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Leading the way in fitness to inspire a fitter planet | Les Mills| @FitTechGlobal
Technogym | Fit Tech promotion
Technogym | Fit Tech promotion
Technogym | Fit Tech promotion

Gold COMPANY PROFILE

Les Mills UK

Contact  |  Updates
About us For more than 50 years Les Mills has been leading the way in fi tness. We produce 22 group fitness programmes, backed by science, to be experienced in club or at home via Les Mills+.

Every week, millions of people get fit in 21,000 clubs, across 100 countries with the help of 140,000 Les Mills instructors, who bring to life programmes such as BODYPUMP™ (the world’s most popular barbell workout), BODYCOMBAT™ (martial arts), RPM™ (indoor cycling) and BODYBALANCE™ (new generation yoga).

Product range and services
After a year of enforced home workouts, appetite for live fitness experiences in groups is soaring. Two-thirds of gym members (67%) say they prefer working out in groups, while live classes in club are nearly twice as popular as doing livestream classes at home (favoured by 44% of members vs 23%), which is why we’re continuing to drive fi re into the studios of 21,000 clubs globally with 22 world-class live workouts. Meanwhile, class occupancy has reached 120% of pre-COVID levels in markets where capacity restrictions have lifted.

Live classes are well and truly back however digital is here to stay and is undoubtedly a key component of the new fitness landscape. Virtual and immersive Les Mills studios in-club provide high quality digital experiences with the added benefits of member retention and authentic, human connection. By providing world-class experiences through group workouts and engaging with members inside and outside of their facility, we’ve helped to support thousands of clubs take the leap into digital fitness alongside a live offering via Les Mills+ and providing the tools for clubs to livestream or build their own video on-demand content library with LES MILLS CONTENT.

We offer world-class instructor training, with seminars, group discussions, practical workout sessions and teaching practice, assessed by international trainers and presenters, followed up with ongoing development. For our partners, we also offer CIMSPA-accredited Group Fitness Management training at no additional cost – with proven strategies to maximise attendance and delivering the best member experience.
case study: Liverpool University
The university dialling-up digital solutions to support student wellbeing

It has been widely documented that university students across the UK have suffered with increasing levels of isolation in what used to be, social and communal campus environments. But when faced with COVID-19 restrictions Liverpool University sought after an immediate solution for students to remain active in residency halls or at home…

As the academic year still carries obstacles of cancelled social events, online lessons and living alone, inevitably students have suffered from stress and loneliness. In fact, a survey for the National Union of Students (NUS) says more than 50% of students reported their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Many of the 4,241 students surveyed in November 2020 say they have suffered stress, loneliness, anxiety and depression.

The well-being of their students was at the forefront of Liverpool University’s concerns when the pandemic started in March 2020. With no digital fitness offering in place and immediate restrictions that left students confined, in a matter of weeks the University had launched Les Mills On Demand Affiliate as an immediate solution to keep their students active.

The initial Les Mills On Demand trial gave students 60 days free access to over 1000 workouts across 13 programmes at the click of a button. Hundreds of students began to utilise the trial in April 2020 and have since subscribed with an affiliate discount through Liverpool University, regularly using the platform to aid their fitness goals at home.

On average, the students of Liverpool University use Les Mills On Demand three times a week with BODYPUMP, BODYBALANCE and BODYCOMBAT the most popular workout choices. The addition of a digital fitness platform enabled students to train anytime and anywhere, with 12,000 Les Mills workouts completed during the pandemic.

“The Les Mills classes have been amazing. They’ve been such a help throughout lockdown, not just for my physical health but also from a mental health perspective. I would’ve been lost without them!” Student, Liverpool University

The Office for National Statistics found that young people aged 16 to 29 were twice as likely as the over-70s to be experiencing loneliness in the pandemic.

The physical health benefits of exercise are well-established, but it’s increasingly recognised as a key pillar for supporting mental health as well. Within the wider University sector, Les Mills partners have utilised the LES MILLS On Demand affiliate scheme to provide high-class online fitness solutions, with over 170,000 workouts completed by students across the UK since the pandemic began.

“Thank you for the Les Mills Online classes. I don't know how I could manage without them!” Student, Liverpool University

New-generation yoga program BODYBALANCE has proven to be a particularly popular programmes with University students for staying well during the pandemic. Recent research indicates that regular BODYBALANCE™ classes can help banish the lockdown blues, increase sleep quality by 15% and boost mental health.

The study found that participants who incorporate regular 30-40-minute sessions of this specialist stretching and meditation into their daily life experience significantly improved sleep and cardiovascular health, better recovery from mental and physical stress, and enhanced positive feelings.

