Here are the highlights:
- I was in the gym for a full 11 hours and during that time, I took six group fitness classes, yet it felt like the day went by in five minutes.
- I experienced the brand new releases of several Les Mills group fitness programs that will be debuting and launching across the world in more than 80 countries very soon.
- I changed clothes only once, toweled off about ten times, ate five times and filled up my water bottle after every single session, and yet was still thirsty all day long.
- I saw and caught up with dozens of fellow instructors, whom I’ve met at Les Mills trainings and 24 Hour fitness events over the past two-and-a-half years of living in the Bay Area, and it reminded me what a great circle of peers I have connected with in my new home.
- I met some new Les Mills instructors and presenters, who are at the top of their game and who motivated me beyond belief with their talents.
- I spent the day with a reader of A Lady Goes West, the lovely Carly, who was the winner of my giveaway to attend a Super Q event and was able to experience her first Les Mills event with me right by her side. She was a champion, and it was so cool to meet her in person and share the day with her.
- I stepped out of my comfort zone and participated in a few programs that I do not take regularly, and I had the best time doing so.
- I watched a GRIT Champs competition, in which some amazing athletes pushed themselves harder than ever before to finish plyo, strength and cardio moves as fast as they could.
- I walked away even more in love and inspired by the Les Mills movement, knowing that all of the time and effort I put into teaching group fitness is so worthwhile. We’re changing the planet one class at a time!
And now, let’s take a look at what it’s like to attend an all-day Les Mills event …
The schedule of events at the Les Mills Super Q
I arrived just before 6:30 a.m. and there were already a few dozen instructors and participants lined up waiting for the festivities to begin. The scene was set, and the anticipation was high.
Around 7:15 a.m., we were allowed to check-in, at which time we picked up our Reebok draw-string bag full of swag, as well as our wristbands, which served as our entry to each event. We all had to sign up for each session before attending the event, as space was at a premium in most classes. However, other than the classes like BODYPUMP and RPM, which required a personal station, most of the classes seemed to have openings for more people to fill in at the last minute. It helped that the main room where classes were held was huge.
Finally, we all got in line to enter the basketball court area and find a spot for the opening ceremonies and first masterclass of the day — BODYPUMP, which began at 7:45 a.m. This is customary at most Les Mills events to begin with BODYPUMP, and that’s because it just seems to set the tone for a fabulous day of sweating.
From the moment the music started, we were immersed in new releases, new moves, new innovations, learning opportunities from master trainers and the chance to catch our breath during the breaks between sessions and socialize with each other. Even though the turnaround times were tight, most of the classes took place on the basketball court in the same room all day, which made it very convenient. Overall, I think the location and facilities were just perfect for this type of event.
To give you an idea of the length of the event — the last class of the day was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., so you see, a Super Q truly offers a full day of work for attendees for about 12 hours.
Experiencing the latest new releases per program
Now let’s get to the details of the classes I took, in the order I took them. I did not participate in RPM, GRIT, BODYCOMBAT, BODYVIVE or SH’BAM, because some of those classes ran at the same time as the ones I most wanted to take below. Although I would have loved to get my hands dirty during some short and fierce GRIT sessions, I knew I couldn’t do it all in one day.
First of all, BODYPUMP 94 has more reps than any other BODYPUMP release to date, with 1,000 reps. Those reps are reached through more bottom-half and pulsing movements throughout each track, and boy you can feel it. The presenters for BODYPUMP 94 were Will Pritchard, Mike Jacques and Sanna Ronkko. I had never seen any of them teach in-person before, and of course, I was impressed.
Will Pritchard is a local Bay Area instructor, who has appeared on BODYPUMP release DVDs before, and to see him teach live in the flesh is pretty incredible. I also spoke with him after BODYPUMP and he was super friendly. He gets a major thumbs-up!
What an achievement for BODYSTEP to reach 100 releases. I hadn’t taken a BODYSTEP class in more than two years and was so excited to see how the program has changed. These days, BODYSTEP is much more athletic and even incorporates weights toward the end of the class. I had so much fun with BODYSTEP and was basically smiling from ear-to-ear the entire class, while at the same time dripping with sweat from burpees on the bench, to plyo moves on and off the bench and more. I would LOVE to incorporate more BODYSTEP in my life and need to figure out how to make that happen. The presenters of BODYSTEP were the wonderful Amanda Scales (who has taught several of my Les Mills Advanced Instructor Modules), as well as Katy Hanses, whom I had never met before. They were smiley, peppy and motivating, and I totally enjoyed them both. They are rock-stars!
I hadn’t signed up to take BODYJAM on Saturday, because quite frankly, I’m not exactly world’s coolest hip-hop dancer. But I couldn’t resist hopping in to class, led by Lissa Bankston and Josh Keenum. I mean, these two presenters are the epitome of cool …
There’s no way you could NOT dance when around these two amazing instructors — Lissa and Josh. Check them out as they led our entire Super Q group in a rap, which we filmed and sent to the folks attending the Super Q in Philadelphia on the same day.
In addition to leading a rap, Lissa and Josh took us through a fun and energetic class, and I loved every second of it. It felt SO good to dance. I would say many of the participants, much like me, were not expert BODYJAMmers, but we did our best, and we kept moving. Lissa and Josh kept us entertained while talking and dancing all the way through a one-hour soul-filled session. I wanted to feel stupid in BODYJAM, but the vibe in the room was so positive that I just went with it. And I’m so glad I did!
I miss CXWORX so much! I’m a certified CXWORX instructor, but don’t have my own class, so I only do the workout here-and-there at home by myself. Josef Matthews, Katy Hanses and Will Pritchard were the presenters of the day, and they took us through the 30-minute core workout, which just keeps getting better and better.
