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Page 1

© Les Mills International Ltd 2005

Understanding Our Consumers

• It isn’t easy motivating a group of people with

varying levels of fi tness and experience. Everyone

is diff erent so instructors should encourage

people to work towards their individual or

personal goals – their ‘personal challenge’. It’s

important to provide clear instructions to each

person on how to tailor a workout – for example,

adjusting weights for BODYPUMP™, resistance or

load for RPM™, or step height for BODYSTEP™.

• People are most satisfi ed when the class feels

like a great experience. So the instructor needs

to manage the expectations and energy levels

of classes. Instructors should also keep the group

informed of upcoming exercises and tracks and

maybe give a brief overview of what to expect at

the beginning of a class.

• However, most people agree that the experience

shouldn�t be too predictable. Variety is an

important part of the experience and it’s a key

reason why people choose group fi tness over

other forms of exercise. They’re particularly critical

when there’s a lack of variety in music or tracks.

• Another common criticism is a lack of

consistency amongst instructors. People inevitably

develop preferences for certain instructors, but

it’s important that they can choose any class on a

group fi tness timetable and get consistent, high-

quality instruction.

• Everyone wants results – to see results, but also to

understand results. Increasingly, people want more

information on the bene� ts and purposes of

di� erent exercises. They want to know how and

why it’s doing them good.

• Increasingly, people want what they describe

as an �authentic experience�. This means

it’s essential that LES MILLS™ instructors are

always approachable and welcoming. They

need to be supportive in their comments and

no one participant should be singled out for

unconstructive criticism. Authentic instruction

is about avoiding the negative stereotypes of

superfi cial, over-the-top, selfi sh instructors or

annoyingly loud music.

• Music is a key strength in LES MILLS™ programs

– most people love the choice of music. Great

music takes away the discomfort of exercising, and

it provides motivation, particularly for reluctant


• In programs where equipment is used, like in

BODYPUMP™, RPM™ and BODYSTEP™, the state

of the equipment can make or break the

experience. While it’s not the instructor’s direct

responsibility, people still expect instructors

to monitor the quality and availability of the


• Even with long-term club members, awareness

and knowledge of programs may be limited. We

have to keep new and existing club members

up to date about the benefi ts of LES MILLS™


• Word-of-mouth recommendation from

friends and family is the number one factor for

generating interest in our programs and getting

people to try them out. Encourage people to bring

someone to your next class. Recommendations

from club staff or personal trainers, and from

posters and information pamphlets also create

interest in the programs, so get chatting to people

at the gym and motivate them to try something

new and diff erent.

Our goal at Les Mills is to create

fi tness experiences that will

change the lives of our class

members. If we’re serious about

this, we need to know how they

feel about our programs, what

they want from them, and how we

can go about delivering this. This

information is vital to the ongoing

development of LES MILLS™

programs and also vital for you

to be a successful and eff ective

LES MILLS™ team.

Consumer Research to Date

An independent research agency (Essence Research,

New Zealand) conducted an extensive series of

discussions with consumer focus groups on all the

LES MILLS™ programs during 2003 and 2004. Focus

groups included:

• People who are currently doing LES MILLS™


• Club members who haven’t tried any LES MILLS™

programs so far;

• People who are doing freestyle group fi tness; and

• People who have dropped out of LES MILLS™


In addition, they also conducted research on over

500 current LES MILLS™ program participants in

Sweden and obtained feedback from key agents

within the LES MILLS™ network.

Generic Research Findings

The main fi ndings were:

• LES MILLS™ programs have a strong profi le –

people have heard of them and feel positive about


• Every week more and more people are taking part

in LES MILLS™ programs.

• People love doing the programs and there’s a very

high level of satisfaction.

• Furthermore, participants tell us that they are

continually “surprised and delighted” with

improvements and innovations in the programs.

• LES MILLS™ programs clearly lead and keep ahead

of fi tness trends.

In addition to this, more detailed information relating

to ALL of the programs was obtained:

• All of the LES MILLS™ programs give high levels of


• Great instructors are the key to happy clients.

Across all the programs, it’s the quality of the

instructor and the instructing that creates that


• People often arrive at the gym with no desire to

exercise at all. So enthusiastic instructors who

can inspire and motivate people are the ones

who get the best ratings with our clients. The ideal

instructor leads a great fi tness experience and

doesn’t put up barriers. The focus should be on the

needs of the group and ensuring everyone gets

the most out of the workout.

• Poor demonstration, instructions and cueing

are the most common criticisms of instructors.

Clear instruction of the exercises, technical

explanations and cueing are critically important.

The instructor needs to be the ultimate role model,

demonstrating perfect technique. All LES MILLS™

programs are expected to have instructors with

excellent instruction and demonstration.