Liverpool University is now able to support students beyond its campus with world-class workouts such as BODYBALANCE. With minimal integration needed the LES MILLS On Demand affiliate programme provides an easy digital solution to engage students but also provides additional revenue.

“I have found having access to these workouts at home great for my physical and mental health” Student, Liverpool University

The reach and convenience of digital workouts has been key to supporting students through the stresses of university life. The 2020 Les Mills Consumer Survey showed that 77% of people cited mental health and stress relief as two reasons for exercising. Rebecca Goodwin, Sports and Fitness Centre Supervisor for Liverpool University says “We have to make changes forever from this now and use this as an opportunity to adapt and grow our fitness provision, moving forward we’ll definitely keep an online offering for the students.”

“We’re even looking at how we can adapt other fitness services online, such as initial consultations with our fitness advisors, and we’ve also set up livestreaming for Les Mills classes in lockdown with over 26 online classes per week.”

A ClubIntel report into the post-COVID fitness landscape concludes that fitness providers “seeking relevance to Gen Z and Millennials need to commit to providing virtual fitness content”, as these demographics were the biggest consumers of digital offerings during lockdown and say their ongoing provision will be the most important factor in them returning to their facilities post-pandemic.

Will ‘blended training’ become the norm post-pandemic as we see gym workouts and at-home sessions combined? It’s certain that universities will need to remain in sync with their students’ new found habits and methods of maintaining well-being, with digital fitness solutions at the forefront of evolutionary changes from COVID-19.
case study: This digital club concept defied the pandemic to build a thriving online member base
2020 collectively forced the fitness industry to evolve and Hypervelo is the ultimate example of this. Frustrated by the first lockdown and their inability to teach live classes, two LES MILLS Instructors took the initiative and created an online community that transports the live studio experience into the audience’s living room. Now with a booming member base and a 33-class per week timetable, the team behind Hypervelo share the secrets to their success…

Is it possible to launch a digital-only club concept with limited resources, in the midst of a global pandemic?

For Hypervelo founders Jane and Sharron, necessity has proved the mother of invention, helping them to create a thriving online business that brings the club experience into people’s living rooms.

In a bid to stay sane and active during the first lockdown, Jane and Sharron began teaching free online classes from their own homes to a small group of participants.

While some operators were still working how to pivot their club model into the online space, the two LES MILLS Instructors with over ten years’ experience each began doing what they do best. Teaching, motivating and inspiring.

As the number of participants quickly grew through word of mouth, Jane and Sharron established a business plan to Livestream LES MILLS classes through zoom, involving a partnership with Les Mills, the same as any club would which allows them to Livestream the original and newest releases. With over 156 members, Hypervelo now charge a monthly rate from 4 classes at £15, 8 classes at £21 or even unlimited for £31 per month.

“We essentially wanted to replicate a gym environment, but online. For us, that meant a comprehensive offer of weekly classes just like you’d get with a club timetable,” says Jane. “The transition from free classes to charging fees was surprisingly simple. The people who had been attending our classes got to the point where they said, you know, we want to pay you for this.

Hypervelo is an online Club community, offering over 33 LES MILLS classes per week from the click of a mouse or tap of the phone. The team use a combination of social media marketing and e-marketing, finding that investing in LES MILLS classes has added significant clout to the concept.

“We chose Les Mills because it gives the company kudos. We know other people who are doing online classes, and they’re doing it with cheaper alternatives. But it’s not Les Mills. That for us, gives Hypervelo the quality of programming and a strong brand with an edge."

Once the initial foundations of the website were created, Jane and Sharron were able to create monthly membership bundles depending on individual demand, starting from 4 classes per month right up to unlimited class attendance.

“There are lots of advantages,” adds Sharron. “From a practical point of view, each car journey to teach for myself and Jane was a 25-mile round trip. That’s something we’ve heard from our members too: whether it’s a 5-mile or 20-minute journey – it’s all time back. And now, our members will sometimes roll out of bed and workout.

It’s convenient, nobody is rushing back from the office and members can transition seamlessly into a class… Because moving from one room to another still counts!

The online UK Club now has over 150 paying members from Worcester, London, Birmingham, Devon and even across continents; Hypervelo have members tuning in from the UAE.

“What’s really lovely is when they take us on holiday with them. Members like the fact they can take their laptop with them anywhere and they’re not missing out on a workout.” Sharron says. She adds that the portability of digital club concepts help overcome many of the traditional engagement challenges clubs face when members go away on holiday or for work.

A recent Les Mills On Demand survey shows that digital fitness is here to stay, with most users intending to carry on with digital fitness even when their gym reopens (84%). And with COVID uncertainty continuing to challenge the fitness industry, what does the future look like for Hypervelo?