There were a lot of standing balance moves with weights that seemed new to the program. And yes, those presenters made an awesome team. My core was on fire!
BODYFLOW is the most pleasant and moving workout, combining Tai Chi, Pilates and yoga, (and it’s also called BODYBALANCE for those outside of the U.S.). Josef Matthews and Nicole Hsu, the presenters of the day, were oh-so-inspiring. My body and spirit felt amazing during that class. In fact, I truly didn’t want it to end.
What’s in store for you in BODYFLOW? It’s all of the best stretching and breathing moves you could imagine, combined with a bit of balance and core work to make you an all-around more functional athlete. I would have loved to have ended the day with the “ommmm” I got from BODYFLOW, but of course, I chose to finish out with BODYATTACK instead.
Because it’s the program I teach the most, I couldn’t love BODYATTACK any more, and participating in a class taught by Amanda Scales, Katy Hanses and Josh Keenum was pretty darn awesome. The moves and combinations are getting simpler each release, while the challenge is continuing to grow. Gone are the days of non-stop aerobics, BODYATTACK is totally sports-inspired.
I planned to take the low options in this class, since it was my last of the day, but being surrounded by fellow instructors had me jumping and pushing like no other. Good times were had by all.
And that concluded my class experiences!
Quality time with liked-minded Les Mills people
During the breaks between sessions and classes, I spent time chatting with the staff from Les Mills, whom I met when I first moved to San Francisco and did a short-stint as a contract worker at Les Mills West Coast office. They told me tales of how the company continues to move quickly and grow, grow, grow!
That smiling face all the way to the left? That’s Carly, a wonderful reader of A Lady Goes West, who joined me for the Super Q festivities. Also shown above are my fellow instructors and the ladies of Les Mills corporate running the show.
I also spent time during the breaks catching up with participants and instructors I’ve crossed paths with in the gym over the last few years in the Bay Area. And of course, I spent a lot of time chatting with Carly. After experiencing the wonder of a Les Mills event, she is actually considering joining the ranks as an instructor. How awesome is that?
Coaching tips and authenticity thoughts by Josef Matthews
There was one education session during the day, and it was taught by Josef Matthews, whom I’ve had the pleasure of learning from during an Advanced Instructor Module as well as a Groundworks event before. He talked about teaching authentically and not copying exactly what other instructors do, but making everything you say your own. He also touched on the layers of coaching, which is something you spend time perfecting in advanced trainings. The biggest takeaway from Josef’s talk?
Ask your class members WHY they choose to come to your class?
I know that sounds like such a simple thought, but many of us instructors may not know why our members love us and come to our classes instead of the classes of others. I definitely plan to do this and then play off my strengths based on the answers I receive.
Josef’s talk came in the middle of the day, which served as a great time for most of us to eat lunch. Although I figured it would be a “rest” session, he actually ended up having us do a few minutes of low-to-high plank work while demonstrating particular teaching cues. At one point, I quickly put down my fork and was still chewing while in a hover on my toes. Of course!
What I came away with from the Les Mills Super Q event
Could you imagine walking out of a gym, where you spent 11 hours on a beautiful weekend day and feeling completely full of energy and life? Even if my body wanted to be tired, I was so totally inspired and enriched by every personal interaction and every exercise move I did throughout the course of the day. Les Mills is not your-average-fitness-brand. It’s so much more than that. As a participant or as an instructor of Les Mills programs, you are part of something special — when the moves match the music and people all over the world are obsessed — well, that’s a beautiful thing. I walked away with even more love for teaching group fitness and being a part of the Tribe than I had before. And that’s not an easy feat.
Attend a Les Mills Super Q event near you
The “Super Q” tour is continuing throughout the year, so make sure you check to find out if an event is coming to a U.S. city near you. I see that the tour is hitting my old hometown of Orlando, so I hope my instructor friends there get all signed up soon!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, about covers it for my recap.
On my schedule today? Working, teaching classes, working out and packing for my trip to Florida, because I leave bright and early on Thursday. Can’t wait! Have a fabulous day, everyone, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for a post about food.
**Disclaimer: Please note, in exchange for my review and promotion, I received a complimentary entry admission to the Les Mills Super Q event. But if you’ve read even one post on A Lady Goes West over the years, you know that my opinions and love for this brand are truly real. Thanks for supporting me and the Les Mills company.
For more Les Mills posts
As an instructor and fan, I have a lot to say about Les Mills. If you want to read a little bit more, please check out some of my previous posts or head over to my Fitness + Workouts page:
- BODYPUMP 101 overview and tips for first-timers
- BODYATTACK 101 overview and tips for first-timers
- CXWORX 101 overview and tips for first-timers
- CXWORX Initial Training
- BODYATTACK Initial Training
- BODYPUMP Advanced Instructor Module 1
- BODYPUMP Advanced Instructor Module 2
- Les Mills Groundworks
- BODYATTACK Certification
- How to learn Les Mills choreography
- BODYPUMP 89 review and launch
- BODYATTACK 84 review
- Everything you need to know about Les Mills
- BODYATTACK Advanced Instructor Module 1
- BODYATTACK 85 review
- BODYPUMP 90 review
- BODYATTACK 86 review
- BODYPUMP 91 review
- How to maximize your results in group fitness classes
- Les Mills Good Protein review
- Top 10 ways to grow your group fitness classes
- Most popular Les Mills questions answered
- BODYPUMP 92 review
- BODYATTACK 87 review
- What to expect from a Les Mills Super Quarterly
- BODYPUMP 93 review
- BODYATTACK 88 review
Questions of the day
Have you ever taken a Les Mills class?
When is the last time you tried a new workout class?