Page 2

© Les Mills International Ltd 2005

BODYPUMP™ is well established now, but it still has

real potential for growth. There’s a lot of interest in

strength training and BODYPUMP™ appeals to both

men and women. While it’s a familiar program to

many, it’s still a unique and innovative idea for those

new to group fi tness.

Here’s some of the feedback from the LES MILLS™

focus groups:

• BODYPUMP™ fans like the challenge and

sense of achievement that the class creates – a

powerful, eff ective, effi cient, total body workout.

• They expect to be taught correct technique by


• People like the challenge, hard work and

achievement that is all part of a BODYPUMP™

class, but they also want it to be fun and


• Some instructors have been criticized for being

domineering, intimidating and overly critical.

That’s particularly unacceptable to younger people

who expect a more inspiring and positive style of


• In some clubs, poorly maintained equipment or

the shortage of equipment is a key concern.

• But the main thing stopping people from

trying BODYPUMP™ is that it’s got a rather

intimidating image. They’re put off by the

overwhelming array of equipment, daunting

reputation of some instructors, by fear of being

and looking incompetent and by the perception

that BODYPUMP™ is too serious and not really


Answer to the above fi nding from Emma Barry,

Group Fitness Director, Les Mills International:

�We systematically remove the areas of concern or

barriers that currently prevent our members from

trying this world-class workout. It�s about telling them

what they need to know. Like what to wear and bring

to class, which weights to select and how to use them,

etc... and getting them familiar with the workout in a

warm, informative and motivating way.�

• So now we know that BODYPUMP™ participants

want an effi cient, results-focused, personally

challenging workout that’s also enjoyable and

really inspires them. How can we use this research

to improve our classes and coaching?

Answer from Emma:

�It�s simple � we just need to focus on the basics: our

Five Key Elements. These, along with the information

we get each quarter, give us the skill and expertise to

provide the workout and experience people are telling

us that they want.�

Implications for Instructors

Instructors will need to put emphasis on:

• Mastering perfect technique.

How? By understanding ‘how’ we execute every

exercise in the BODYPUMP™ library – the plane of

the move, the range of movement, target zones,

weight selection and so on. We also need to

understand ‘why’ we execute an exercise this way

– factors like the associated benefi ts and safety

parameters. And then, most importantly, we have

to spend as many hours as we need to physically

perfect each exercise.

The perfect tool to awesome BODYPUMP™

technique is the latest technique session, included

with this DVD release. When you can demonstrate

perfect technique and really understand why

we do each exercise, you’ll have no problems

communicating this expertise to your class

members. You’ll be a fantastic demonstrator and

coach of BODYPUMP™ technique.

• ‘Looking the part’ to be a great role model for

the program.

We know that people keep coming back to our

classes for lots of reasons, but one of the driving

forces that gets them there in the fi rst place is the

desire to change the shape of their bodies. If you

don’t ‘walk the talk’ as we say, it’ll be diffi cult for

them to believe that BODYPUMP™ is the ‘fastest

way in the universe to get in shape’.

This could mean you need to enlist the help of a

personal trainer or you might need to cross-train

using both strength and cardiovascular regimes.

For some of you, simply increasing the number

of LES MILLS™ classes you take part in will help

achieve this. But be sensible – use a variety of

program options like BODYATTACK™ and RPM™

to work up your cardio response, and maybe

BODYBALANCE™ to help with suppleness and

fl exibility.

• Giving clear instructions and cueing.

These are fundamental to an effi cient results-

focused, enjoyable and personally challenging

workout. People not only want us to show them

how to do each exercise correctly, but they want

us to coach them how to do the same. They want

results and it’s our responsibility to make this

happen. It’s about them – not about us.

So it’s important to spend time on two things:

1. Script cues that set up the exercise correctly,

and then coach people to move like experts.

We’ve given you a number of quarterly education

sessions over the last year that focus on just this.

Review “Growing from Instructor to Coach” and

“Life Changing Instructional Language for Physical

Execution” to really fi ne-tune your skills here.

Check out the BODYPUMP™ cues included in this

handout. Here you’ll fi nd a comprehensive list of

initial and follow-up cues to use.

2. Watch the eff ect of your cues on your class –

are you getting the right message across? And

if not, is it because they’re not simple enough?

Or are you just talking too much so people are

‘switching off ’? Sometimes in a class, less is more.

If your initial cues aren’t having the desired eff ect

on people’s execution, remember you have a

second chance at getting it right. So keep your

eyes on your participants and CRC as necessary.

Often this is when you get to see which cues

really work.

BODYPUMP™ Consumer Research


Page 3

7© Les Mills International Ltd 2005© Les Mills International Ltd 2005

• Real connection with our classes.

This is paramount in successful BODYPUMP™

classes. You can achieve that connection

in a number of ways. They’ll get a sense of

achievement and success if you encourage your

classes and praise them for their good work.