“Well, we’ve actually had a consistent rise in members, whether we’ve been in lockdown in the UK, or not,” says Sharron.

“Hand on heart, when gyms reopened I thought we’d see a lot of members disappear, but they didn’t. People have invested in equipment now, businesses have said they won’t be going back to an office environment five days a week and their lives have changed.

“For good or bad, maybe we needed to adjust how we live in the UK. We were always chasing our tails as a country, and maybe, people now have a better work-life balance.”
case study: Bannatyne Health Clubs Pivot to Digital Workouts with Les Mills on Demand
With gyms closed across the country, Bannatyne Health Clubs has joined an increasing number of fitness operators pivoting to digital with the launch of both live and on-demand group exercise classes from Les Mills, the group fitness expert behind classes such as BODYPUMP™ and BODYCOMBAT™ .

Through the Bannatyne Health Club app, Bannatyne’s more than 200,000 members across 72 clubs can now access Les Mills on Demand, free for 60-days. The content includes more than 800 Les Mills on Demand workouts, alongside fitness and goal tracking capabilities. Les Mills on Demand enables users to stream, cast or download world-leading workouts at home or on the go presented by the world’s best instructors and supported by expert training guides.

Since launch, there has been over 10,000 sign-ups, helping Bannatyne members stay connected while all clubs remain closed due to COVID-19.

“We’ve been blown away by the support from the Les Mills team during this unprecedented time,” says Peter Wilkinson, National Sales and Marketing Manager at The Bannatyne Group. “Our goal is to keep members moving and Les Mills on Demand plays a key part in that. Within a matter of weeks, we were able to completely update our app with Les Mills on Demand and communicate the 60-day offer to members, thanks to their support. The production quality of the content is second-to-none and as close as you can get an in-person experience. So far, the member feedback has been phenomenal both from regular group exercisers, but also from those that have never done it before. It has given them the confidence to come and try a live class when we reopen. Les Mills digital will also continue to play a part going forward to complement the fantastic range of fitness equipment and classes within our health clubs. “

Alongside Les Mills on Demand, Bannatyne’s has also launched a live timetable of group exercise classes including Les Mills programmes via its YouTube channel. Led by qualified Les Mills instructors, the classes have proven so popular that the account has grown from just 600 subscribers to nearly 11,000 in the span of a few weeks. Themed days, such as the recent “Les Mills Lockdown,” generated significant member engagement with upwards of 400 members joining live and thousands watching the replays afterwards.

“Supporting our club partners and instructors during this time remains our number one priority,” says Martin Franklin, CEO, Les Mills Europe. “We’re working with each club to provide vital support during the lockdown and we’re thrilled to see the response to Les Mills on Demand from Bannatyne members. We believe that people will be back at the gym for live workouts once the lockdown is lifted. But the shift to digital fitness is helping to break down barriers to fitness for people you might not typically see in the gym, and that’s really exciting. With this expanded member reach, we will continue to support Bannatyne members through their fitness journey, now and once they can reopen.”

All Les Mills club partners have the option of providing their members with a free 60-day trial of Les Mills on Demand to keep them active and engaged if they can’t make it to the club. To further help club partners during this time, Les Mills has created a new weekly club support webinar series with a variety of topics available live or on-demand. In addition to the LMOD offer and webinar series, Les Mills has also provided instructors with access to more than 20 royalty-free workouts that can be live-streamed to members from home with more content being added weekly.
Les Mills UK video gallery:
Plans for the next 12 months
Les Mills will continue to be focused on supporting all club partners to make their fastest way back to full membership with confidence, bringing live group fitness and digital experiences onto the menu. There’s a huge opportunity to engage with new members: 63 percent of Les Mills+ users are interested in trying a live class.

We are continuing to invest in our instructors with our commitment to training and ongoing development. This includes offering instructors a multitude of platforms to learn from as well as the new launched Les Mills Qualifi cations which recognises progression in teaching and enables instructors to achieve mastery in the art of group fitness.

We are also constantly innovating and working on ways to enhance programming and raise the bar. Our Les Mills clubs in New Zealand serve as our ‘living lab’ where we have several exciting pilots running to road-test new programs.

