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The Secret Life of GFI’s: Pilot


For some, being a group fitness instructor is a full time gig – running from class to class, rapidly changing from sweaty clothes to non-sweaty clothes to rinse and repeat day in day out. For others, being a group fitness instructor is their other job.

In this second part of the series “The Secret Life of Group Fitness Instructors” we introduce you to another member of the Les Mills Tribe who has an interesting, extraordinary and very busy other job.

Nathan White, Pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force is Check Captain on the B350 Super King Air and leads a team of pilots and operations staff to conduct Air Mobility operations throughout Australia and South East Asia.


Currently based in Townsville, Nathan teaches BODYSTEP, BODYATTACK, BODYPUMP and BODYBALANCE. With 50-hour weeks it’s understandable that teaching is an escape for Nathan from the stresses of his challenging job. “I couldn’t be more passionate about Les Mills programs” and it’s moments like these that have contributed to reaching a milestone 10-years of teaching:

“I remember one of my participants in Sydney approaching me, age 74 and saying, ‘Nathan, all my friends are in wheelchairs and using walking frames, but your BODYATTACK is the thing that keeps me walking and running.’ I remember almost crying at that moment when I realised that mobility really is the key to a happy, healthy life; and something we all take for granted until it is taken from us.”

Rewind a decade, after graduating from the Australian Defence Force Academy Nathan was looking for a way to keep motivated at the gym and tried his first Les Mills class: enter Jamie Winbank and Louisa Barbieri (part of the Les Mills Asia Pacific Trainers/Presenter team) “teaching S.O.S from BODYATTACK 55. I was hooked!” Nathan trained in his first program BODYSTEP “with the one and only Karen Russell” (another of the Les Mills Asia Pacific Trainer/Presenter team) and from that moment knew he would be an instructor for life.

Nathan says leadership in the military is not too far off leadership in the fitness industry. Instructing has taught him about different learning styles, the importance of connection and being “your true self – people can see through you if you are insincere, or self-serving”.

With postings that include Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville, Nathan’s next stop is the nations capital where he has been selected to fly the Boeing Business Jet (B737) for the Prime Minister “I also can’t wait to meet all the group fitness instructors in Canberra and pick up some classes!”