INSTRUCTOR PROFILE: NEL BAXTER

by Les Mills Asia Pacific

Twenty-one-year-old Nel Baxter is based in Golden Bay (Western Australia). Impressively, Nel is certified in four Les Mills programs, which included completing three IMTs in a two-year period.

Nel first fell in love with BODYPUMP® when her best friend and BODYPUMP Instructor, Declan, took her to his classes.

“BODYPUMP was one of the first classes I ever did and straight away I was hooked! What I immediately loved about BODYPUMP was how strong it made me feel, both physically and mentally! I’d been playing Australian Football League (AFL) for years when I first discovered Les Mills programs. At the time I was going through a knee injury and the strength it gave me just made me fall in love with it. I wasn’t a fan of gym floor training, so that was my weight training. Doing weights but lifting them lighter, and all to AWESOME music (I fell in love with the music!) changed everything for me.”

“I also discovered that Les Mills programs helped my sports performance, and that the AFL helped my performance in Les Mills classes. So, I started attending more classes and different programs and I just loved all of them!”

Nel's involvement in AFL helped her realise she wanted to work in the sport and exercise industry, so completing Initial Module Training (IMT) felt like a natural progression for her.

Nel

“The choreography came quite naturally to me, and probably because I looked very fit already, people responded well to me being in the classes.”

Unfortunately, an AFL commitment prevented Nel from attending that first BODYPUMP IMT. “My team was in the finals, and it clashed with my scheduled IMT, so I had to pull out of the Les Mills training.” This left Nel feeling disappointed because she had been so excited to do it, and particularly since the next IMT was four months or so away. But by the time the IMT did roll around, Nel was ready for it and so she found it easy and enjoyable.

“I used my savings to pay for my first IMT. Being 18 at the time, I’d only just finished school and lived at home with no real bills to pay, so it wasn’t hard to fund the course. Nowadays, I need to save up a little bit to pay for any new courses but, I believe, if you really want to do something then you don’t look at the cost.”

“I have this ‘thing’ when it comes to learning choreography – I find it easy to learn. And I think if I can remember the choreography well, as a participant, then that’s a program that I should teach. I guess that’s why I’ve gone and got certified in so many different programs!”

In addition to BODYPUMP, Nel is certified to teach BODYATTACK®, LES MILLS SPRINT and BODYCOMBAT®.

“BODYATTACK is a program I’ve always LOVED, especially for how fit it made me – particularly whilst I was playing footy. I noticed such a difference on the field, and I LOVED the athletic and sportiness of the program. Of course, the music, high energy and having fun whilst working hard was also great! It’s such a special program - like no other - because you get to dance, have fun, work hard, motivate and feel inspired all at once!”

“Similarly, I was hooked on LES MILLS SPRINT after just one class! I was destroyed after it but I loved how the adrenaline from the music and the hard work felt post-class; that feeling of working as hard as you can in a short timespan, resting for a short amount of time, and then getting to do it again. AND it was cardio and I LOVE cardio! Again, it was the fitness it gave me and how motivating the music was which really appealed. And I really just want to be that motivation for everyone!”

Nel

Funnily enough, of BODYCOMBAT Nel says, “I used to dislike it so much! Because if I can’t perfect a move or technique, I get so annoyed because I want it to be perfect HAHA! And there was just something about BODYCOMBAT that I could not grasp! But, at one of the Quarterly Workshops, Declan and I decided to do ALL the programs. We were up the back of the class, and we probably looked ridiculous because we had no idea what we were doing. But we got dragged up on stage where David the Presenter tried to teach me how to do a jump kick! But for the life of me, I could not do it! Afterwards, I was so determined to perfect my technique in the program and in doing so, I fell in love with the music and the technicality of the program! It’s such a different program and I worked so hard because I wanted to be AMAZING, and now I absolutely LOVE it!”

“In terms of each program, although different also are so similar in many ways, over all you get to work hard, have fun, listen to banging music and inspire and motivate so many people! I learn so much education from each program about why we are doing the moves, technique, and also so much about myself and the way I teach and lead. I then get to take this knowledge and bring that to a group class and there is something so special about that!

A former architecture student, Nel is currently studying nursing and supports herself by working in a management role at Mecca, in addition to teaching classes. She believes that good Instructors are those who love being with and around people because they tend to be really member-focused.

“I can see in my class participants, those who would make good Instructors as they too usually demonstrate an ability to remember the choreography without a struggle.”

Nel’s ultimate aspiration is to go as far as she can, to inspire everyone around her by showing exactly how fun it can actually be to exercise and to do it with friends, as well as how amazing and special these programs are! “I’d love to be a role model for my age not only for participants but for Instructors as well! I aspire to be the best I can be!”

If you love sport and keeping fit, consider becoming a Les Mills Instructor. Find out more at here or email ask@lesmills.com.au. You can also follow Nel on Instagram or Tiktok

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