Quarterly Workshop Recap

Happy Wednesday All!

It’s been a crazy insane weekend, I’m just catching my breath now, and unfortunately have come down with a bit of a cold (likely because I spent most of Saturday evening walking around outside without a coat on – I so refuse to accept winter).

There is SO MUCH to tell you, but I’ll keep focused on the topic for today, and that’s my recap of the LES MILLS QUARTERLY WORKSHOP!!

*cue fanfare*

This past Saturday, I spent about 10 hours at the gym going through each of the 8 Les Mills classes with about 75 other instructors and our National Trainers. The way it works is that each quarter we get a “new release” of each program. This means new music, new choreography and new innovations/developments to the program that make it better, more challenging and more cutting edge each and every time. They’ve got this huge massive team of professionals (think everyone from sports medicine doctors to physiotherapists to personal trainers to choreographers to music industry experts) that work on putting together the BEST class ever for each discipline each release.

Once the team has each discipline absolutely PERFECT, the Program Directors (the people in charge of the discipline) and a team of super-star international instructors film the class in Auckland, New Zealand in front of a 700 person class, package it up, write out the choreography and education notes and then the releases are distributed around the world to 77 countries, until they end up at the doorstep of each international instructor.

Let me tell you, when that lovely yellow DHL envelope shows up at my door, it’s like Christmas came early. Every single time.

Most of the time, we’re on our own to watch our DVD’s, read our choreography notes and dream wistfully of one day making the pilgrimage to Auckland, New Zealand to participate in a filming class for ourselves. But usually once (sometimes if we’re lucky twice) a year, we are lucky enough to have “Quarterly Workshops” where our Canadian National Trainer team gets altogether at one of the clubs and will TEACH US the new releases so that we can actually participate in them for the first time like a member would.

The National Trainers are those super-star instructors that you may one day see on the actual DVD’s themselves. They are beyond amazing, incredible instructors and just people in general. I always feel like they are total celebrities when I see them, even after getting to know several of them quite well over the years that I’ve been around!!

So ANYWAYS, Saturday we held a Quarterly Workshop at one of my home clubs!! I volunteered to help out with set-up and so spent most of Friday night assembling 75 BodyPump bars with 8.5kg per bar. We were all so excited about the workshop the following day that we didn’t even really notice how many sets of weights we had picked up and moved from point A to point B.

Needless to say, I got my workout in that night.

I was SO beyond pumped on Saturday morning; I was up and at the club by 7am (yea, try to get me out of bed for work before 6:45am? Forget it. I seem to morph into this chipper “early morning person” when there’s something exciting going on though….)

In one of my previous posts, I posted a picture of me on stage during BodyAttack at one of the previous Quarterly Workshops. That was a total dream come true, and a total stroke of good luck. Last year they started a new trend where at the opening ceremonies, they would pick an instructors name out of the hat for each discipline, and that lucky instructor would get to shadow the presenting team on stage for one track! I got picked for BodyAttack last year and was in sweaty plyometric heaven. It. Was. Awesome.

This year I was busy helping out with a couple of tasks, and barely even heard my name being called. But sure enough, I got picked AGAIN for BodyAttack.

Can you believe it?! I swear I should have gone out and bought a lottery ticket that day.

In the spirit of sharing the love, I asked them to draw someone else’s name so that another instructor could experience the same sweaty, plyometric heaven that I did last year. Who’s name did they pick??

My very good friend Kathy’s!!!!!!!

Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways doesn’t it???

So after having a big screaming hug/dance with Kathy, it was straight into the BodyPump master class.

The new BodyPump release was INCREDIBLE. Lots of new innovations, killer music and intensity and that made my upper body in particular cry for mercy. Look out for the Bicep track. We don’t use a bar. That’s all I’m sayin’. 😉

From BodyPump, we went right into BodyStep since we had the steps out already. I mentioned in my Spotlight on BodyStep post that BodyStep has taken a huge step in the “more athletic” direction recently. It’s always been a tough class, but more “tough with a smile” kind of intensity.

There ain’t no smiling anymore.

The new BodyStep release totally destroyed us all. It was INSANE. Burpees, Mountain Climbers, two foot jumps over-top of the bench, scissor jumps on and off the bench, weight work thrown into the mix……we finished the class in a sweaty, disheveled heap wondering what the hell just happened.

I would have LOVED to be a fly on the wall in the room when the team put this release together. They must have had a good laugh “this is going to DESTROY everyone”…*insert Dr. Evil laugh*.  

Usually at workshops like this, there’s one program that is kind of the “show stopper” for the day that everyone is buzzing about in the changerooms and while they’re eating lunch (I know, we’re nerds, we really can’t help it). This time it was BodyStep for sure.

So while still licking my wounds from BodyStep, I realized that RPM was coming up fast and furious, and I had better move my (sore) bum and get into the cycling studio if I wanted to get a bike.

I’ll be totally honest and say that as I walked past the main studio, my heart hurt to walk away from BodyCombat. Sadly they have to run the RPM classes at the same time as a non-cycling class because there just wouldn’t be enough time to stack them one after the other in a day.

I love RPM, but I definitely feel more at home in the main studio then I do in the cycling studio, and it was hard to leave!

We had a great ride (minus some stereo issues, honestly, sometimes I feel like taking a baseball bat to the stereo and then looking around with wide, innocent eyes saying “what?”). Our super-star presenters pushed through two entire tracks with no music and no microphone. Oh, and of course they were the big mountain-climbing tracks as well.

Go figure.

By the time we were done, I was ready to collapse off the bike after having done Pump, Step and now RPM back-to-back-to-back. I knew that BodyAttack was coming up, and had been waiting for it all day.

After BodyStep, I had had a quick conversation with the National Trainer who trained me in Attack and Step many years ago (his name is Fred). I had said “Fred, I think that this BodyStep is even harder than BodyAttack”.

Fred grinned at me and said (in the way that only he can):

“Wait until you see BodyAttack.”

God help me.

I’ll pick up here tomorrow – this is getting to be a long post, but before you go, tell me how YOUR weekend was?! What did you get up to?! How did your workouts go?!

Happy Wednesday!

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3 thoughts on “Quarterly Workshop Recap

  1. Pingback: Going the Distance

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