In an industry as trend-driven as the fitness sector, it’s vital to keep pace with changing consumer preferences so we’re always working on the next big thing that’s going to keep our club partners ahead of the curve.
Key personnel
Martin Franklin, Les Mills CEO, Europe
Key customers
Les Mills works with a wide range of clubs and facilities across the UK and Ireland, from the independent sector, local authorities, universities, corporate wellness providers, budget and boutiques.
Testimonial
“Member feedback [on Les Mills On Demand] has been phenomenal both from regular group exercisers, but also from those that have never done it before, giving them the confidence to come and try a live class when we re-open.”
– Peter Wilkinson, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Bannatyne Group
updates & press releases
14 Jul 2022
Les Mills and Fitness Time unveil landmark Saudi Arabia partnership
Global group exercise leader Les Mills and premium gym chain Fitness Time have announced a major new partnership to bring life-changing fitness experiences to gym goers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

With more than 300,000 members and 150+ facilities across KSA & UAE, Fitness Time is the most advanced and largest health club chain in the Middle East.

From July 2022, the operator will strengthen its group exercise offering by introducing world-renowned Les Mills workouts such as BODYPUMP™, BODYCOMBAT™, and RPM™ across 151 KSA clubs. Fitness Time also plans to provide Les Mills workouts across its KSA portfolio of women’s clubs from August 2022.

The partnership brings together two leading brands with a shared mission of creating a fitter planet by motivating society to sustain healthy lifestyles. It will enable Fitness Time to consolidate its position as the market leader in the fast-growing KSA market, boasting a broad array of high-quality fitness options to motivate members.

Glen Stollery, CEO of Les Mills IMEA, said: “It’s an exciting time for fitness in the Kingdom when Les Mills as the world’s leader in group exercise joins forces with the largest health club chain in Saudi Arabia.”

“A premium group fitness offering is the backbone of success for many of the world’s most successful clubs so we can’t wait to work with Fitness Time to deliver life-changing workout experiences that will promote healthier happier lives and keep members coming back for more.”

Shadan AlSagri, Deputy COO of Fitness Time, shares: “What comes with this partnership is momentous to group fitness; as the Kingdom’s top wellness providers, Fitness Time and the world leaders in group exercises unite. We expect a promising shift in the region’s expectations in fitness.”
Les Mills and Fitness Time have announced a major new partnership Credit: Fitness Time
09 May 2021
Integrated workout solutions will underpin gyms' recovery, says Les Mills’ Martin Franklin
The UK has spent most of the year in lockdown but finally, clubs are beginning to see their fitness communities open back up, with indoor group exercise not far behind.

Creating connections and social experiences among safe club environments will be key to winning members back, with the instructor at the heart of engaging participants and reminding them why live group fitness delivers on those all-important exercise endorphins.

With capacity barriers to overcome, many clubs have taken their class timetable outside by optimising spaces such as car parks, tennis courts and open grass areas. By immediately widening the scope for more class attendance, operators can use outdoor fitness classes as an opportunity to reach new demographics.

But it’s not just outdoor group exercise that clubs can maximise on during this re-opening period. There’s still a strong appetite for a blended approach to online and live group fitness.

Ensuring the value of a membership is maintained beyond a club’s four walls creates a future-proof foundation for lifetime customers with the freedom to pick where they work out.

Now more than ever, a heightened sense of health and wellbeing combined with a longing to sweat amongst fellow fitness friends presents the opportune moment for clubs to bounce back with superstar instructors right behind you, injecting the energy and passion behind those powerful Les Mills programmes.

“We know members are looking to combine live fitness into their digital routines as they return to the gym, with 63 per cent of Les Mills On Demand users interested in trying a live class at a gym or facility upon reopening,” commented Martin Franklin, CEO Les Mills Europe.

“The next proactive steps that clubs can take are crucial in making a speedy recovery; this will prove the fastest way back to full membership, with integrated workout solutions and meeting new consumer needs at the heart of their comeback.”
Les Mills UK: news from HCMmag.com and fittechglobal.com
Operators across the physical activity sector open up to the public today offering free sessions and activities in celebration of National Fitness Day, an initiative organised by industry body, UK Active.
Gympass has signed a partnership deal with Les Mills to make the fitness platform's 1,500 on- demand workouts and virtual training sessions available to Gympass corporate clients.
Les Mills has created a VR version of its Bodycombat workout and made it available in the Metaverse.
Les Mills has launched a new service that will offer fitness operators the option to turn spaces within their clubs into premium boutique studios.
Beachbody has appointed Jean-Michel Fournier to lead the company's growth globally. He was previously CEO of Les Mills Media.
Les Mills UK: featured in HCM and FIT tech magazines
Having used the pandemic as a catalyst for reinvention, Les Mills is refocusing on a new omnifitness strategy to help drive the industry towards mass-market penetration
Research: Live vs digital
Do people get fitter working out in the gym or at home? Researcher Bryce Hastings explains the evidence when it comes to how they measure up
Industry insights: The build back
After a crazy couple of years we’ve reached the endemic stage, giving us the chance to take stock of the impact COVID has had. So what’s new, different, better and what still remains a challenge? We ask industry experts for their thoughts…
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
300th edition: A pause for thought
To celebrate the publication of the 300th edition of HCM, we’ve invited industry experts to give their insights on the health and fitness sector: why they joined, the most exciting development to date and what they think we’ll be reporting on in the next 300 issues...
With their dark vibe, pumping music and kit that needs adjusting, indoor cycling classes can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Steph Eaves asks suppliers for their tips on how to encourage beginners into the cycling studio – and keep them coming back
Les Mills UK
Address: 1, Alie Street , London, E1 8DE, United Kingdom
Martin Franklin, Les Mills CEO, Europe, Les Mills UK
Martin Franklin, Les Mills CEO, Europe
Leading software company Fitronics has launched an all-new website featuring its leading sports and fitness technology brands; The Retention People (TRP), CoursePro (CAP2) and Strive.
In order to support gyms and health clubs in this difficult economic climate, Orbit4 is helping operators by telling them the best time to trade in and buy new based on its intelligence-led data and tech.
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Gold COMPANY PROFILE

