic Center offers Les Mills, bootcamp classes, fitness trails, triathlon training as well as lower impact options such as Yoga, Pilates and SilverSneakers. Combined with our expert personal trainers, state of the art facilities and luxury amenities, Ellis Athletic Center is the most important stop on your path to greater fitness and health.

5 advantages of group exercise

You’ve been there: After a long, busy day at work, the last thing you want to do is get off your comfy couch and head to the fitness center. But you also understand that skipping your exercise routine on a regular basis isn’t good for your physique and overall well-being. How can you motivate yourself to get up and get moving on those nights when it seems impossible? Consider group exercise.

Taking a fitness class and working out with your peers is one of the easiest ways to socially interact and stay on track to achieve your goals. So why not give it a try? Here are five advantages of getting physically active with a group:

1. Motivation
When you place yourself in a group of people reaching for the same goals as you, you’re likely to push harder than you would on your own, according to Livestrong.com. Classes are lead by fitness instructors who are trained to motivate you throughout the workout to go beyond your personal records.

2. Fitness structure
You’ve likely skipped going to the fitness center once or twice because you weren’t sure how to go about the workout. Or, maybe you made it there but had no clue how to get started, so the first few minutes of your routine ended up seeming like a waste of time. When you attend a group exercise class, Active.com said you won’t have to do any planning. It’ll have structure and consist of a proper warm-up, workout and cool-down.

3. Accountability
By signing up to attend a fitness class on a regular basis, you’ll be less likely to skip out on your workout. Why? Because there are people holding you accountable. Do you want to show up to the next one and explain to your instructor that you decided to sit on the couch instead? And think about the money you put down on the group class. If you don’t attend, you’re essentially throwing your cash out the window.

4. Physical progression
When you go to the fitness center on your own and perform the same exercise moves every day, you’ll likely get bored, plateau and stop seeing results. When you give fitness groups a shot, you’ll spice things up and start working more muscles in your body. Variety is key if you want to make physical progression.

5. Social interaction
Joining a group fitness class isn’t only a great way to get physically active. It’s the perfect opportunity to get out and meet like-minded people who have the same lifestyle goals as you. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make a long-lasting friendship or two!

At Ellis Athletic Center, we offer a variety of group classes so you can stay motivated and accountable in reaching your fitness goals. Come out and try Yoga, Pilates, Les Mills, TRX and more today!

4 Les Mills classes you should attend

Switching things up at the fitness center is crucial if you feel yourself sliding into a rut. It’s also critical if you want to optimize your results – performing the same old exercises will only make your body hit a plateau. It’s time to step back from your usual treadmill cardio routine and take a chance at an uplifting, high-energy workout. A Les Mills class sounds like the perfect option for you!

Putting yourself through a session won’t only encourage you to push new limits and burn more calories. It’s a great opportunity for social engagement with like-minded individuals. Interested in trying something new? Read on to learn more about some of the popular Les Mills classes we offer at Ellis Athletic Center:

1. GRIT™ Strength
Tired of the same old weighted bench press? Try GRIT™ Strength. This 30-minute high-intensity interval training class will increase lean muscle, improve your strength and boost your metabolism. With help from a trained fitness instructor and powerful, upbeat music, you’ll work all of your major muscle groups using just three tools: a barbell, weight plate and your own body weight.

Looking for a challenge that delivers fast results? A 55-minute session of BODYPUMP™ is what you need. With the help of your coach, peer motivation and loud music, you’ll tone your entire body, burn calories and improve your core strength and bone health. The technique used is the rep effect, a resistance training formula that uses maximum repetition instead of heavy weight to develop lean muscle.

Stop performing hundreds of sit ups for no results. With CXWORX™, you’ll exercise all of your core muscles to become stronger and leaner. Your instructor will challenge you through a 30-minute session, but will offer different options for intensity in each move so you can work out at your own fitness level. A combination of body weight and resistance exercises will maximize your results.


This short, intense style of training is where thrill and motivation merge as you push your physical and mental limits. It is a 30-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout using an indoor bike to achieve fast results. Though it is high intensity, it is low impact. It is scientifically proven to return rapid results. The 30 minutes you put into a LES MILLS SPRINT workout drives your body to burn calories for hours. You combine bursts of energy, where you work as hard as possible, with periods of rest that prepare you for the next effort. What’s the payoff? You smash your fitness goals, and you do it fast.

At Ellis Athletic Center, we offer classes in all of these Les Mills workouts, plus variety of other group classes so you can stay driven and reach your goals. To learn more about how you can make your fitness experience unique, click here or check out our group fitness schedule!

7 benefits of small group training

There are plenty of ways to get up and get moving at the fitness center, but joining a small group training class can be the most beneficial. Gone are the days of feeling lost the second you enter the weight room. And using up all of your time on the treadmill? You can forget it. By signing up to exercise with a group of like-minded individuals, you’ll challenge yourself in an entirely different light and have a blast along the way.

