Would you travel 36-hours to do a BODYATTACK class? Well, when it’s for the filming of BODYATTACK 100 and the location is Amsterdam – ones arm can be twisted (and credit card destroyed). The below article featured in the most recent Network Magazine (official publication of Australian Fitness Network) and is one part BODYATTACK 100 filming chronicle, one part BODYATTACK history. Luckily you don’t have to travel 36-hours to experience BODYATTACK 100, simply attend your local Quarterly Workshop in March (and if you’re lucky you will have THE Lisa Osborne or the effervescent Bevan presenting at your local Workshop).
It strikes terror in those that have never tried it, a twisted excitement in those that have, and a band of instructors whose passion would take them to Amsterdam to simply do a class.
We’re talking about BODYATTACK®.
For those not in the “TR1BE” of Les Mills instructors, let me explain: Les Mills is pre-choreographed group fitness to music, and every 3-months trained instructors purchase quarterly resources featuring a new playlist of music and choreography. These resources are sequentially numbered, and the reason that people travelled 36-hours to do a BODYATTACK® class in Amsterdam was because it was the milestone filming of BODYATTACK® 100.
The (round) stage was set for filming in Amsterdam and you better believe people travelled a long way to be part of the event much to the confusion of the young gentleman working at the café at the venue “so you came all this way to do a fitness class?”
The lineup outside the historic Amsterdam Gashouder started long before the scheduled time to get the prized front row positions with the colossal venue filling up quickly from the BODYATTACK® tragics to the simply curious.
The spectacular venue took our breath away before BODYATTACK® could. The renovated Gashouder building, the circular ornate structure an unlikely backdrop to the sweaty hot mess that was to be BODYATTACK® 100.
The circular stage smack in the centre of the venue, the rig of dazzling lighting, and the sound. The sound you could feel in your bones combined to amplify an already electric atmosphere.
Now you might have got to this point in the article and wondered how much over the kool-aid limit yours-truly really is. Don’t drink and write.
The truth is I’ve never touched the stuff. And you might understand my excitement if you have been to a concert or a festival when you are just swept up in the energy and atmosphere of the people around you. I floated through the 55-minutes – when normally I would do anything but float through any kind of cardio. But that’s the power of working out in a group.
“It was the world’s first modern athletic fitness class” says Phillip Mills, Managing Director of Les Mills International “a group of track and field athletes started it as a sports-based interval training workout…and it’s had a passionate following ever since”. With its roots going back to 1980, BODYATTACK® was then known as Jazzergetics and was in fact choreographed by Phillip Mills himself.
The mantle of choreography has long since been passed to the current Program Director (P.D), Lisa Osborne, who has put together no less than 60 releases since 2002. A one-time P.E teacher and 3-times world aerobics champ, Osborne humbly says her start as P.D was a case of “right place, right time”, but anyone who has encountered this vibrant woman would know that she was made for the job: “the choreographer of BODYATTACK® resigned suddenly…I stepped in and choreographed the BODYATTACK® release for them and never looked back – right place, right time and seized that opportunity!”
Still going (and going and going) strong
In a business like fitness where every second day there is a new this, a latest that, a research has found…Osborne has maintained a razor sharp future focus to ensure the program remains relevant, popular and somehow keep the fun in a high-knee run “in the 2000s it was all about the music and how energetic and happy you could be – more aerobic [focused] choreography…it was also just go hard or go home – no options!” Fast forward to 2017 and the evolution of BODYATTACK® has seen the essence move toward a sporty and athletic feel with simplified choreography and challenging participants of all abilities through varying impact and movement patterns.
What has remained a constant are the timeless elements that ultimately make BODYATTACK® irresistible: the signature positivity, powerful tunes and feel-good chemicals (*ahem* endorphins).
The pressure of 100
It’s a lot of pressure isn’t it? The pressure of creating a release worthy of a milestone. Not so, says Osborne who has been working on the 100th release for over a year who states she puts in as much effort from one release to the next to ensure the program consistently delivers. What she did want to do for 100 however was to “balance the old-school feels with the new” – which hand-on-heart she nailed: staying true to the modern direction of BODYATTACK® with a nod to BODYATTACK® past.
Right in the feels
It’s Osborne’s positivity and go-get-em attitude that is horribly contagious and has endeared her to a legion of fans across the globe. I think we’ve established I’m not overly excitable, but when Osborne stepped on the round stage in Amsterdam to present BODYATTACK® 100 there was no resisting her aura of energy and joy at presenting not just a “class” but a movement bigger than the next 55-minutes. Her impromptu speech at the end describing her drive to get more people passionate about fitness (and not just BODYATTACK®) was straight from the heart was a tear jerker. Not me. I just had dust in my eye.
Where does one go from BODYATTACK® 100? “Next for me is BODYATTACK® 101, 102, 103, 104…there’s no stopping and only looking forward!”
The ultimate goal is world domination (I made that up) – but if it comes down to survival of the fittest… BODYATTACK® 100 is a good place to start.
#fitterthanever: BODYATTACK® 100 will be launching in a club near you in March 2018.
Marie Anagnostis is Marketing & Communications Manager at Les Mills Asia Pacific. She travelled 36-hours to do a class.