Les Mills UK

Contact  |  Updates
About us For more than 50 years Les Mills has been leading the way in fi tness. We produce 22 group fitness programmes, backed by science, to be experienced in club or at home via Les Mills+.

Every week, millions of people get fit in 21,000 clubs, across 100 countries with the help of 140,000 Les Mills instructors, who bring to life programmes such as BODYPUMP™ (the world’s most popular barbell workout), BODYCOMBAT™ (martial arts), RPM™ (indoor cycling) and BODYBALANCE™ (new generation yoga).

Product range and services
After a year of enforced home workouts, appetite for live fitness experiences in groups is soaring. Two-thirds of gym members (67%) say they prefer working out in groups, while live classes in club are nearly twice as popular as doing livestream classes at home (favoured by 44% of members vs 23%), which is why we’re continuing to drive fi re into the studios of 21,000 clubs globally with 22 world-class live workouts. Meanwhile, class occupancy has reached 120% of pre-COVID levels in markets where capacity restrictions have lifted.

Live classes are well and truly back however digital is here to stay and is undoubtedly a key component of the new fitness landscape. Virtual and immersive Les Mills studios in-club provide high quality digital experiences with the added benefits of member retention and authentic, human connection. By providing world-class experiences through group workouts and engaging with members inside and outside of their facility, we’ve helped to support thousands of clubs take the leap into digital fitness alongside a live offering via Les Mills+ and providing the tools for clubs to livestream or build their own video on-demand content library with LES MILLS CONTENT.

We offer world-class instructor training, with seminars, group discussions, practical workout sessions and teaching practice, assessed by international trainers and presenters, followed up with ongoing development. For our partners, we also offer CIMSPA-accredited Group Fitness Management training at no additional cost – with proven strategies to maximise attendance and delivering the best member experience.
case study: Liverpool University
The university dialling-up digital solutions to support student wellbeing

It has been widely documented that university students across the UK have suffered with increasing levels of isolation in what used to be, social and communal campus environments. But when faced with COVID-19 restrictions Liverpool University sought after an immediate solution for students to remain active in residency halls or at home…

As the academic year still carries obstacles of cancelled social events, online lessons and living alone, inevitably students have suffered from stress and loneliness. In fact, a survey for the National Union of Students (NUS) says more than 50% of students reported their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Many of the 4,241 students surveyed in November 2020 say they have suffered stress, loneliness, anxiety and depression.

The well-being of their students was at the forefront of Liverpool University’s concerns when the pandemic started in March 2020. With no digital fitness offering in place and immediate restrictions that left students confined, in a matter of weeks the University had launched Les Mills On Demand Affiliate as an immediate solution to keep their students active.

The initial Les Mills On Demand trial gave students 60 days free access to over 1000 workouts across 13 programmes at the click of a button. Hundreds of students began to utilise the trial in April 2020 and have since subscribed with an affiliate discount through Liverpool University, regularly using the platform to aid their fitness goals at home.

On average, the students of Liverpool University use Les Mills On Demand three times a week with BODYPUMP, BODYBALANCE and BODYCOMBAT the most popular workout choices. The addition of a digital fitness platform enabled students to train anytime and anywhere, with 12,000 Les Mills workouts completed during the pandemic.

“The Les Mills classes have been amazing. They’ve been such a help throughout lockdown, not just for my physical health but also from a mental health perspective. I would’ve been lost without them!” Student, Liverpool University

The Office for National Statistics found that young people aged 16 to 29 were twice as likely as the over-70s to be experiencing loneliness in the pandemic.