• Motivating participants to �work hard�, and then

�work hard again�.

People want to increase their strength, endurance

and stamina and this can mean digging deep into

their own personal motivation. We can be hugely

powerful here by challenging and inspiring them.

BUT our cues must be delivered with respect,

authenticity and real connection if they are to

have an eff ect.

• Being really focused on stage.

People want us to take control and deliver the

experience in a powerful way. The most eff ective

way to do this is to have a strong purpose for each

class and an appropriate objective for each track.

Look back at the 2/2003 generic education called

“Class-Focused Objectives – Teaching with Purpose

and Passion”.

Each quarter, Mike lists his coaching objective

for each track to guide you. Use these to provide

focus and direction.

If you haven’t already, sign up to do AIM. This is a

powerful learning experience that will change the

way you teach.

• Equipment.

While a great piano teacher can’t teach students

on a piano that’s out of tune, neither can a great

BODYPUMP™ instructor coach a class to great

results if their equipment is not well maintained.

Check things like collars – are there enough and

do they work? Are there enough weights for your

normal class? If participants can’t use the weight

they need to get results you’ll be turning a positive

experience into a negative one.

While you mightn’t see this as being part of your

role, it’s your responsibility to let the right people

know if you have equipment issues.

Test Your Knowledge


�Inspiring life-changing

� tness experiences

everytime, everywhere�

Generic Research Findings

1. What type of instructors get the best ratings with

our clients?

2a. What are the most common criticisms of our


2b. Therefore, what is critically important?

3. To encourage people towards their individual

goals it is important to provide what? Give two




4. What does it mean when people want an

authentic experience?

5. What can great music do for our members in class?

BODYPUMP� Consumer Research

6. Give fi ve key areas that instructors will need to put

emphasis on in the future. Give a brief description

of what this means for you.






Page 4

© Les Mills International Ltd 2005


The following initial and

follow-up cues are to assist

you in more eff ective coaching.

Remember, 20 minutes a week

using great scripting will help

you grow from instructor

to coach.

SET Position – Initial Cues

These ensure correct alignment and safe

movement execution:

• SET up for success

• Feet hip-width

• Angle the toes out slightly

• Knees � exed and in line with 2nd and 3rd toes

• Thumbs outside the line of the thighs

• Lift chest/� rst rib

• Chin in, ears over the shoulders

• Eyes straight ahead

• Switch on through the core

SET Position – Follow-up Cues

These create positive change:

