It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted about Les Mills group fitness programs, so here we go: a full review of Les Mills On Demand streaming workouts.
Les Mills On Demand is a web-based site where you can access more than 600 Les Mills group fitness workouts, and you do NOT need to be a Les Mills instructor to sign up — it’s for everyone.
Les Mills On Demand features the actual classes and releases you would find in a gym with a Les Mills license — just virtually. This post is going to detail everything you need to know about the pros and cons of this streaming service.
Review of Les Mills On Demand
As a note, Les Mills did give me a free trial for 3 months to experience the service, but I’m writing this post on my own, and it’s not sponsored at all. I mean, if you’ve ever been to the blog before, you know I’m a Les Mills lover through and through, but I’m going to give an unbiased opinion today.
I trained to teach my first Les Mills program, BODYPUMP, almost 10 years ago (WOW), and I’m currently certified in BODYPUMP, BODYATTACK and CXWORX, although only subbing right now.
Now, let’s get to the review …
What is Les Mills On Demand?
From the New Zealand-based creators of the very popular live group fitness classes, Les Mills On Demand is a web-based service available on computers, tablets and iPhones, with more than 600 various streaming workout classes, ranging from 15 to 55 minutes in length, you can access almost anywhere, anytime. You pay a monthly membership fee for unlimited usage of the streaming service. Basically, you have workouts … on demand.
Where can you get Les Mills On Demand?
Pulled from the Les Mills website …
LES MILLS On Demand is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Estonia and Poland. We’re also available in NZ to members of a LES MILLS Gym. We are working on expanding LES MILLS On Demand to more countries as fast as we can!
So if you can’t get it yet, hopefully soon.
How much does Les Mills On Demand cost?
It’s $12.99 a month in the United States. No sign-up fee. Charged monthly.
Les Mills instructors get a slight discount, and I believe Les Mills trainers and presenters may get an even bigger discount, or get it for free, but don’t quote me on that.
The good news is that there is a 10-day free trial for everyone, which is how I first tried out the service a few months ago, before I did this latest 3-month complimentary trial.
While writing this post, I pulled a “referral code” from the system, which says my friends can get a 30-day free trial. Well, you guys are my friends, so here you go. Sign up with this link and enter the code sensibledrink54. Hope it works — and no, I didn’t make that code up — it was randomly generated — and no, I don’t get anything for you using it.
The pros of Les Mills On Demand
- Variety: There are SO many types of workouts, from strength training, to high-intensity interval training, to dance, to cycling, to yoga — all available in one place. The programs include: BODYPUMP, BODYATTACK, BODYCOMBAT, BODYFLOW/BODYBALANCE, Les Mills Barre, Les Mills Yoga, CXWORX, Les Mills GRIT Series (Cardio, Strength and Plyo), Les Mills Dance (BODYJAM), Sh’Bam (another dance one), BODYSTEP, Born to Move, RPM and Les Mills Sprint.
- Short workouts: There are a bunch of 15 to 25 minute workouts to choose from, which is awesome. When you’re working out at home, and you’re very busy, time matters. I love that Les Mills On Demand packages up shorter workouts, so you can feel worked and accomplished in a short amount of time. This is where it’s different from what you’d find in a live setting, sometimes you’ll see an “Express” 30-minute Les Mills class, but Les Mills On Demand shortens the workouts even more, and that’s a major PRO! Yes, technically you could stop a workout class before it ends, but that doesn’t make you feel good. The fact that these programs are cut and pasted to be a complete short workout is a huge win for the service.
- Combo workouts: Another huge benefit is the fact that Les Mills does the hard work for you and puts together pieces of work from DIFFERENT programs into combo classes. I LOVE this feature, because you get full-body or body-part focused workouts, in a short amount of time, combining different modalities. This is also unique to Les Mills On Demand and not often found in a live gym setting. You can find a Strength/Stretch 15-minute BODYATTACK session or even a BODYCOMBAT/Les Mills Yoga 1-hour session and much more.
- Quality music and instruction: Les Mills just does it better. The music is always good, the moves go to the beat, the instructors are top notch, the coaching is spot on, and the programs are just QUALITY. Because the classes on Les Mills On Demand are mostly the same ones that are being delivered in a live setting all over the world, they are safe (mostly), effective and enjoyable for people, even at home all alone.
