Les Mills Preliminary Training courses for BODYPUMPTM and BODYATTACKTM took place for me in 2014, and I learned a lot. Both of these encounters were incredible, and I considered them the pinnacles of my strength and conditioning education experience. When I was done laughing and crying, I announced that I was done pursuing certifications for the time being. It turns out I was wrong, and I recently completed Initial Trainings for BODYCOMBATTM and GRITTM. Like my previous two trainings, I’ll write a separate blog post to summarise my most recent experiences. Les Mills trainings are all based on the same principles and format, however no two trainings were also exactly alike. As I mentioned, I went to two different trainings for GRITTM.
GRITTM is the pinnacle of high-intensity interval training. The average class session lasts 30 minutes, with little time for breaks (Plyo, Cardio, Strength). When it comes to working out, GRITTM has been the most challenging, effective, as well as attainable workout I’ve ever done. It leaves you exhausted but accomplished in just 30 minutes. To say I was nervous would be an understatement; I’m a lot of things, but tough and grittier aren’t ones I usually associate with myself.
Les Mills certification is required for those who have not yet achieved it.
You will receive an email two weeks prior to your training with the track as well as tracks you are expected to present. Teaching techniques, best practises for mastering your choreography, and enhancing the depth of your lessons are all covered in great detail during the course of the training. You can best prepare for training by listening to your music and watching the video over and over again. I was able to practise and learn my choreography with a group of coworkers because of this training. Do the workout atleast once before having attended your training session to get a feel for what to expect.
Every time I go to a training, I go through a lengthy checklist to ensure that I have it all I want for the weekend. As a result of attending numerous trainings, I have a good idea of what to bring. To get quick energy without causing discomfort to my stomach, I stick to simple carbs and sugars. I always travel with a large water bottle and two spare outfits. If you’ve spent the day in stinky clothes, changing into new ones can make a world of difference when you’re riding home.
A master class and introductions kicked off the first day of GRITTM Initial Training. In my entire life, I’ve never met anyone as cool as Meg, our national trainer. She has the ability to perform flawless push-ups while delivering a lengthy lecture. She was not scared to say us what she expected of us, but she also made one another feel cared for. For lack of better words, she was gritty.
Aside from the master class, which is always is one my favourite parts of training, I just had to remind everybody that the weekend is still ahead. A trainer as knowledgeable and dedicated as Meg made it impossible for me to forget this and I worked hard to complete every single exercise in the allotted time frame. After we were done, I put on my second outfit and sat down for our first class.
GRITTM’s five key elements, the science while behind workout, as well as basic coaching techniques were discussed. Technique bootcamp was punctuated by frequent breaks for lunch. Our first of 3 presentations over the weekend arrived in the blink of an eye.
There were 22 people in our class, which is a record for GRITTM, let alone Les Mills class. The agency makes an effort to keep training sessions small in order to provide the best possible one-on-one attention and feedback. It was no problem for Meg to handle our large group and divide us into three groups for presentations. In a way, it was like an elongated master’s programme for each group to perform each song. The alternative will be for everyone to run every track atleast five times, which was a physically exhausting experience! We finished presentations and feedback in over two hours, so the day was already over. Despite our exhaustion, we were ecstatic to have made so much progress in such a short time.
The second presentation of the day got the day off to a fast start. Even at 8 a.m., it was difficult to get going after a long day of training as well as soreness the previous day. After a few hours of lecture time with some much rest, we sat down for a final lecture and some much-needed downtime.
As a side note, my go-to snack for any physically demanding activity is a gummy bear! It’s easy on the stomach, but it delivers sugar and energy in a hurry!
It’s hard to remember what was said on Day 2. The exhaustion had set in, and we were close to the “wall” of exhaustion. Presentation #3 was about to begin when Meg decided to surprise us with the best present she could think of. Throughout my life, I’ve received many inspirational speeches, but Meg’s was the best. A new sense of vigour and drive swept through a room of 22 exhausted participants who’d been working very hard for nearly 20 hours straight. Teammate’s desire to not only finish but also dominate the presentation spurred us on. It was as if our training came to a close as we clapped, cheered, and coached one another. Finally, we’ve achieved our goal!
GRITTM is a way to discover who you can be both physically and mentally. It wasn’t until the end of the second day that I realised how powerful this programme was. Meg challenged us to go beyond our comfort zones as well as showed us how to do the same for others. Thanks to my fellow GRITTM students and Meg, I’d never be able to call myself gritty without the time we spent together.