Here are a few reasons to consider small group training in the near future:

1. You’ll have access to a personal trainer
It’s easy to get bored or feel apathetic about working out when you don’t have guidance. In a small training group, you’ll have a trainer who designed a program with variety, so you’ll always stay motivated and excited to get moving.

2. You won’t stress over being in the spotlight
Some people don’t want to work with a personal trainer because they’re intimidated by the one-on-one experience. With a small fitness group, you can still receive help from a professional without the stress of the individual focus.

3. You’ll have a safe and effective workout
Overworking yourself, picking up too much weight or taking a gamble at an exercise you’ve never tried before can be harmful. By enrolling yourself in a class led by a trainer, you won’t have to worry about overexerting your body or blindly working yourself to the point of muscle strain. Instead, you’ll receive instruction that ensures you have the safest and most effective workout possible.

4. You’ll meet like-minded people
Think about the people you’ll meet and the bonds you’ll form. The National Federation of Professional Trainers said that small group training creates camaraderie among individuals. It allows you to surround yourself with people who are reaching for the same goals, which can motivate you and benefit your social well-being. Use the opportunity to interact with friends as an inspiration to get to the fitness center. It’s a great way to multitask if your schedule is too busy!

5. You’ll stay motivated with accountability
Because you’re exercising with a group of people – led by a trainer – you’ll be more likely to stay on track and workout regularly. Joining a small fitness group holds you accountable and keeps you more disciplined and focused than exercising on your own.

6. You’ll see results
There’s nothing worse than dedicating multiple days of the week to exercise only to find that you’ve made no progress and you’re not seeing any results. By joining a small fitness group, you’ll be led by an instructor who has the knowledge to transform your body – and confidence – into something you’ve always wanted.

7. You’ll have a blast
How many times have you dreaded going to the fitness center? If you’ve ever had to drag yourself there only to watch the clock tick wishing it was time to go, you need to join a small group training class. Fit Day said it best: “Most anyone will agree that exercising alone can be boring and tedious.” If you sign up for a session with others, you’ll have more to look forward to.

At West Conshy Athletic Club, we offer a number of different classes and will soon add small group training to the calendar. Be on the lookout for the schedule! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 610-828-1830 or visit us for a fitness consultation.

4 reasons you’re not seeing fitness results

Picture this: You’ve been hitting the fitness center five times a week for the last two months with strength and discipline. You’re finally ready to step back on the scale and see a smaller number than the one you squinted through last time. But when you finally find the courage to open your eyes and look down, you see that nothing has changed. Not a single number has a dropped.

But why did this happen? You’ve worked out religiously for weeks. Why aren’t you seeing the results you hoped for? Shouldn’t you look and feel different by now? Fortunately, these questions can be answered. Read on to learn about a few mistakes that might be keeping you from noticing a difference, plus changes you can make to fuel those results you’re craving:

1. You’re not following the right diet
Fueling your body for a workout matters more than you think. You need to be strategic – and serious – about what you’re eating. The Huffington Post said you should be consuming a variety of protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to fuel your workouts. Stop choosing snacks loaded with sodium and sugars before a trip to the fitness center – your workout isn’t going to cancel them out, they’re just going to slow your body down from working its best. You need to follow a strict diet if you want to see real results.

2. You’re not switching things up
Mixing things up at the fitness center is key if you want to see change, according to what Craig Ballantyne, C.T.T. told Men’s Fitness magazine.

“People who just go through the motions, doing the same workout over and over again each week, don’t make progress,” he said. “In order to see results, you body needs a new training stimulus.”

That means switching things up every once in a while. For example, you can try stepping away from the treadmill and taking a cardio-focused training class a few times during the month. Or, maybe you’ll start working with a trainer once a week, who will give you new ways to sweat during each session. Without variety, your body will plateau and results will be out of reach.

3. You’re not pushing hard enough
Think about the last time you went to the gym. Did you truly push yourself to the breaking point? Or did you just go through the motions and watch the clock tick, waiting for your workout to end? If you want to see results, you have to stop keeping track of time and fully invest your heart and soul into your exercise. Forget everything else while you’re at the fitness center and concentrate on working up a sweat and pushing yourself to the limit.

4. You’re not letting your body recover
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone at the fitness center will maximize your results, but only if you give your muscles a chance to recover. Without rest days, they don’t have the chance to rebuild after being destroyed. This increases your chance for injury. To take the best care of your muscles, make sure you’re getting enough rest and hydrating properly.

At Ellis Athletic Center, we can help you maximize your workout with personal training, group fitness classes and more. Regardless of your age of ability, we can help you test your limits and reach those results that’ll boost your confidence and improve your overall health.