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Experience Is Everything – Les Mills International Launches Next Generation Virtual at IHRSA 2018

Club Industry was not involved in the creation of this content.

The benefits of virtual programming for fitness clubs are well known: they allow facilities to optimize use across all hours of operation, grow and retain membership, and significantly increase profitability. 

That’s old news.

But consider this: as virtual becomes more prevalent in the fitness industry, continued success for clubs will lie in providing the highest quality virtual fitness options.

The experience is everything.

Understanding this led Les Mills International, a pioneer in the field of fitness videos, to develop LES MILLS Virtual: cinematic-quality content, led by world-leading presenters, with scientifically proven fitness choreography and, of course, great music.

Next generation virtual represents the evolution of fitness video into a cinematic-quality format. It provides clubs with a way to level up the quality and sophistication of their group fitness offering.

“Clubs need to innovate to remain competitive and relevant to their users,” says Phillip Mills, Managing Director of Les Mills International (LMI).

“Virtual exercise has experienced an exponential increase. There are now more than 12,000 clubs around the world offering some sort of virtual solution to members – but members’ needs are continually changing. Their expectations are increasing as quickly as technology evolves.”

“It’s comparable to the movie industry,” Mills says. “Five-star films are hugely popular; two-star films are less so. It’s the experience that counts, and fitness clubs should be looking for high-quality, cinematic content to create a step-change by maximizing off-peak times and enticing participants into live classes.”

Throughout the development and filming of LES MILLS Virtual, the approach was to create an authentic environment that ensured members’ experiences would be as close as possible to a live Les Mills workout.

“That’s what sets us apart.”

Around the world, club members attend Les Mills classes at more than twice the industry average. They also refer three times as many people. LES MILLS Virtual is a tool to build on the characteristics and popularity of live classes – including the world’s most cutting-edge fitness experience, the IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ cycle class, THE TRIP™. However, instructors shouldn’t see Virtual as a replacement or a threat –its benefits apply to instructors as well as clubs and members.

Internationally, Les Mills clubs with the best virtual facilities have by far the highest ratios of live classes to members, with new live classes continually added. Virtual is a gateway to live classes, not a replacement and, although it seems counter intuitive, live class numbers increase with a successful virtual program.

“Virtual helps get people started with classes who otherwise never would, and many of them get hooked and go on to attend live classes. Virtual also enables instructors at our clubs to build a bigger base of regular participants, increasing class sizes. Getting more people to our classes increases the number of times they work out a week, and consequently how long they stay as members.” David Patchell-Evans, Founder & CEO Good Life Health Clubs.

LES MILLS Virtual classes are exciting, cinematic-quality versions of live classes. They enable gyms to deliver high-quality workouts led by the world’s best instructors – without the instructor in the room. The classes are played through an AV system (sound system, lighting, projector and screen or video wall) through a technology platform that enables content delivery, playback and scheduling.

At IHRSA 2018, the Les Mills International team will demonstrate the next generation Virtual. Key to this is the new, easy-to-use LES MILLS Virtual App and a choice of high-resolution screens that provide a simple set-up and high-quality experience.

LES MILLS Virtual comes with all the support management systems that Les Mills’ other programs offer, including marketing, design and advice, timetable creation, data capture, launch support, room and set up plans.

Find Les Mills at IHRSA:

Booth 2539

About Les Mills 
Les Mills International is the creator of 16 global group fitness and team training programs for adults, including BODYPUMP™ (strength), BODYCOMBAT™ (martial arts) RPM™ (indoor cycling), and LES MILLS GRIT™ Series (30-minute high intensity interval training). Les Mills also creates BORN TO MOVE™, a series of five age-appropriate movement-based classes for toddlers through to teens. Every week Les Mills helps millions of people to get fit in over 19,000 clubs across 100 countries with the help of 130,000 passionate instructors. For more information, visit:

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