The physical health benefits of exercise are well-established, but it’s increasingly recognised as a key pillar for supporting mental health as well. Within the wider University sector, Les Mills partners have utilised the LES MILLS On Demand affiliate scheme to provide high-class online fitness solutions, with over 170,000 workouts completed by students across the UK since the pandemic began.

“Thank you for the Les Mills Online classes. I don't know how I could manage without them!” Student, Liverpool University

New-generation yoga program BODYBALANCE has proven to be a particularly popular programmes with University students for staying well during the pandemic. Recent research indicates that regular BODYBALANCE™ classes can help banish the lockdown blues, increase sleep quality by 15% and boost mental health.

The study found that participants who incorporate regular 30-40-minute sessions of this specialist stretching and meditation into their daily life experience significantly improved sleep and cardiovascular health, better recovery from mental and physical stress, and enhanced positive feelings.

Liverpool University is now able to support students beyond its campus with world-class workouts such as BODYBALANCE. With minimal integration needed the LES MILLS On Demand affiliate programme provides an easy digital solution to engage students but also provides additional revenue.

“I have found having access to these workouts at home great for my physical and mental health” Student, Liverpool University

The reach and convenience of digital workouts has been key to supporting students through the stresses of university life. The 2020 Les Mills Consumer Survey showed that 77% of people cited mental health and stress relief as two reasons for exercising. Rebecca Goodwin, Sports and Fitness Centre Supervisor for Liverpool University says “We have to make changes forever from this now and use this as an opportunity to adapt and grow our fitness provision, moving forward we’ll definitely keep an online offering for the students.”

“We’re even looking at how we can adapt other fitness services online, such as initial consultations with our fitness advisors, and we’ve also set up livestreaming for Les Mills classes in lockdown with over 26 online classes per week.”

A ClubIntel report into the post-COVID fitness landscape concludes that fitness providers “seeking relevance to Gen Z and Millennials need to commit to providing virtual fitness content”, as these demographics were the biggest consumers of digital offerings during lockdown and say their ongoing provision will be the most important factor in them returning to their facilities post-pandemic.

Will ‘blended training’ become the norm post-pandemic as we see gym workouts and at-home sessions combined? It’s certain that universities will need to remain in sync with their students’ new found habits and methods of maintaining well-being, with digital fitness solutions at the forefront of evolutionary changes from COVID-19.
case study: This digital club concept defied the pandemic to build a thriving online member base
2020 collectively forced the fitness industry to evolve and Hypervelo is the ultimate example of this. Frustrated by the first lockdown and their inability to teach live classes, two LES MILLS Instructors took the initiative and created an online community that transports the live studio experience into the audience’s living room. Now with a booming member base and a 33-class per week timetable, the team behind Hypervelo share the secrets to their success…

Is it possible to launch a digital-only club concept with limited resources, in the midst of a global pandemic?

For Hypervelo founders Jane and Sharron, necessity has proved the mother of invention, helping them to create a thriving online business that brings the club experience into people’s living rooms.

In a bid to stay sane and active during the first lockdown, Jane and Sharron began teaching free online classes from their own homes to a small group of participants.

While some operators were still working how to pivot their club model into the online space, the two LES MILLS Instructors with over ten years’ experience each began doing what they do best. Teaching, motivating and inspiring.

As the number of participants quickly grew through word of mouth, Jane and Sharron established a business plan to Livestream LES MILLS classes through zoom, involving a partnership with Les Mills, the same as any club would which allows them to Livestream the original and newest releases. With over 156 members, Hypervelo now charge a monthly rate from 4 classes at £15, 8 classes at £21 or even unlimited for £31 per month.

“We essentially wanted to replicate a gym environment, but online. For us, that meant a comprehensive offer of weekly classes just like you’d get with a club timetable,” says Jane. “The transition from free classes to charging fees was surprisingly simple. The people who had been attending our classes got to the point where they said, you know, we want to pay you for this.

Hypervelo is an online Club community, offering over 33 LES MILLS classes per week from the click of a mouse or tap of the phone. The team use a combination of social media marketing and e-marketing, finding that investing in LES MILLS classes has added significant clout to the concept.

“We chose Les Mills because it gives the company kudos. We know other people who are doing online classes, and they’re doing it with cheaper alternatives. But it’s not Les Mills. That for us, gives Hypervelo the quality of programming and a strong brand with an edge."

Once the initial foundations of the website were created, Jane and Sharron were able to create monthly membership bundles depending on individual demand, starting from 4 classes per month right up to unlimited class attendance.

