around here we know no other way!

our dynamic duo

This below is the first in a series of featured posts by Les Mills brand.  As always, opinions are my own.


In 15 days I turn 44. 

It took me thirty of those years to learn no woman is an island.

Motherhood, writing, weight-loss, weight-loss maintaining, FITNESS—- it all requires the proverbial village.

Reason #47 I love Les Mills as their science behind GETTING FIT TOGETHER is backs up the notion our fitness-world requires a team, too.

I started my healthy living program *alone* and we all know how well that didnt go. 

My flying solo resulted in fits & starts, over-training and shedding muscle.

Dont be me…

This month Im partnering with Les Mills in their war on inactivity.

Focusing on fitness not dieting their research shows working out in a group is the secret to getting us sedentary adults moving and staying on track with fitness. *

Im onboard with this approach.

Here’s why:

  • Group fitness means accountability.  And–if you’re me–it means COMMUNITY.  When I launched my It’s time to shed my freshwoman FORTY in college I began with step aerobics classes.  I thrived as a result of having friends who expected me to show up at class and who checked in on me if I blew it off if missed.  Positive peer pressure, People—it works!
these days shes my peer pressure

many days shes my peer pressure


  • Group fitness means compliance.  The *aesthetics* of weight-loss only carry you so far on your journey.  Connection with others on the same fitness-path helps motivate too.  Many times I went to step class mostly to gossip with girlfriends.  My reasons for going didnt matter—-what mattered was I went.  Les Mills’ research showed group fitness resulted in a NINETY EIGHT PERCENT compliance rate.  This clearly indicates the enjoyment and community built from group exercise is vital in creating good fitness habits.  I found fitness in a group setting & thats how Ive maintained my weight loss.  Les Mills *gets* the fact the GROUP DYNAMIC is key in maintaining compliance with exercisers of all manners and abilities.


CONNECTING: as important as fat-burning!

Connecting: as crucial as fat-burning!

  • Group fitness means acclimatization.  When I was a trainer I started clients off doing LESS than they were capable of as we were working to build HABITS first.  I, like the Les Mills group fitness approach, am a believer in consistency being key to success.  Group fitness creates a necessary fitness *habit* which lessens chance of falling into the FITS & STARTS cycle Before examining the Les Mills research Id not seen a study which was able to clearly draw the correlation between building a successful long-term fitness regime and EASING gradually into a routine before working the way up to a full six-day-a-week routine.  The Les Mills group fitness offerings allow participants to acclimatize and, as a result, stick with their program of choice.


  • Group fitness means support.  I’m uncoordinated.  I’m the last one to “get” a new routine.  Classes/group support are a great way for me to try something new as I know I’ll have encouragement & others trying class for the first time, too!  No one cares if Im a misfit bumbling through BODY JAM—they just laugh and jam alongside me!
We all need cheerleaders.

We all need support!


  • Group fitness means fat-loss.  We all know you CAN NOT out train a crappy (technical term) diet. Without changing food intake the Les Mills research participants* increased good (HDL) cholesterol and decreased bad (LDL) cholesterol.  They decreased body fat by almost 7% (men) and 4% (women). They increased muscle mass by an average of 13.6lbs (men) & 2.6lbs (women). All through group fitness!


However you define group (from neighborhood kickball to one of the ten MUSCLETASTIC Les Mills class offerings.) the research backs up my notion of no man or woman being a fitness ISLAND.

With that Im off.

To get OFF the island and get my group fitness ON.

  • How will you exercise off the island today & get fit Les Mills GROUP STYLE?




*Conclusions based on Les Mill’s Get Fit Together study which subjected 25 sedentary individuals to a 30 wk program of LES MILLS™ Group Fitness classes. Program was based on American College of Sports Medicine physical activity guidelines.


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  1. says

    First off Miz, 44?? I would have thought 34. I’m 43 and really feel like an underacheiver. As I’m going through my own fitness journey to reclaim my former self, I have been looking into classes that I would like to do. I totally agree with you

  2. says

    That’s one thing I miss from not having a gym membership – group fitness classes! Spin was my thing for sure. There’s just so much energy in a class that it’s infectious!

