Les Mills Video Certification

Les Mills Video Certification

I filmed my Body Balance certification video on release 68.
I filmed my Body Balance certification video on release 68.

Being trained in 3 Les Mills programs (Body Attack, Body Pump and Body Balance)(update: as of September 2016 I am also trained and video certified in BodyVive 3.1) you’d think I’d have this whole video certification process down pat. Well I have a confession to make, I am only video certified in one program, Body Balance. Still to this day I am not even certified in Body Pump and I got my certification for Body Attack by doing AIM1 (Advanced Instructor Module).

Video certification can be a very daunting process for a lot of people as I learned when I did my Body Attack AIM1. Of the 5 of us that attended training, only one person was actually video certified. What surprised me most was that the girls I attended training with had all done their training within the previous year so their free video certification pass was still valid and available to them.

Now, I had good reason to go through AIM to get my certification in Attack. I had trained 4 years prior and after my module I was plagued with injury and illness so my “freebie” had long since expired. Rather than pay $50 to do a video for a program that had evolved so much since my module, and not even be guaranteed a pass, I thought it’d be better to spend $200, get upskilled and learn about the changes to the program, as well as get certified.

I have no excuses for why I didn’t do my Pump video after training in 2013, I just couldn’t be bothered.

So why did the instructors that still have the free video certification option available to them not use it? It could have been many reasons: too hard to find a class to film at; too much trouble to set up a camera; couldn’t be bothered; fear of failing the video. Let’s look at that last one. Fear of failing the video. If you haven’t submitted a video but have Cert III, you can still teach, you are just not certified. But if you have submitted a video and failed yet have your Cert III, you can still teach, you are just not certified, oh and you failed your video. Doesn’t sound as good with that last part attached does it? (Please note that this applies in Australia only for LMAP instructors. Other countries have much stricter certification for registration requirements.)

Well for those who have not done a video yet and have that fear of failure, I’m telling you now, it’s not as bad as you think. When I did my Body Balance module, I was adamant that I was going to get video certified so I got to work and only 4 weeks after my training I had filmed my video. I had made a couple of small mistakes but after discussing it with my module trainer I decided to just bite the bullet and send it in. What’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, I’d fail. So what? Would I die? No! The good news is that I didn’t fail, I actually got some great feedback from my anonymous assessor and I got my shiny certification PDF attached to my email. YAY! I was certified!

Back to the errors I made during my video, for example, track 3 I was supposed to go to warrior 1 and instead I started to go to triangle pose, I realized my mistake very quickly and altered my pose within 8 counts of music. Also in track 4 and 8, I transitioned into the next pose too quickly meaning I held certain poses a few counts too long. Now these were classified as choreography errors but because I only made a couple of these types of errors, I was ok. When I recently filmed the Body Pump video that I never sent in (I no longer had my free pass and was going to have to pay), I made a mistake where during the lunge track I did the first leg 2-2 then 3-1 and then did the same on the other leg when it was actually supposed to be 3-1 then 2-2, after speaking to an assessor about this I was told that would be classified as 4 major choreography errors and could potentially be a fail. For $50, I wasn’t gonna bother risking it so my video went in the recycle bin.

Here are my tips based on my own personal experience:

  • Ask your mentor or another instructor who has been through the video certification process to come to your class and watch then ask them  how they felt you taught.
  • Have a few practice runs, setup a video camera and teach to an empty room if you need to just so you can see how you will come across in your video.
  • Know your choreography inside and out. While a couple of mistakes are allowed, they will not pass you if you make a lot of mistakes. Especially be sure to watch your video back with the master class DVD side by side to ensure that you are doing the right moves to the right timing.
  • Place the video camera on an angle rather than facing head on so that the assessor can see your moves from all angles and if possible, film your class at a gym where you have a mirror behind you as that will give an even greater aspect for technique advice. Also, try to place the camera up high so that participants can move freely around the room and so their butt is not in the camera the whole time.
  • Speaking of participants, apparently LMAP requires that there be a minimum of 4 participants in your class for filming. However I know one person who filmed their video to an empty class because there was no available class for them to film in. They still passed.
  • Include a letter with a brief self assessment for your assessor to read so they know the kinds of things you are aware of. Note any mistakes you made and ask any questions you may have about your performance in this letter so they can respond with some ideas for you outside of the things they will pick up themselves.


HAVE NO FEAR! It’s not the end of the world. You have the free pass as part of the cost of your initial module training, you are better off using it because even if you fail at least you tried. If you simply let the pass expire then you have wasted an opportunity. If you want to go to AIM1 to get certified within your first year after module training, just remember that you are only being assessed on one track. When you do a video, you get assessed on all of your tracks. Take the opportunity and use the feedback to better yourself in all of the tracks of your chosen program.

If you have any questions about video assessment, contact LMAP or if you’d like to know more about my video assessment journey, contact me.

5 thoughts on “Les Mills Video Certification

  1. Hay Gab..thank you for your sharing.. Tomorrow i will taped my bodystep video. After so long time i suspended because of fear and afraid, i finally decied to make the video. I already discussed about this with my mentor and she said OK so i will do that. Actually i still scared but just like you said, at least i try. About 50aud for the assesment fee, yes , i have to take it seriously..hahahahaha..thank you once again. God bless you. Otniel

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I’m really glad that the info has has helped you 🙂 All the best for your video!
      Cheers, Gabbi

  2. I had the IMT on 27th of February 2017 and I haven’t filmed for the video certificate since then.
    My question is : Is it available for me to do it in November 2017 ?
    Because when I passed the IMT my previous company didn’t have any job vacancy so I had to be a Personal Trainer.
    Now I’ve taught BP since September in my new club and I really want to be certified.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Yang, sorry for the delay in my reply. If you are in Australia your video certification is valid for one year but if you are located in any other country then I believe your video certification pass is only valid for 3 months. You would be best of contacting your local Les Mills agency to find out what the rules are for the country you are in. Thank you for visiting my site 🙂

  3. hay Gab.. How are you?? long time, since i reply your message and now i wanna tell you my story, that i already certified by video for all of my programs (RPM, Body Balance, and Bodystep). Its funny that i was certified first on RPM (my 2nd imt program) and then Body balance (3rd imt program) and the last one is Bodystep (1st prgram – IMT in mid 2015). its funny that my RPM and Body balance Certification process were just one time submit, and then my bodystep cert proc was has to be resubmitted. I quite shocked for the bodystep results, since i already suceed on rpm and body balance. After i read the Resubmit results, it was becoming make sense since i failed in my coaching. i didnt prepare well and my scripting was quite mess. And then i decided to re-script and re-tape again, with some guidance form my mentor of course, finally i send it to Lesmills again, 2 weeks after i got the results and it was passed..Fiuhhhhh.. And actually the main reason why i need to be video certified is Fitness First Indonesia more respect to Vid Certified than Aim1 Certified. It quite make sense since you just need to present 1 track only on aim1 process.

    Okay Gab, those are my experience. and yes, after this i should took Aim1 to get more knowledges to improve my coaching and technical skills. See you around Gab. for me, your writing about video certification was so helping me so much. unfortunately, lesmills Asia pacific will close the video Certification process and change it to 3 day IMT (certification process on day3). Quite sad that the next instructors couldnt feel how nervous and excited at the same time to prepare for video certification taping. hahahahaha

    See You…!!! and God bless You..

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