• Adopt an �active� SET position

• Turn on the core before you pick up the bar

• Get ready � to get SET � to get active

• Soft knees, hard muscles

• Stand with a long, strong spine

• Keep the chest proud

• Eyes on the horizon

Squat – Initial Cues

• Get ready, get SET to get active

• Heels outside hip-width

• Turn the toes out slightly � this helps engage the


• Soften your knees � get them in line with the center

of your foot

• Lift the chest and ease the shoulders back

• Retract the shoulder blades to set a platform for the

bar to sit on

• Flex from the ankles, hips and knees at the same time

• Distribute the weight evenly throughout the feet

• Descend till the butt sits just above the knees

• Breathe in as you descend, and out as you rise

Squat – Follow-up Cues

• Start from an active SET position with the heels wider

than hip-width and the toes out

• Lift up your chest and keep it proud

• Shoulders back, slightly squeeze between the blades

• As you descend, let the knees come forward, keeping

the weight even over the foot surface

• Sit your butt back, as if to hover above a seat

• Avoid locking out the knees, keep the muscles loaded

Chest Press – Initial Cues

• Lie down, get ready, get SET to get active

• Switch on the core

• Hands wider than shoulders

• Elbows under wrists and directly under the bar

• Bar in the heel of the hands

• Bar above the shoulder-line at rest

• Target: Mid-chest, or nipple-line

• Slight pinch between shoulder blades as the bar is


• Move the shoulders forward as the bar rises

Chest Press – Follow-up Cues

• Tummy strong

• Ease the bar down, keeping it o� the body

• Target: Mid-chest

• Strong wrists

• Keep your chest proud

• Chest opens, then closes

• Squeeze between the shoulder blades as the bar


• Remember, active shoulders

• Feel the rhythm

• Elbows soft at the top

• Keep the bar moving � no beginning, no end

Deadlift – Initial Cues

• Get ready to get SET to get active

• Feet hip-width

• Keep the toes out and the butt switched on

• Knees � exed

• Long, strong, straight spine

• Chin in to lengthen the neck

• Hands outside the thigh-line, thumbs brushing the


• Bar falls vertically

• Target: Top of the kneecap

Deadlift – Follow-up Cues

• SET position, then drop an inch

• Tip forward from the hip, keeping the knees soft

• Weight even across the entire foot surface

• Look forward of the toes

• Feel the work in the butt and hamstrings

Deadrow – Initial Cues

• Get ready to get SET to get active

• More knee � exion if using heavy weight

• Hands outside the thigh-line, thumbs brushing the


Option: Hands wider

• Weight even across the entire foot surface

• Target: Top of the kneecaps

• Draw bar up into your navel region, keeping the

elbows directed to the rear

• When rowing, just move the bar, not the body

Deadrow – Follow-up cues

• Sit into the exercise more, activate the glutes as


• Look forward of the toes

• Draw the bar to the navel region

• Squeeze between the shoulder blades

• Elbows to the rear

• Lock the body down, and control the movement of

the Row Phase


Page 5

© Les Mills International Ltd 2005

Clean & Press – Initial Cues

• Flex the knees more and maintain throughout this


• Initiate the movement from the knees

• As the bar is lifted, drop and get under the bar � semi-


• Dynamic wrists

• Press to the roof

• Return to the catch position, knees bent � semi-squat

• Elbows back and out of the way

• Release the bar back to the start

Clean & Press – Follow-up Cues

• Load, explode, load and release

• Drop under the bar to assist the lift � shallow squat

• Power the bar up

• Use the legs to assist the lift and catch

Tricep Press – Initial Cues

• Get ready, get SET to get active

• Hands shoulder-width apart

• Bar in the heel of the hand, grip stong

• Elbows slightly � exed and facing the toes

• Switch on and engage the core

• Target: Lower chest

• Elbows sweep close to the body

Tricep Press – Follow-up Cues

• Keep your wrists strong

• Target: Below the heart, bra-line, heart rate monitor


• Elbows hug the ribs

• Elbows soft � no beginnings, no ends

Tricep Extension – Initial Cues

• Get ready, get SET to get active

• Chin in to elongate the neck

• Switch on, and engage the core

• Hands shoulder-width apart

• Bar in the heel of the hand

• Wrists neutral

• Elbows slightly � exed

Option: Advanced setup above eye-line

• Lower bar towards the forehead

• Isolate the movement at the elbows

Tricep Extension – Follow-up Cues

• Strong wrists

• Hinge at the elbows

• Aim for the crown of the head

• Elbows soft � no beginnings, no ends

• Lower the bar as far as you can without the elbows

moving sideways

Tricep Pushup – Initial Cues

• Switch on, and engage the core

• Lengthen through the spine

• Option: On the toes

• Hands under the shoulders

• Fingers straight ahead

• Elbows soft and to the rear

Tricep Pushup – Follow-up Cues

• Maintain length in your spine

• Proud chest, squeeze between your shoulder blades

• Hug your elbows to your sides

• Elbows soft � no beginnings, no ends

Kickback – Initial Cues

• Maintain SET in the horizontal position

• Three points of contact, 90 degrees at the hip

• Engage the upper back

• Switch on, and engage the core

• Set the upper arm along the trunk-line, elbow into

the side

• Use the full range of the extension movement

• Keep your upper arm still

Kickback – Follow-up Cues

• Table top back

• Chin in, neck long

• Brace through the core

• Hips square

• Extend from the elbow

Overhead Tricep Extension –

Initial Cues

• Get ready, get SET to get active

• Split Stance

• Switch on, and engage the core

• Plate overhead � elbows slightly forward of the


• Extend from the elbows

• Keep the upper arms close to the head

• Option: Narrow grip

Overhead Tricep Extension –

Follow-up Cues

• Stabilize the upper arms

• Hinge from the elbows

• Strong trunk

• Option: Hold the plate like a book

Bicep Curl – Initial Cues

• Get ready, get SET to get active

• SET Stance or Split Stance

• Switch on, and engage the core

• Lift chest, shoulders back

• Wide grip; hands in a natural carrying angle

• Strong wrists

• Starting point: Bar touching the top of the thigh,

arms fully extended

• Keep your arms near your side

• Keep shoulders pointing to the side, and not rounded


• Target: At the top of the curl, bar in line with


Bicep Curl – Follow-up Cues

• Stabilize through your core

• Brace through your back

• Chest lifted

• Shoulders back

• Work through the tough spot at the bottom of

the lift

• Vary your stance to assist stabilizer recovery

• Open out the elbows

Lunge – Initial Cues

• Demonstrate the 90:90 Rule � Setup ONLY!

� Adjust feet until stance feels comfortable

• Feet hip-width apart and parallel

• Hips square and level

• Chest lifted, shoulders back

• Switch on and engage the core

• Drop the back knee toward the � oor

Lunge – Follow-up Cues

• Chest high, draw up through the core

• Feet on railway tracks

• Let your back knee drop, the body will follow

• Avoid tucking hip under

• Drive up through the back leg

• Keep the front knee soft, muscles loaded


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