- Workout schedules: Now here’s something extra about this service — Les Mills put together workout calendars, under a tab called “Schedules” showing you sample plans for how to schedule your week. I like this a lot. I didn’t use them, but from a preview, they incorporate cardio, strength and stretching each week, which everyone should aim for. The plans start from very basic if you are just getting going with exercise, called “Learn the Basics” all the way to super advanced, called “Unleashed.” This is a big selling point for someone who needs help in this area.
- Beginner workouts and tutorials: There are streaming videos where Les Mills trainers and program directors tell you exactly how to do moves that you will see in Les Mills workouts. This is something that live participants don’t have the chance to see, and it’s absolutely essential. This is a major win for the service.
- Access: Les Mills On Demand gives people access to the beauty of Les Mills workouts, even if they don’t go to a gym where Les Mills has live group fitness classes licensed. This is a big PRO. We want more people moving and enjoying their workouts.
The cons of Les Mills On Demand
- View-ability: If you like to do Les Mills On Demand workouts on the go and use the videos from your phone, as I did a few times at the gym, the picture is so small and you have to strain a bit to look at the screen while following along. This can compromise form and be dangerous, so I recommend using at least a tablet-size viewer or larger. In addition, never turn your head to look at the screen — try to use an elevated place to keep the screen, so your body stays in proper alignment for your workout. This is important for all streaming workout classes you follow.
- Missing the live element: Also, even though the instructors, music and moves are awesome — there’s NOTHING like the feeling and community of a live class. I love that Les Mills On Demand is a thing and is available so more people all over the world who don’t have access to a gym can try and see the quality of Les Mills programming. It’s life changing. Putting the moves to the beat of the music is the only way I like to work out now, having been a Les Mills lover for almost 10 years. I want everyone to feel this way. But I want to be clear that it’s NOT the same as being in a live class with a live world-class instructor. Truth. (Side note: I’m pretty sure some instructors were upset and/or worried when Les Mills On Demand debuted, thinking it would take away the specialness of being a real instructor — but I don’t think so. If anything, it adds to how awesome it is to be able to teach such a program to real-live bodies in a gym setting. It doesn’t replace the experience, it’s just a different and lesser avenue, which is worthy and valuable for a lot more people.)
- Safety: There are some TOUGH moves in Les Mills workouts, particularly, BODYATTACK and Les Mills GRIT Series as well. If someone is newer to working out and going super hard at home without a coach around them to help, they could potentially injure themselves. This is always a concern with home workouts, so I have to list it in the con section here.
Who can do Les Mills On Demand?
Anyone! If your doctor has cleared you to work out, then you are good to go. From the newbie to the athlete. (However, see the last bullet of the con section below.)
A newbie to exercise would NOT want to start with the super intense Les Mills GRIT program. However, you could try out BODYFLOW or a portion of BODYCOMBAT or a dance program, and follow the beginner schedules provided by the service.
If you’re pregnant and you’re an experienced exerciser, I think you’d be okay doing some of the workouts, as long as you know how to modify them. If you’re pregnant and NOT an experienced exerciser, I’d talk to your doctor and consider some safer in-person classes instead. And if you need help, check out “How to modify a BODYPUMP class when you’re pregnant.”
The advanced and super-fit exerciser will have a LOT of fun with Les Mills On Demand with the combo workouts and the access to so many programs. But I mean, don’t go overboard! Even though it’s fun, too many workouts are not good for the body. I’ve been there and done that, and I’ve made it my mission to ensure that I don’t let anyone else over-exercise under my watch. ALWAYS take a full rest day off each week and do a few lighter days to balance out your tougher days.
What equipment do you need?
Some of the programs, like BODYATTACK, Yoga, BODYCOMBAT and the dance programs, do not require any equipment at all. You just need your viewing device, some space and yourself.
You’ll need a barbell with various weight plate options for BODYPUMP and GRIT Strength, and you’ll need a step with risers for BODYSTEP, as well as some small hand weights. You’ll also need a resistance tube for CXWORX. Oh, and don’t forget the spin bike for RPM and Les Mills Sprint.
I would recommend that you find a room with plenty of space, good sneakers and a yoga mat. If you can’t swing getting a whole barbell set up, you may be able to do some of the weighted classes with two sets of dumbbells — a set of heavier and a set of lighter — although the integrity and effectiveness of the workouts using barbells won’t be exactly the same.
