Les Mills Live Manchester
A couple of weeks ago I attended Les Mills Live, a ‘global fitness festival’ that took over Manchester central for one day only.
Just to give you some background, Les Mills are a fitness company that are responsible for popular workout classes such as Body Pump, Body Attack and RPM spinning.
Les Mills Live is a day featuring a variety of their classes performed by top instructors from around the world.
I was familiar with BodyPump and RPM anyway because I do them at my gym, but I hadn’t heard of the others. I was looking forward to trying out classes the Body Balance, GRIT strength and CXWORKX (which was a core based workout that looked like HELL!)
An early start was necessary to pack everything in, so at 10 am I headed to Manchester Central where Les Mills Live was taking place.
I went on my own and I was a bit nervous because of general social anxiety and the fact there were so many people. As I walked in I heard a range of regional accents, from Geordie to Scottish, which shows how popular the event was. If you’re willing to travel 6 hours on a bus for something, it’s gotta be good!
Everyone was wearing sports gear and there was a sea of orange and purple leggings and tank tops. The getup was a lot less serious than the kind of outfits you normally see at races and events. I didn’t see any energy gels kicking about, but I did see plenty of fluorescent bum bags.
The day was advertised as a “fitness festival” and that’s exactly what it was. The venue, the crowds and the people dancing and running from room to room contributed to the electric atmosphere. To quote a classic Mancunian phrase, everyone was ‘buzzin’. When I walked in I could feel the the bass rumbling through my bones; I was excited to get going.
Les Mills Live Classes
There were various classes throughout the day so if you organised your schedule properly you could do a bit of everything.
Here’s a promo video of the entire day:
I wanted to start my day off with body balance, but unfortunately by the time I’d got there and found my bearings the class had already started and I couldn’t join in. Weep.
Even though I couldn’t take part in the class it looked amazing! When I say class I don’t mean a standard 20 people in a small room; I’m talking about thousands of people in a huuuge venue, all performing the same routine. The premise of the class was yoga mixed with Pilates, which I’ve never tried to do so I’d probably fail, but overall the class was very tranquil.
There were a few variations of GRIT at Les Mills Live including strength, cardio and pylo (like plyometric), but I opted to do the strength class because I’m all about the hench. The class was smaller than the last one, but still pretty large with about 50 people.
There were two instructors, one stood on a platform in the middle of everyone and demonstrated the moves, while the other ducked in and out of the class and checked people’s form. I found this class similar to body pump, but with higher reps and more of an intensity. There were lots of compound weight moves like squats, deadlifts and power presses, so if you enjoy that part of Body Pump you would probably enjoy GRIT strength.
Speak of the devil, I joined in with this huge Body Pump class! There must have been a thousand people in the room (which was the largest in the exhibition space).
Under the flashing lights and blasting dance music, I did the usual moves that I have practised for the last few months in my little gym class. I honestly felt like I was in the Olympics or something, it was incredible.
The only problem was it was so dark I couldn’t tell what weights I was loading my bar with. So I ended up doing the warm up with a heavy weight, then had to switch bag to a lighter weight and then accidentally put a really heavy weight on. I got tired way quicker than normal and probably looked a bit weird in the process but oh well.
I had to leave early because I was travelling back to Harrogate for my sister’s engagement party (woo) but I would have stayed til the end of Les Mills Live otherwise. The day was a really fun and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fitness classes! It’s perfect for people whose gym doesn’t offer classes. Plus, because there were so many people participating, you didn’t feel embarrassed about going on your own or messing up the moves.
I also thought Les Mills Live might be quite a good idea for a hen or stag do. I know it’s not your typical plan, but its a healthier way to have fun and bond with people. Plus you can always go out on the lash afterwards!
*Many thanks to Les Mills Live for inviting me to attend the day free of charge. All opinions are my own!