Amazing day of group fitness at the Super Q

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to join more than 150 members of the Les Mills Tribe at a “Super Q” event held at the huge 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport gym in Livermore. 

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.

Les Mills Super Q setup with SmartbarsLadies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Les Mills SMARTBAR and SMARTSTEP — the high-quality equipment we used.

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.

Les Mills Super Q location, swag and bandsA look at the exterior of the gym, my event wristbands and some Reebok and Les Mills-branded swag. After the first two classes, I quickly changed into my new shirt and instantly soaked it in sweat. 

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.

BODYPUMP 94

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.

Les Mills Super Q event BODYPUMPWho is buffer? Master trainer and presenter Will or me? I’ll let you decide …

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!

BODYSTEP 100

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!

BODYJAM 73

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 …

Les Mills Super Q BODYJAMThere’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!

CXWORX 19

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.

Les Mills Super Q CXWORX classThe good news: I scored a spot in the front for CXWORX. The bad news: The orange resistance tubes we used were new, which meant they were extra tough to maneuver.

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 69

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.

Les Mills Super Q event BODYFLOWNothing feels as good as a soothing BODYFLOW session after four hours of taking group fitness classes. Thanks, Josef and Nicole!

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.

BODYATTACK 89

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.

Les Mills Super Q BODYATTACKBlurry but fun, here’s an action shot of me ATTACKing, as well as the presenters on stage during one of the last classes of the day.

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!

Les Mills Super Q people picturesThat 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.

Les Mills Super Q GRIT Champs and scheduleI was very proud of some of my fellow Bay Area instructors, who placed in the GRIT Champs competition. Way to go, team! What a day we had together!

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 on Les Mills here.

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Questions of the day

Have you ever taken a Les Mills class? 

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70 Comments

    1. Hi Lisa, My usual gyms don’t have the fancy SMARTBAR or SMARTSTEP either unfortunately! And I LOVED BODYPUMP 94! Hope you can fit some Les Mills into your week! Happy Tuesday! πŸ™‚

  1. That looked SO FUN…. going to check if they have a similar event in France. I would have loved it. I’ve never taken BODYSTEP because it’s not offered at my gym but I’ll have to find it somewhere. Definitely my style. Thanks for the detailed recap!!

    1. BODYSTEP is fun and a great workout! And I’m sure Les Mills will hold an event in France soon! It’s big there, right?? Hope you’re having a great day, Diane! πŸ™‚

  2. That sounds and looks like an amazing day! Working out and mingling with like minded people for 12 hours is completely up my alley! Thanks for the lowdown!

    1. Oh yes, Courtney! I was in heaven and want to go back. But I may change clothes more times if I redid the day hahhaa. I was one sweaty mess!! Happy Tuesday, lady! πŸ™‚

  3. Great post! I saw your instagram…that’s crazy that you were able to take so many classes in a day! How did you feel the next day!? Great recap..loved hearing a bit about each class!

    1. Hi Gretchen! I was a little stiff and tired the next day, but crazy enough — NOT very sore at all? I guess that one BODYFLOW session helped me out heheh! It was such a fun day! Hope you’re week is off to a great start, lady! πŸ™‚

  4. What an incredible experience. I feel like every Les Mills event/training I attend I fall in love with it even more. Les Mills is such a fantastic company to represent and work for. I’m so glad you had a fun time at the Super Q! Are you ready for autoship this week?!?!?!

    1. Yes! I usually wait a little bit to download and watch the releases though, but now I’m even more excited because I’ve had a chance to try them out already! Hope you have an awesome day, Jenna!

  5. Yehhh! It looks like it was so much fun πŸ™‚ (of course). I LOVE Amanda Scales, by far one of my all time favorite instructors on the DVDs for Step.
    I can’t even image a GRIT challenge like that. Our gyms don’t offer GRIT, but I tried it at the Vegas event and it was seriously killer. The best way I can describe it is like doing an Attack Track 4 for 30 minutes straight! Ouch.
    Glad you had a blast and that the instructors were awesome! Thanks for sharing – I’m now even more excited to see Step 100.

