by Les Mills Asia Pacific

Iain Hennessy is a Trainer and Presenter for RPM®, LES MILLS SPRINT®, and an Instructor for BODYPUMP®. Iain has been teaching Les Mills classes for almost 18 years at Lords Recreation Centre in Subiaco (Western Australia), and he attributes much of his professional and personal success to-date, from his original decision to start teaching. Here is Iain’s story, in his own words…

“Before I started teaching, I’d completed a university degree in Chemistry and was working as an industrial chemist in Sydney. I went travelling around Australia, and when I got to Perth I was broke, so I got a job as a concreter. Whilst working as a concreter, I decided I wanted to go back to university to become a chiropractor. But after I made the decision, I stopped and thought, ‘How am I going to support myself? How am I going to earn a living and be able to pay my way?’’

“At the time, I used to participate in Les Mills classes and go to the gym, and one day while I was sitting on a bike in an RPM® class, I looked around and thought ‘I reckon I could do this and get paid.’ So, off I went and did the training so I could work in the gym as a personal trainer; and then I did my Les Mills Initial Module Training for BODYPUMP® and RPM. I started teaching and that was it – I’d created a way for me to earn money while finishing my studies. There was a bonus of course, that I also got free gym membership, so I could train at the gym as well as work there.”

“As I progressed through uni, one of the things I noticed was that a lot of students got so busy with study that exercise fell off their agenda; so, despite the fact that we were studying what is essentially a health profession, a lot of my fellow students were becoming less healthy as that five years ticked over. So, teaching at the gym worked really well for me, in that sense, as I was able to continue exercising while also being paid to do so! And because I could do it early in the morning and late in the afternoon, the hours actually fit perfectly around my university classes.”

“The thing that I never expected to happen was how it actually created multiple networks for me to, literally, go forward and further in life. You see, when you start teaching group fitness classes, you’re constantly in front of a group of people: early in the morning, late in the afternoon and in the early evenings. And when they walk in, you have no idea what they do, who they are, where they come from, or what their background is. But, what I soon learned is that because I had people from lots of different backgrounds (highly educated, highly paid corporate workers, as well as people with blue collar jobs and unskilled labour), group ex can be the ultimate networking opportunity!”

“So, I got to know a few people, and before long I was offered a weekend job working on a mine site, running a gym and delivering health and lifestyle programs. So, I travelled up to the site every weekend, and then Monday to Friday, I was still teaching classes and going to uni, and this continued for several years. When I eventually finished uni, I continued to do work for mining companies, running health promotions, and this actually led to me starting my first chiropractic clinic in a mine site and in a remote town.”

“I still continued teaching but my reason for teaching changed at that point in time, because I was no longer teaching essentially for the money since I now had another income source; but I continued to teach simply because I enjoyed it! This then led to me becoming a Trainer and a Presenter for Les Mills Asia Pacific, which brought with it, a whole host of other benefits, such as travelling all over the Australia, as well as internationally, to present at huge events such as LES MILLS LIVE and FILEX.”

“Back on the home front, I was relatively busy in the gym, which is just up the street from where I now live. I ended up setting up my chiropractic clinic, literally, next door; so it's located 50 to 100 metres from the entrance to Lords, where I teach!”

“A large portion of my chiropractic business has been built from the connections I’ve made within the gym – those same people whom I connect with and get up in front of to teach. Essentially, group ex gave me a marketing platform where I could stand up in front of lots of people, multiple times a week, to share health-related information with them, and before I knew it, they were coming into the clinic for treatments.”

“So, essentially, I started teaching classes because I needed to make money as a university student, but it's ultimately led to everything revolving around the gym, which I do today! And not only that, but my wife, Carrie, is also a multi-program-trained Les Mills Instructor. We both teach at Lords, and I actually proposed to her at a LES MILLS LIVE event! So my entire life today, really has all grown from that one seed of becoming a Les Mills Instructor!”

“I'm always excited when we get younger people who are in their late teens to early 20s who are looking to become an Instructor! I say to them, ‘this really is an amazing way to get yourself through uni, and to get yourself started in life. Being an Instructor is really good for helping to develop skills in public speaking and communication, and to learn how to genuinely connect with other people. There are so many life skills you'll learn when you teach Les Mills programs.”

“And the whole concept of networking and getting to know lots of different people in your community… you don't get any better platform to do it! Plus, you get paid to do it! And the rates of pay can be decent, especially if you compare the hourly rate to work in a coffee shop, for example. You’d have to work two hours to earn what you can get paid to deliver a one-hour Les Mills class. It's a relatively high paying job for students or for people who are getting started in life.”

“The other thing to think about is, when you do finish university, most people think they’re going to go out and earn a million bucks now; but the reality is, you've got to go out and find a job. So while you do that, you can continue teaching, which means there's always income coming in."

“Being a Les Mills Instructor is a really great gateway to earning money, learning life skills, integrating with your local community, making connections, and potentially kick-starting your profession, down the track. I just wish I'd done it sooner!”

Watch Iain discuss his Instructor journey to greatness

To find out more about becoming a Les Mills Instructor, or to expand your Instructor journey to include more programs, visit


Les Mills Asia Pacific