“There are lots of advantages,” adds Sharron. “From a practical point of view, each car journey to teach for myself and Jane was a 25-mile round trip. That’s something we’ve heard from our members too: whether it’s a 5-mile or 20-minute journey – it’s all time back. And now, our members will sometimes roll out of bed and workout.

It’s convenient, nobody is rushing back from the office and members can transition seamlessly into a class… Because moving from one room to another still counts!

The online UK Club now has over 150 paying members from Worcester, London, Birmingham, Devon and even across continents; Hypervelo have members tuning in from the UAE.

“What’s really lovely is when they take us on holiday with them. Members like the fact they can take their laptop with them anywhere and they’re not missing out on a workout.” Sharron says. She adds that the portability of digital club concepts help overcome many of the traditional engagement challenges clubs face when members go away on holiday or for work.

A recent Les Mills On Demand survey shows that digital fitness is here to stay, with most users intending to carry on with digital fitness even when their gym reopens (84%). And with COVID uncertainty continuing to challenge the fitness industry, what does the future look like for Hypervelo?

“Well, we’ve actually had a consistent rise in members, whether we’ve been in lockdown in the UK, or not,” says Sharron.

“Hand on heart, when gyms reopened I thought we’d see a lot of members disappear, but they didn’t. People have invested in equipment now, businesses have said they won’t be going back to an office environment five days a week and their lives have changed.

“For good or bad, maybe we needed to adjust how we live in the UK. We were always chasing our tails as a country, and maybe, people now have a better work-life balance.”
case study: Bannatyne Health Clubs Pivot to Digital Workouts with Les Mills on Demand
With gyms closed across the country, Bannatyne Health Clubs has joined an increasing number of fitness operators pivoting to digital with the launch of both live and on-demand group exercise classes from Les Mills, the group fitness expert behind classes such as BODYPUMP™ and BODYCOMBAT™ .

Through the Bannatyne Health Club app, Bannatyne’s more than 200,000 members across 72 clubs can now access Les Mills on Demand, free for 60-days. The content includes more than 800 Les Mills on Demand workouts, alongside fitness and goal tracking capabilities. Les Mills on Demand enables users to stream, cast or download world-leading workouts at home or on the go presented by the world’s best instructors and supported by expert training guides.

Since launch, there has been over 10,000 sign-ups, helping Bannatyne members stay connected while all clubs remain closed due to COVID-19.

“We’ve been blown away by the support from the Les Mills team during this unprecedented time,” says Peter Wilkinson, National Sales and Marketing Manager at The Bannatyne Group. “Our goal is to keep members moving and Les Mills on Demand plays a key part in that. Within a matter of weeks, we were able to completely update our app with Les Mills on Demand and communicate the 60-day offer to members, thanks to their support. The production quality of the content is second-to-none and as close as you can get an in-person experience. So far, the member feedback has been phenomenal both from regular group exercisers, but also from those that have never done it before. It has given them the confidence to come and try a live class when we reopen. Les Mills digital will also continue to play a part going forward to complement the fantastic range of fitness equipment and classes within our health clubs. “

Alongside Les Mills on Demand, Bannatyne’s has also launched a live timetable of group exercise classes including Les Mills programmes via its YouTube channel. Led by qualified Les Mills instructors, the classes have proven so popular that the account has grown from just 600 subscribers to nearly 11,000 in the span of a few weeks. Themed days, such as the recent “Les Mills Lockdown,” generated significant member engagement with upwards of 400 members joining live and thousands watching the replays afterwards.

“Supporting our club partners and instructors during this time remains our number one priority,” says Martin Franklin, CEO, Les Mills Europe. “We’re working with each club to provide vital support during the lockdown and we’re thrilled to see the response to Les Mills on Demand from Bannatyne members. We believe that people will be back at the gym for live workouts once the lockdown is lifted. But the shift to digital fitness is helping to break down barriers to fitness for people you might not typically see in the gym, and that’s really exciting. With this expanded member reach, we will continue to support Bannatyne members through their fitness journey, now and once they can reopen.”

All Les Mills club partners have the option of providing their members with a free 60-day trial of Les Mills on Demand to keep them active and engaged if they can’t make it to the club. To further help club partners during this time, Les Mills has created a new weekly club support webinar series with a variety of topics available live or on-demand. In addition to the LMOD offer and webinar series, Les Mills has also provided instructors with access to more than 20 royalty-free workouts that can be live-streamed to members from home with more content being added weekly.
Plans for the next 12 months
Les Mills will continue to be focused on supporting all club partners to make their fastest way back to full membership with confidence, bringing live group fitness and digital experiences onto the menu. There’s a huge opportunity to engage with new members: 63 percent of Les Mills+ users are interested in trying a live class.

