Les Mills Body Attack Initial Module Training

Les Mills Body Attack Initial Module Training

In January 2011 at the ripe old age of 32 I attended my Body Attack initial module training. I learned on release 71. Although it’s been a long time and the Body Attack program along with the process for initial module training has changed a lot since then, I wanted to share as much as I can remember about my big weekend being introduced to the Les Mills instructor family.

Module training, much like in recent days, was a 2 day course but back in 2011 we did not receive our media 2 weeks before training like trainees do now, we received our music kits and our training manuals on day one of our training. We were also given a track to learn which we had to start scripting in the first day. But unlike training in recent times, we did not have to present our track on the first day.

My trainer was a little pocket rocket by the name of Clare Hallas. She had flown down from Brisbane to take the module because our originally scheduled trainer had to cancel. I’m actually glad we had her because I have since heard that the guy we were supposed to have was apparently quite scary and cruel. My trainer was very informative and patient. She definitely encouraged us all and pushed us to try harder physically but she was understanding, knowing that we were not all yet instructors with the same fitness levels but always reminding us that we would get there in time. I went into the module with a stress fracture to my fibula bone which got worse as the weekend progressed. I discovered after the training it was a grade 4 stress fracture and on the verge of a broken leg. I was pumped up with pain killers and while my trainer did expect me to do as much as I could when presenting my track, she actually went a bit easier on me during the challenges because she could see how much pain I was in.

Body Attack 71 - My program manual and choreography DVD kit
Body Attack 71 – My program manual and choreography DVD kit

I was allocated track 7 agility, a song called “Would You Raise Your Hands?”. I must admit, I had seen the training DVD and had been lucky enough to get some one on one time with an instructor in the weeks leading up to module so I actually knew the choreography of most of the release, however I had focused so much on learning tracks 2,3,4,8&9 because I was convinced that I would get one of those that I neglected to learn track 7 properly. So the fact I was given track 7 was the universe’s way of making things fair (or saying “sucked in”, you choose). It was actually my least favourite track of the release but I soon learned to love it and to this day I can still put that track in a mix and know the whole routine without having to refresh my memory.

The module was a quiet one by standards back in those days. A normal module back then would have no less than 15 trainees, my module had 9. There were a good mix of trainees with varying instructing experience and fitness levels. The training was held at Living Well in the Sydney Hilton and started at 8am sharp. We all met in the waiting area of the gym and did our introductions. A brief overview of what the weekend would entail was presented to us by our trainer along with getting our DVD kit, manual and track allocation and then it was off to the studio to do a master class with our trainer instructing to us trainees and the gym participants.

The rest of day one is a bit of a blur, it has been over 5 years after all, but the first day consisted of learning about the history and the 5 key elements of Body Attack (back then it was Choreography, Technique, Coaching, Connection and Fitness Magic. I believe the fifth key element is now called Performance), spending over 2 hours perfecting our technique by literally standing in front of the mirror doing jacks, kicks, knee lifts, plyometric lunges, gallops etc until our body lines were sharper than swords, doing a fitness test consisting of the beep test, sit and reach test, push-up test and sit-up test and studying and scripting our track so that we could get assistance before performing it for the first time the next morning.

After a long first day, we were finally given the all clear to leave at about 6pm. I went home and had a long hot bath and got my leg re-taped for the next day as it was really starting to throb. Then I went over my DVD and choreo notes and scripted like mad. I was adamant that I was going to coach like a master to mask my failing fibula!

Day 2 commenced early once again and basically as soon as we arrived we had to do our first track presentation. Our presentation was video recorded by our trainer so that we could watch it afterwards and actually see why we were being given the feedback we were getting. This was incredibly useful as we could see exactly what our trainer had seen and we could use the visual and audio to work on our technique in the mirror and fix up our coaching.

The day continued with more learning, focusing on connection and fitness magic, more scripting and technique fixing time, the Body Attack Challenge (kinda like a 45 minute tabata circuit with the current track 4 and 9 thrown in to really make you wanna spew) and then finally the second presentation of our track. Once we were done, we were given some time to just chill as our trainer spoke to us one by one to give us our results. Back then, there were 3 outcomes, Pass, Withheld, Resit. I got a pass! These days, there are only 2 outcomes, Pass and Resit. Finally at 6pm again we were given the ok to go home so we all exchanged details, said our goodbyes and went home.

Although the training process has changed in the last couple of years, the advice I have is still relevant:

  • Take lots of small portions of food and drink and try to drink some calories throughout the day too. I took a small sandwich, a big box of grapes, bag of almonds, muesli bars, water, poweraid and a can of V. You don’t want to eat too much in one go or you will get a stitch so better to graze throughout the day and then have a massive meal when you get home.
  • Have a warm jacket, a couple of towels and a change of clothes handy both days. You get really sweaty and then you sit down to learn so use towels to sit on and a warm jacket to protect you from chill until you can get to the showers at lunch time.
  • Find a mentor before your training and try to arrange some one on one time with that person before your training. Your mentor will know the process of getting trained and will know what your trainer will be looking out for.
  • Now that you get your music before the module weekend, study it like mad. Listen to the beats and feel the music in your body. You will be amazed how many people struggle with musicality but this is a huge part in getting the key element of choreography correct.
  • Arrive early and get to know your fellow trainees to create team spirit and unity as that is what the weekend is all about.

If you have any questions about the process I went through for my Body Attack initial module training, contact me.

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