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The Secret Life of GFI’s: Barrister


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.

From raising the bar in GRIT to life at the bar, Sydney Barrister Ben Mee has a predictably unpredictable life. Ben’s job sees him working mainly in intellectual property litigation: think patents for medicines, copyright issues, music and movie licensing, and trade mark disputes involving well-known brands. “I love the variety – no two cases are the same and I always get to learn a huge amount of new information in a wide variety of areas. Whether it’s understanding the way that a new drug acts in the human body for a patent case, or being able to explain to a court how torrent sites work in copyright infringement cases…it certainly never gets mundane!”

In the midst of his demanding schedule Ben has trained in five programs, starting with RPM™ then CXWORX®, GRIT™, BODYPUMP® and his personal favourite, BODYATTACK®. “I was pretty keen to start teaching Les Mills classes right from the first time I participated”.

Ben sees connection and persuasion as the intersection of his full time work with instructing, stating that essentially both roles demand motivating an audience to gain a specific outcome “both my group fitness classes and litigation work need the same key interpersonal, physical and vocal tools at your disposal.”

The balance between his two worlds is a demanding one, and acknowledges the success of this juggling act is due to the generous instructor network in Sydney and their willingness to cover at short notice“juggling the two can be chaotic and stressful at times, but I wouldn’t give up teaching for the world.”