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JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Les Mills CEO responds to 'McDonalds of fitness' barb

Phillip Mills, CEO of New Zealand-based fitness giant Les Mills, has rejected criticism that his company’s standardised classes have caused the “McDonaldsisation” of the fitness industry, suggesting the critics misunderstand the purpose of the classes.

A study by two academics in Sweden, published in Sports, Education and Society, decried the standardisation of the fitness industry, saying it had become uniform in the same way as fast-food chains and suggested that this places limits on a fitness instructor’s competence.

Les Mills, whose programmes are used in more than 14,000 health clubs across 80 countries, came in for particular criticism as the world’s largest provide of group fitness classes.

One of the authors, senior lecturer at the Linnaeus University Jesper Andreasson, said in a press release that Les Mills programmes “limit the individual instructors’ chances of tapping into their full competence, as they have no way of changing the movements, music or the way they give instructions. Their abilities are not fully utilised since they have to adhere so strictly to a pre-designed terminology and choreography.”

However, Phillips Mills likened the division of labour between class developers and class instructors to the film industry, which optimises its productions by developing specialised screenwriters on the one hand and talented actors on the other.

“Freestyle instructors spend the vast majority of their preparation time creating their classes,” said Mills, speaking exclusively to Health Club Management.

“They have little time and energy left to work on their coaching, physical technique, communication and stage skills - all crucial elements of an intelligent, enjoyable class that will motivate participants to keep coming back.

“Having third party choreographers - often the world's best in their genres - create classes not only assures a high standard of programming, but allows instructors to focus on developing those other key skills.”

Mills also pointed out that instructors seem to prefer the split-specialisation system, stating that the average freestyle instructor lasts a little over a year in the group exercise industry, whereas Les Mills teachers have an average career lifespan of six to seven years.

Phillip Mills, CEO of New Zealand-based fitness giant Les Mills, has rejected criticism that his company’s standardised classes have caused the “McDonaldsisation” of the fitness industry, suggesting the critics misunderstand the purpose of the classes.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,ACD,RES
58284_921809.jpg
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News

Les Mills CEO responds to 'McDonalds of fitness' barb

Phillip Mills, CEO of New Zealand-based fitness giant Les Mills, has rejected criticism that his company’s standardised classes have caused the “McDonaldsisation” of the fitness industry, suggesting the critics misunderstand the purpose of the classes.

A study by two academics in Sweden, published in Sports, Education and Society, decried the standardisation of the fitness industry, saying it had become uniform in the same way as fast-food chains and suggested that this places limits on a fitness instructor’s competence.

Les Mills, whose programmes are used in more than 14,000 health clubs across 80 countries, came in for particular criticism as the world’s largest provide of group fitness classes.

One of the authors, senior lecturer at the Linnaeus University Jesper Andreasson, said in a press release that Les Mills programmes “limit the individual instructors’ chances of tapping into their full competence, as they have no way of changing the movements, music or the way they give instructions. Their abilities are not fully utilised since they have to adhere so strictly to a pre-designed terminology and choreography.”

However, Phillips Mills likened the division of labour between class developers and class instructors to the film industry, which optimises its productions by developing specialised screenwriters on the one hand and talented actors on the other.

“Freestyle instructors spend the vast majority of their preparation time creating their classes,” said Mills, speaking exclusively to Health Club Management.

“They have little time and energy left to work on their coaching, physical technique, communication and stage skills - all crucial elements of an intelligent, enjoyable class that will motivate participants to keep coming back.

“Having third party choreographers - often the world's best in their genres - create classes not only assures a high standard of programming, but allows instructors to focus on developing those other key skills.”

Mills also pointed out that instructors seem to prefer the split-specialisation system, stating that the average freestyle instructor lasts a little over a year in the group exercise industry, whereas Les Mills teachers have an average career lifespan of six to seven years.

Phillip Mills, CEO of New Zealand-based fitness giant Les Mills, has rejected criticism that his company’s standardised classes have caused the “McDonaldsisation” of the fitness industry, suggesting the critics misunderstand the purpose of the classes.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,ACD,RES
58284_921809.jpg

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Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM: A digital ecosystem that works for everyone
EGYM has been pioneering the connected gym floor for more than a decade, partnering with operators and other third-party integrations, to create a free-flowing training environment that places the member at the very centre of the experience.
Featured supplier news
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Questex’s Sibec Europe-UK, Europe’s leading hosted buyer event for the fitness industry, will take place on 27-30 September 2022 at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, in Portugal.
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Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
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Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
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Featured press releases: Énergie Fitness appoints Technogym as equipment partner
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
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