by Les Mills Asia Pacific

“My recent Online IMT experience with Les Mills was exceptional and exceeded all my expectations! The Online IMT was the best online training I have ever participated in - hands down!”

In 2023, Liz Parker celebrated her 10th year teaching Les Mills programs. She is trained in BODYPUMP®, BODYATTACK® and LES MILLS TONE®.

In addition to a full-time job as Senior Health Manager, Liz is a mum to her fabulous 18-month-old twin sons, James and Teddy. “Our beautiful twins are the light of my life. I was 41 when they came along, and we now have five happy healthy children!”

In addition to running her own business, Liz also provides HR recruitment services through a local agency, as well as serving on the Board of a not-for-profit organisation that supports local communities by providing advice to small businesses across regional NSW.

LMAP: What inspired you to become a Les Mills Instructor?

Liz: I have always loved helping others to learn and grow. I started coaching gymnastics and netball from the age of 12, and I spent years working in the community mental health space, helping people to access tools and resources that help them recover from mental illness. So, it was no surprise that I was inspired to become a Les Mills Instructor from the very first class I attended!

It was the magic of BODYPUMP that originally inspired me; all these people working hard together (much harder than we would do on our own) to GREAT music - I was hooked!

LMAP: You are a multi-program-certified Les Mills Instructor and you recently completed Online Initial Module Training (OIMT) for LES MILLS TONE. Tell us about that experience.

Liz: My recent Online IMT experience with Les Mills was exceptional and exceeded all my expectations!

I am a person who prefers face-to-face every time. Over many years, I have attended a range of in-person Les Mills trainings, so I was doubtful about the ability of the online format to deliver that same level of experience, and the same opportunity to connect with the community. I also wondered how the physical learning would translate. I have undertaken post-graduate study by remote learning, along with many online learning processes in my work, and have been underwhelmed… this was absolutely NOT the case for my recent Online IMT experience!

The online IMT was engaging; the training manual and roadmap booklets were easy to follow and supported the online delivery well. The breakout room structure allowed us to connect 1:1 as participants, and the material translated to the online format brilliantly! The Online IMT was the best online training I have ever participated in - hands down!

I also appreciated the focus on self-assessment. This is a real strength of the online format, further built upon by the individual post-module feedback. I found this feedback uplifting, inspiring and practical in helping me to grow as an Instructor, and the personalised video feedback from my Trainer was invaluable!

I believe the quality of Les Mills Trainers enhances the online learning experience significantly too. Our trainer Shelley was AMAZING. She is genuine, super experienced and an exceptional role model for LES MILLS TONE. The way she delivered the course material meant that every participant knew exactly what to expect, we were all prepared, and able to fully participate. She covered the necessary content of a complex program, to participants whose experience ranged from a first-time Instructor to another Les Mills Trainer/Presenter, and she did it in a way that made every one of us feel successful, while also offering each of us exactly what we needed to learn and grow.

I particularly appreciated how she levelled the playing field in such a skillful way. Having not been teaching for a few years, I was worried I would feel very left behind, not fit enough, and not up-to-speed with everyone else; but I am pleased to say I did not feel this for even one second!

The most impactful thing I will take away from the online IMT experience is the way Shelley delivered the Les Mills values. This part of the training stuck with me the most, as Shelley shared her very personal connection with the Les Mills values in an authentic and lived way, that every person in that (virtual) room could immediately connect with and feel welcomed in by. Her delivery of this component lost nothing in the online format and I, personally, found myself welling up with tears at how much it means to be part of this very special united collective of people, who go into our local studios each week to be brave, and to deliver world-class fitness experiences that change the world. Just magic!

It was the magic of BODYPUMP that originally inspired me; all these people working hard together (much harder than we would do on our own) to GREAT music - I was hooked!

LMAP: How has LES MILLS TONE impacted your life?

Liz: I gained 22kg in the 6 months after our twins arrived, through a very sedentary lifestyle of sitting, feeding and snuggling babies. My back started to ache for the first time in my life. My daughter brought home a cold from school camp, and I was sick for three months! I felt really run down and knew I needed to move more.

I had been participating in Les Mills classes since BODYPUMP 36 was released, way back in 2000! I headed to my local gym and thought “I just need to do something”. I tried to get straight back to my pre-baby exercise regime and was met with feelings of hopelessness. My body didn’t move like it used to; and it didn’t look like it used to either. Simple things like running would result in injury, which would then put me back on the couch for weeks at a time. My brain said “Hey! You’re an Instructor, you can do this!” but my body said “Ah, no way!” I knew I had to do something different… and that’s when I found LES MILLS TONE!