We are continuing to invest in our instructors with our commitment to training and ongoing development. This includes offering instructors a multitude of platforms to learn from as well as the new launched Les Mills Qualifi cations which recognises progression in teaching and enables instructors to achieve mastery in the art of group fitness.

We are also constantly innovating and working on ways to enhance programming and raise the bar. Our Les Mills clubs in New Zealand serve as our ‘living lab’ where we have several exciting pilots running to road-test new programs.

In an industry as trend-driven as the fitness sector, it’s vital to keep pace with changing consumer preferences so we’re always working on the next big thing that’s going to keep our club partners ahead of the curve.
Testimonial
“Member feedback [on Les Mills On Demand] has been phenomenal both from regular group exercisers, but also from those that have never done it before, giving them the confidence to come and try a live class when we re-open.”
– Peter Wilkinson, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Bannatyne Group
updates & press releases
14 Jul 2022
Les Mills and Fitness Time unveil landmark Saudi Arabia partnership
Global group exercise leader Les Mills and premium gym chain Fitness Time have announced a major new partnership to bring life-changing fitness experiences to gym goers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

With more than 300,000 members and 150+ facilities across KSA & UAE, Fitness Time is the most advanced and largest health club chain in the Middle East.

From July 2022, the operator will strengthen its group exercise offering by introducing world-renowned Les Mills workouts such as BODYPUMP™, BODYCOMBAT™, and RPM™ across 151 KSA clubs. Fitness Time also plans to provide Les Mills workouts across its KSA portfolio of women’s clubs from August 2022.

The partnership brings together two leading brands with a shared mission of creating a fitter planet by motivating society to sustain healthy lifestyles. It will enable Fitness Time to consolidate its position as the market leader in the fast-growing KSA market, boasting a broad array of high-quality fitness options to motivate members.

Glen Stollery, CEO of Les Mills IMEA, said: “It’s an exciting time for fitness in the Kingdom when Les Mills as the world’s leader in group exercise joins forces with the largest health club chain in Saudi Arabia.”

“A premium group fitness offering is the backbone of success for many of the world’s most successful clubs so we can’t wait to work with Fitness Time to deliver life-changing workout experiences that will promote healthier happier lives and keep members coming back for more.”

Shadan AlSagri, Deputy COO of Fitness Time, shares: “What comes with this partnership is momentous to group fitness; as the Kingdom’s top wellness providers, Fitness Time and the world leaders in group exercises unite. We expect a promising shift in the region’s expectations in fitness.”
Les Mills and Fitness Time have announced a major new partnership Credit: Fitness Time
09 May 2021
Integrated workout solutions will underpin gyms' recovery, says Les Mills’ Martin Franklin
The UK has spent most of the year in lockdown but finally, clubs are beginning to see their fitness communities open back up, with indoor group exercise not far behind.

Creating connections and social experiences among safe club environments will be key to winning members back, with the instructor at the heart of engaging participants and reminding them why live group fitness delivers on those all-important exercise endorphins.

With capacity barriers to overcome, many clubs have taken their class timetable outside by optimising spaces such as car parks, tennis courts and open grass areas. By immediately widening the scope for more class attendance, operators can use outdoor fitness classes as an opportunity to reach new demographics.

But it’s not just outdoor group exercise that clubs can maximise on during this re-opening period. There’s still a strong appetite for a blended approach to online and live group fitness.

Ensuring the value of a membership is maintained beyond a club’s four walls creates a future-proof foundation for lifetime customers with the freedom to pick where they work out.

Now more than ever, a heightened sense of health and wellbeing combined with a longing to sweat amongst fellow fitness friends presents the opportune moment for clubs to bounce back with superstar instructors right behind you, injecting the energy and passion behind those powerful Les Mills programmes.

“We know members are looking to combine live fitness into their digital routines as they return to the gym, with 63 per cent of Les Mills On Demand users interested in trying a live class at a gym or facility upon reopening,” commented Martin Franklin, CEO Les Mills Europe.

“The next proactive steps that clubs can take are crucial in making a speedy recovery; this will prove the fastest way back to full membership, with integrated workout solutions and meeting new consumer needs at the heart of their comeback.”
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Les Mills UK
Address: 1, Alie Street , London, E1 8DE, United Kingdom
Martin Franklin, Les Mills CEO, Europe, Les Mills UK
Martin Franklin, Les Mills CEO, Europe
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Martin Franklin, Les Mills CEO, Europe
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Les Mills works with a wide range of clubs and facilities across the UK and Ireland, from the independent sector, local authorities, universities, corporate wellness providers, budget and boutiques.