  3. Toni @Runninglovingliving says

    I run with a running group which is kind of like group fitness and I love the support and friendships I have made that would never have happened on my solo runs!! PS you look amazing for 44!!!

  4. says

    i love group fitness! itz so motivating and i just love the atmosphere! i also like the competition aspect because i’m so darn competitive. not the “i’m going to lift more than you,” but more just the “if she can do it, so can i!”

  5. says

    I love LES MILLS! It was one of my first group fitness classes i ever took which inspired me to get my group fitness certification! COMMUNITY is MOTIVATION!

  6. says

    I SO wish there was a les mills where I lived! I definitely love everything I hear about it. And group fitness it so much fun.
    I don’t have a gym membership anymore, and I definitely miss that part of fitness – the classes. At least I can teach pilates which I love.

  7. says

    As a group ex instructor, I see all of that every day. Most of my students are older and for them the community is the most important part. Ironically I have never been much for group classes myself (except yoga, by necessity). I do love running with a group though.

  8. Runner Girl says

    I am injured and can’t run.
    You may have convinced me to try group classes.
    I’ll let you know, Mizzy.

  9. says

    I usually love group classes but it’s hard to fit in with marathon training – I still get up and do all the things though! I can’t wait to start TEACHING some to help others get and stay fit!

  10. says

    Ya know I love that you and the tornado are running bare foot, right? And I am a big proponent of going w/ running group is such a huge part of my life!

    • MIZ says

      Im so…quirky:-) I dont love running EXCEPT barefoot in grass.
      I always always wear my five fingers and have for close to a decade.
      Youd think Id love the run.
      but I dont.
      except when chased…

  11. says

    I love Les Mills. In fact, when we moved last year I joined the Y only because they offer the Les Mills series and I didn’t want to give up my group fitness. There are plenty of gyms a lot closer to my house, but I’ll go out of my way for those classes!
    Glad to see you’re on board :-)

  12. says

    It is a great post & honestly, I agree with you – I think most people need this & yes, accountability, people cheering you on, consistency & all you wrote about…

    I am the “Misfit” here – I like to do my own thing in my own time & just be solo – just me. I did the class & other stuff in my younger years but I do like the solo now & have for years…. saying that, I do want to take yoga.. BUT if I were rich, I would hire my own teacher & do it one on one! :)

    • Mary Anne in Kentucky says

      Yeah, I’m not the 98%. Life is full of things that HAVE to be done at specific times and places. I don’t want exercise to be another one. And “accountability” always feels like “you’re pressuring me” to me.

  13. says

    I’ve never tried Les Mills group classes – but have tried BTS (kind of similar I think). There is, however, a new gym that teaches Les mills classes and I am very curious to try the spin. I was never a group class person until spin.

  14. says

    From my experience with the martial arts, I feel there is a group energy that can be a shared resource in many activities.

  15. cheryl says

    I really have never gotten the “group” thing- when I ran with a group they usually held me back, or didn’t show up on time, so I would go by myself.
    I guess it all comes down to how committed and how much will-power one has. I prefer running, riding and swimming by myself. I do yoga with a group sometimes and tune people out in the weight room. It’s not my social outlet. For some exercise is social-for me it’s my “me” time and a way to improve myself and my performance. Really successful athletes train solo if they have to.

  16. says

    Such wise words. I spend lots of time on my running island. But LOVE frisbee, scootering, badminton, skating monkey bars etc. with my girl posse.

  17. says

    Until recently I shied away from group classes, fearing that my socially awkward self would hate them! When I did do them, I didn’t talk to anyone and left as soon as possible after class. When I joined the Transform fitness group in April, it changedy entire perspective! I love having a support system to hold me accountable, cheer me on and kick me in the ass when I need it. My passion for fitness has completely transformed instead if just my body seeing the results! It’s a wonderful and amazing feeling!!!

  18. says

    I love spinning :) I’ve not taken many group fitness classes…I did go to Barre class…it showed me how uncoordinated I was lol It was FUN though!

    Consistency is the key. Creating habits…something I’ve learned along the way in my own journey.


    • says

      Do classes like these ever involve using those large machines like ellipticals and crosstrainers or is it a free for all?