    1. Hi Ashleigh! Yes, GRIT is intense, but it sure gets the job done in less than 30 minutes. And Amanda is SOO incredible at BODYSTEP, I could have watched her forever. I really enjoyed that workout, perhaps it was one of my favorites of the day! Happy group fitness to you, lady! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your day!

    1. Hi Brie! It was so fun. There’s really something for everyone among all the Les Mills classes, that’s for sure! Hope you’re having a great week so far, lady! πŸ™‚

  6. I’m so glad you gave us a recap. I’m super excited to attend OneLive now that you posted this. Will you be there?

    1. Hi Bea! No! I wish I was going, but I’m not. You better take a lot of pictures!! You will have an incredible time!!!!!! Hope you’re week is off to a great start, friend!

    1. Hi Pinky! I hope you get the chance, because it’s truly awesome. Hope you are having a great week so far, lady! Happy Tuesday!

  7. I would LOVE to go to one of those events someday!! Question for you: do the gyms you teach at require a ACE group fitness certification? One of the new gyms I’m looking into teaching at requires the certification, and I was wondering if you had went through that process.

    1. Hi Brittney! Most gyms where I’ve ever taught Les Mills only require a Les Mills certification and CPR certification. While ACE is helpful, it’s not required for Les Mills. I have a PT certificate and many other certifications, but not ACE, so I can’t speak to what it’s like. However, the more certs, the better, I’d imagine! πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  8. This is so AWESOME! I’m pretty sure attending one of these quarterly events would be one of my top favorite things EVER. I heart Les Mills! So glad you had a fun time and were able to take away some things from it too. And Will Pritchard?! Jealous!! πŸ˜‰ I’m curious about that question Josef encouraged you to ask your class members… That’s a good idea, but when would you ask this question? Like, discuss it during cool down or before/after class individually with your members?

    1. Hi Ashley! That would definitely be something to discuss on a one-on-one basis before and after class for sure. Lots of fun at the Les Mills event and you better get to one one day! πŸ™‚

  9. I have taken one Les Mill Body Pump! It was so good!!!! πŸ™‚ And WOW. 11 workouts? You are crazy amazing. I would be dead by about number 5.

    1. Hi Emily! Well, I only did 6 workouts heheh! I was just there for 11 hours! It was AWESOME! Hope you’re having a great week so far!

  10. Okay, I’m ready to quit my job and work to become an instructor now! lol
    What an awesome day! I know exactly what you mean when you say you’re in love with being a part of the tribe. I get that same passion inside of me when I’m doing Attack. Sometimes I even get teary eyed! It’s silly, I know but it just feels so good to be a part of something that brings so many people together in a positive light. I can imagine being an instructor and attending an event with all of that energy and love around you makes you fall even harder. SO awesome! Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

    1. You are so welcome, Sarah! And it’s so cool that participants can be just as passionate! One of these days you need to take my class!! πŸ™‚

  11. I of course loved reading this!! That sounds like such a perfect day, Ashley! One day we will go to these events together, mmmmmkay?

    And Katy Hanses was my BA trainer! I ADORE her, so I’m glad you got to have her there with ya πŸ™‚

    And boy I can’t wait to try out BP 94–I think it’s available for me to download now, and I can’t wait to teach it!

    1. Hi Annette! Oh cool! Yes, I loved Katy! And I sure hope we get to meet at a Les Mills event one day!! And YAY for BP 94 — but honestly CXWORX 19 was pretty awesome too!! They are all good! Happy teaching to you:)

    1. My gym doesn’t even have the SMARTBAR or SMARTSTEP yet, but hopefully they will get them one day. That stuff is nice! Happy Tuesday, Ange! Hope all is well! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Heather! YES, that’s the beauty of the workouts — they have the same ESSENCE, but the moves and music continue to evolve. So glad you’re a fan! πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday!

    1. Hahaha, thanks Doc! I didn’t work out ALL 11 hours — just 6 hours. But you know! It was a lot of fun. Hope all is well with you this week:)

  12. Awesome recap– what a fun time! I used to attend the Les Mills Midwest Mania weekend event in Chicago when I was a full time instructor and seriously loved every second of it. I contemplated continuing to attend even after I changed jobs, but haven’t been able to the last few years with all of the weddings we have had going on. You have really been motivating to start teaching again though- thanks, Ashley!

