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10 minutes with Dan Cohen


This month we spend 10 minutes with Dan Cohen, Program Director of CXWORX® and BODYCOMBAT®. He tells us about his experience, life’s biggest treasures and where the programs are heading in the future. 

What does a day in the life of Dan Cohen look like? 

It starts with 3 eggs and a Nespresso coffee – best coffee on the face of this planet!! (Unless aliens can prove me wrong!) Then I exercise – my heart rate has to be above max and I need to scream at least 3 times during the workout (..have I made you smile/laugh yet?)

I tend to mix my days around– some are based around choreography and education for my 2 programs. Whatever I do, I can guarantee each day will be creative and fun, the workouts intense and the music loud!!

Before coming to Les Mills, what experience had you gained in the Fitness Industry? 

Like most Instructors, I started as a freelance instructor. It didn’t pay well – the only way to make money in those days was to Personal Train, or to teach a huge amount of classes. I taught 32 classes a week and had 5 regular clients.

What is the process you go through to develop a new release of BODYCOMBAT® and CXWORX®?

The music always comes first! Music creates the feel of a move, the rhythm of a move, and the repetitions of the given exercise. I work long hours searching for the right song to help create the perfect journey in each release.

Do you have a ritual you do before going on stage? (listen to music, put on your lucky undies, dance like a maniac? Eat Sashimi?) 

I like to warm up before the Warmup! This consists of dynamic stretches to fire the muscles in my glutes and lower back, and generally get my body in the right zone.

Who or what inspires you?

My friends and family inspire me. My partner – she inspires me. Personal Trainers inspire me. And the biggest inspiration for me recently has come from working with people who are overweight and unwell.

What is your favourite motivational quote or coaching cue?

You can’t guess? ‘Keep it real and stay with the fight!’

If you were stuck on a desert island what would be the 3 things you’d have with you?

  • My ukulele
  • My Lady
  • An unlimited supply of sashimi

Who is your favourite artist/ favourite style of music?

I don’t have a favourite artist.

In terms of style I really like singer/songwriter because of its influence on me becoming a musician.

This is a really hard question for a Program Director to answer – our life exposes us to many amazing and talented artists across many genres.

What do you do to relax?

Play my ukulele, watch movies.. and I like to cook!

Do you prefer Winter or Summer? 

Both!! Because I like to snowboard in winter and I like to take my boat on the water in the summer!

Favourite Les Mills Reebok Item? 

The Les Mills Reebok BODYCOMBAT® shoe

What do you love the most about your job as a Program Director? 

I get to travel the world and be a part of an epic upskilling journey with all that I meet. And I get to choose and listen to music every day! AND exercise!

What can we expect from BODYCOMBAT® and CXWORX® in the future?

BODYCOMBAT® is currently going through a new vision (not a new format). And therefore release 63 is the exciting start of this vision: edgy, fashionable and simply awesome!

CXWORX® is currently in nearly 5000 clubs globally, which may not sound like a lot but with only 18 releases under our belt that has put CX up there with the fastest selling programs in the history of Les Mills! This says to me that currently we’ve got it right. We will continue to create well thought out and well balanced choreography with all options and modifications to help anyone and everyone that attends a CXWORX® class succeed.

What enticed you to leave the UK for the world of Les Mills? 

The bigger picture. I was helping Great Britain become a healthier country, but in a smaller capacity. Now I play a much larger role globally which I take very seriously in supporting this industry.

In your role as a dual Program Director, you travel a lot. Do you have a ritual you go through when traveling to ensure you land as fresh as possible in your next destination? 

Actually I do! Two days prior to travel I like to ensure that I take vitamins (that I also take away with me). 90% of my time I eat clean, however I eat even cleaner prior to travel. 

I also ensure that I keep a very high standard of my prep work, knowing all the material I need to deliver. I go to bed early and on the day of travel (if it’s an afternoon flight) I absolutely annihilate myself at my home gym because I can’t think of anything worse than sitting still for 40+ hours travelling! 

Want to see Dan in action? He’ll be in Melbourne in April at Les Mills Super Saturday & Super Sunday 10 -12 April at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Keep an eye on the LMAP Facebook page for when tickets go on sale.