I originally discovered LES MILLS TONE through a fabulous Instructor at my local gym, whom I adore. Her BODYPUMP and BODYATTACK classes were the highlight of my week! She said to me, “Hey, have you tried LES MILLS TONE? You should come along - you will love it!”. She was right!

This program changed my life - literally. I went along to my first class, and it was hard! But there were SO many options that I could choose from to get through the workout. And not just ‘get through’ but feel really proud of the work I had done. And this type of movement made massive, immediate impacts on my quality of life. My mobility began to improve. That lower back pain I had never experienced before now got better and better every class, until after a few months it resolved thanks to the functional training, and especially thanks to the glute and core focus. The cardio training helped me get my fitness back so I could chase my twin boys around the garden and not be out of breath! I can also pick them up effortlessly now too - and they are heavy!

The biggest shift though, was my mindset; I went from feeling like a failure to knowing “I can do this. I can do hard things!”. Every TONE class I would try 1 or 2 reps at the higher intensity level and I am still getting better and stronger every class.

It was a simple decision for me to teach LES MILLS TONE. Amy, the Instructor who teaches the TONE class I attend, is my inspiration. I never thought I would get back to teaching after having twins. Goodness, it was hard enough just to get off the couch! Yet this program got into my heart and gave me so much back. The first time Amy was on leave, her TONE classes were cancelled because there were no TONE instructors in our area. I thought… I can do something about this! And so, I phoned Les Mills Asia Pacific and enthusiastically enquired as to when I could be trained. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I knew I had such a long way to go. But I knew it would be worth it! 😊

LMAP: How do you go juggling motherhood to twins, with being an Instructor?

Liz: I am blessed to have the most AMAZING husband! Who is also a BODYPUMP Instructor! Without him I couldn’t do any of what I do. I am a mum first; I have taken time away from my day job to be at home with my children, and I enjoy every moment I can with them.

Teaching Les Mills programs is my time to connect and to give back to my community. It is precious time, and it is a privilege that I am grateful for every day.

I am proud to say that after three years away (thanks to COVID-19 and pregnancy) I came back to teaching three months ago. I currently teach BODYPUMP, BODYATTACK and LES MILLS TONE and I taught eight classes in my first two weeks back!

LMAP: What do you love most about being a Les Mills Instructor?

Liz: The opportunity to use my gifts and experience as part of the Les Mills community, to contribute something that adds value to the lives of others. I could not say it better than this recent post from one of my fellow participants:

“...this lady is such an inspiration to me! This is my Instructor Liz, who had twins and slowly made her way back to instructing over the last 18 months. Initially, she came to (participate in) classes at the end for 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, then a full class. She not only got back to instructing her previous BODYATTACK classes, but she also got certified to teach LES MILLS TONE - one of the most challenging Les Mills classes. She was not afraid to share her struggles, how hard it was to regain her fitness again. Her sheer determination, dedication and hard work never cease to amaze me ❤”

LMAP: What would you tell someone who is considering becoming a Les Mills Instructor, but does not feel ready?

Liz: Every journey begins with a single step.

Be brave! Start the conversation. Go up to your favourite Instructor after class and share what you are thinking with them. Let them know what you love about their class. Ask them how they became an Instructor and listen to their story.

Go home and write down your WHY. Seek to understand what motivates you to want to get up on that stage. Every person I have met who feels that calling to teach Les Mills programs has been gifted a magic and transformative experience in a class they have attended. They find something inside them that wants to give back, to create that experience for someone else, and/or to help change the world.

Know that you are not alone! That’s what we love about group fitness, right? From BODYPUMP to BODYBALANCE®, LES MILLS SPRINT® to SH’BAM®; we stand (dance or ride!) side-by-side to get through the challenges and celebrate the wins together. We sweat, we focus, we smile! Together.

There is a phenomenal, united Les Mills community all over the world. There are wonderful Les Mills Trainers and Instructor specialists who can help you grow during your Instructor journey. There are Instructors in your club or your area who can mentor you.

Starting the conversation and connecting with this community is something I consider invaluable when setting out to become a Les Mills Instructor.


Les Mills Asia Pacific