    1. Hi Katie! Oh you totally should! Did you ever teach any Les Mills programs? I don’t think I knew that?? Totally cool you went to Mania!

  13. Ahhh! Such a great review! I LOVE Quarterlies and was so jealous all day on Saturday seeing friends’ pictures and statuses popping up in my FB and IG feeds. πŸ™‚ I’m planning on attending the OC one in August. Can’t wait for it to go on sale to secure my spot! Bummed that I can’t make One Live work this year.

    I see a couple familiar faces in your BodyJam picture πŸ™‚ Including Lissa – she was my Sh’Bam trainer – she’s so awesome! We’re definitely lucky to have some awesome trainers and presenters leading us here on the West Coast (no offense East Coast ;)).

    1. Hahhah Breanne! I would have to agree that the West Coast is the Best Coast when it comes to Les Mills trainers hehe:) And Lissa was an AWESOME dancer. I’d love to be able to move like her heheh. And sadly, I’ve still never tried Sh’BAM! But at least I did BODYJAM! You’d be proud:)

  14. I did the simultaneous Super Q in Philly on Saturday (one love!)- Pump, Step, Vive, CX, Attack, Flow, and Combat. Loving pump 94 definitely my favorite out of the bunch. Those songs never end. Only disappointment was no merch. πŸ™

    1. Hi Gen! I agree that it would have been nice to have merchandise to buy! And how cool you were at the Q in Philadelphia at the same time as me! I wish it would be possible to take every single program in a day, but sadly, not so much! Cool you did VIVE — I really like BODYVIVE, but it’s not offered anywhere near me. I’ve only done the DVDs a few times. Happy Tuesday to you, fellow tribe member! πŸ™‚

  15. OHHHH I’m so jealous!!! Looks like so much fun! I remember when I tried out to be a BodyCombat instructor it was just so nice to be with such fun energetic people that are all like minded!!!

    Looks like such a blast!

    1. Yes, that’s right you got to meet him last year at IDEA! He is based in Southern California so will probably make an appearance again, I’d imagine!

    1. Oh Brittany, it’s awesome! Imagine a big Starbucks coffee convention full of coffee lovers and all of your coffee-loving friends? That’s what a Les Mills event is to me heheh!!

  16. Wow this looks like so much fun! I can’t believe you took that many classes in a day, that’s heaps!
    I love the look of all those classes but especially body flow! I really want to try that!! πŸ™‚ I used to take a lot of body pump which I loved but this week I am going to trial F45 which I am pretty excited about too! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Jessica! I’ve never heard of F45 before? And so glad you’ve experienced BODYPUMP. I would love to take BODYFLOW more often, but it’s not offered very much around me at gyms. Hope all is well with you, lady! Have a great day!

  17. Hi Ashley! I’m Nadia from Jakarta, Indonesia!

    I just took Les Mills Bodyjam 73 new release by this week on 2 classes and I LOVE IT to the bone! The tracklist and choreography are amazing! I’m so glad I have join Fitness First Indonesia, because they have a quite complete Les Mills class. My favorite class from Les Mills is Bodyjam, even I am not a dancer but I feel so good when I dance away all my stress and feel so refresh after!

    1. Hi Nadia! Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello! Greetings to you! And I would agree that I’m not really a dancer, yet BODYJAM makes me feel SO good! I hadn’t taken it in so long until that Super Q a couple of months ago. Keep on loving those Les Mills classes, lady!! Take care!!

  18. Thank you! So happy that Canada introduced you to gyms and the pleasures of working out. It really is a pleasure… whenever I’m not in the mood or start making excuses, I remind myself I’m alive and able-bodied so get to it. Always feel better after. ? Doing what works for us is so, so, SO important.

  19. 73 new release by this week on 2 classes and I LOVE IT to the bone! The tracklist and choreography are amazing! I’m so glad I have join Fitness First Indonesia, because they have a quite complete Les Mills class. My favorite class from Les Mills is Bodyjam, even I am not a dancer but I feel so good when I dance away all my stress and feel so refresh after!

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