      • MIZ says

        Most Les Mills classes do not use large machines, only RPM which is a cycling class will use bike. BODYPUMP will use a barbell and the new class GRIT SERIES won’t use any machines.

  19. says

    I LOOOVE the one les mills class that I did back in college. It really converted me to group classes and pumping it out. THanks for the links; I’m going to look for a Body Combat class near me!

  20. says

    I had a gym membership here for the month of April and did LES MILLS Body Pump and Body Flow – loved them both. I am not a gym fan but would LOVE to be able to do just Body Flow classes… unfortunately not widely offered in my area and and not at good times for me. Loved loved it though.

  21. says

    I’m a big fan of Les Mills. They were everywhere when I lived in Australia! I used to teach BodyJam but there are none in my area now so I don’t teach anymore! :( Sad! But I bought the Pump DVDs and love them!

  22. says

    I am the opposite here (the misfit, if you will) in that groups intimidate me and are anxiety causing. If I go to a group activity, it means I want to do that activity badly enough, and find that they just aren’t quite the same when done solo in my basement (Zumba & Yoga classes, I’m looking at you). But mostly I prefer to work out on my own.

    Do what works, right?

  23. says

    I have been trying to get my friends to work out with me for wayyy too long and nobody will commit. (I don’t have very health conscious friends) I got the most out of my workouts and was the most motivated to continue them when my friend was walking/running with me daily and working out but now our schedules conflict and I miss it. My roommate recently got a dog that I have to take care of for her so that’s been my recent motivation. It’s nice just to have somebody else–be it human or animal–there to keep you company and keep you going.

  24. says

    Well, you know what I think about group fitness class; it’s where I started my own quest for fitness and where I now motivate and inspire others to do so.

    Plus, it’s just a lot of fun!

  25. says

    Yep, yep, yep. I don’t know that I’d be where I’m at with my health and fitness were it not for my fit blogging community. Totally why I’ll be blogging through my body after baby adventures. I am no island. 😉

  26. says

    When i had a fitness club membership and took classes, or took classes at church, it was just as you say. Since i can’t afford either right now, it’s harder to force myself to do anything.

    It’s time to find some way to have company.

  27. says

    I love the words “it takes a village” for all of our healthy journeys. I know solitary fitness works for some, but it sure wouldn’t work for me. I feed off the energy around me. For the record too…I’d have pegged you a whole lot younger than 44!

  28. says

    I love group fitness classes and miss that part of my YMCA membership. I run with friends and family though, and attend a SurfSet class when I can! I try to stay off the island 😉

  29. says

    For years now, I’ve been my own little fitness island. But, this summer I started teaching a couple of outdoor boot camp classes and I remembered how awesome it is to get fit with others!!! My fall plan is to check out some of the classes at our gym (that I never go to!).
    And, I love lots of the Les Mills programs (even though I do them at home by myself!) – so cool that you have teamed up with them!!

  30. says

    Since running is primarily an individual sport, I crave group fitness. I meet with a running group on Tuesday nights for track workouts but I have done my share of Les Mills at the gym as well… huge fan!

  31. says

    I’m hoping to teach some group fitness classes in Houston! They are ones that I have never done before, but this next chapter is about being fearless, trying new things, and just going for it. YEAH for birthdays!

  32. says

    I’ve actually from reading several health mags that there’s research that says if you are jogging or biking along with someone, you tend to use 33% less energy and therefore can go further. Yay for group exercising!

  33. Hannah says

    Miz, I skip sponsored posts because they are always trying to sell and I don’t care. I come here for your writing. I’d read you write anything. I’m heading off the island today to yoga :)

  34. says

    I’ve been focused on aerobics group classes and Zumba group classes for the last few years, but after my son became a Les Mills instructor I knew I had to give it a try. Luckily, I live in an area where several locations offer the classes. I’ve tried Body Pump and CX Works and they’re good, but my favorite is Body Combat. This combination kickboxing / martial arts / boxing workout kicks my butt EVERYTIME. After 3 months I’m seeing results — my cardio conditioning is better than ever and my arms and legs are more toned. Yay Less Mills!