Would I recommend using Les Mills On Demand?
Yes. I think Les Mills On Demand is a SOLID at-home workout program, which you can also do while traveling or at the gym.
I think there are plenty of workouts to keep you busy for months upon months (it looks like new ones are added often and noted under a “Recently Added” section, as well as announced via an email from the service to subscribers), and you can continue to challenge yourself to try new programs.
However, Les Mills On Demand does NOT replace a periodized, individualized workout program that gets progressively harder for you. Although you can choose tougher workouts and add more weight to the bar and take more high options, that will be entirely up to you to decide when and if to do so.
Working with a personal trainer, if possible, is a great addition to Les Mills On Demand workouts, just to check your form, movement patterns and individual needs.
Continued in the next question …
If you go to a gym with Les Mills live group fitness classes, should you also do Les Mills On Demand?
Yes. You don’t have to at all, but you could get some good things from it …
There are only a handful of live Les Mills group fitness programs at my gym. Because your gym has to pay for the individual license for each program, you probably don’t have all of them either. You may only have one or two. Ohhhh but there are MORE great workouts from Les Mills you are missing out on. And if you love Les Mills, you may love more of their programs.
I’ve enjoyed doing the Les Mills Barre and Les Mills Yoga workouts, which my gym does not have. I’ve got my eye on trying some of the dance programs and doing BODYSTEP too. I can’t get any of these workouts near me, so these fill that void. (And I mean, let’s be real, I like to do the dance programs at home alone, because it takes me a while to catch on hehehe.)
Also, because workout classes aren’t always at the times that you want, Les Mills On Demand lets you choose when you work out.
I’ve taken my iPhone to the gym, found an empty cycle room and done several Les Mills GRIT Strength workouts. I can’t ever make it to the class times for this program, so have done a few on my own virtually. It’s WAY more motivating to do it with a live instructor, but it gets the job done.
When you travel, you may not have great classes around. But if you have a hotel room or a parent’s spare bedroom and your laptop, you can pop out a world-class virtual workout class with Les Mills On Demand. (Which I may do over Thanksgiving coming up!)
I really like all of this about Les Mills On Demand.
Tips for using Les Mills On Demand
- Follow the “Learn the Basics” schedule and do the how-to videos, EVEN if you aren’t new to working out, just to cover your bases on form instruction.
- Wear the right sneakers. Unless you are doing yoga or barre, you need to wear comfy shoes and comfy workout clothes.
- Safely clear the area where you will be working out. Nobody wants to trip over a couch pillow or dog while doing burpees or plyo lunges.
- Position the screen so that you don’t have to strain your neck up or down to get a full picture of the instructors. If you can use a TV (via Apple TV or Roku), do that. It’s WAY better to have a bigger and better picture.
- Turn up the volume, listen to the coaching and think about your body’s movement and form throughout every move that you do. Make changes. Focus on form. Focus on form.
- Save the workouts that you do and like on your “Saved list” so you can go back to them. Do them a few times to make sure you learn the moves and can do them properly.
- Shoot for variety, try to do at least a couple of different programs throughout the week, try new things and don’t forget to take a rest day. When in doubt, access the “Schedules” portion.
- Pick up weights. Stretch. Always do the cool-down.
- If you’re doing the harder Les Mills GRIT workouts, do some warming up on your own and stick around to do some stretching on your own afterward as well. These are essential elements not in the Les Mills GRIT program, because of the time allotted, but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them.
- Drink LOTS of water before, during and after your workout.
- Join the Les Mills On Demand group on Facebook and interact! Community is everything, and it’s fun to discuss how you’re feeling about the workouts you’re doing.
- Have fun!
- Get yourself to a live Les Mills group fitness class one day, if you haven’t done so yet. It’s the best.
Well, we’ve surpassed the 2,700 word count on this post, so I think we’ll call it from here.
If you want to read more posts about Les Mills — a topic I used to cover on the blog a lot more than I do now — head here.
You may also like this one … “How to get motivated to work out at home.”
Thanks for reading this review of Les Mills On Demand, my friends! Have a most fabulous week!Wondering what Les Mills On Demand is like? Here's a full review of the @lesmills streaming workout service ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
Have you tried Les Mills On Demand?
Do you ever work out at home?
What’s your favorite way to work out?