Les Mills International is a New Zealand-based company that operates internationally and offers fitness classes in a group of musical drills distributed to health clubs. Les Mills’ first program was BodyStep, with BodyPump being the first program published internationally.
Mills Mills International was founded by Phillip Mills and named after his father Les Mills, a four-time Olympian and founder of the Mills World of Fitness gym in Auckland, New Zealand. Starting in the 1980s, Phillip Mills developed a series of exercise fitness programs that will later become Les Mills fitness programs. Mills developed it for his father’s gym in Auckland, officially publishing the first, Pump, in 1990. In 1995, after having had success with Pump in New Zealand, Phillip Mills, with the support of his family and Bill Robertson, an Australian leader in the fitness industry, has released Pump in Australia. Convinced by the success of the product in Australia and New Zealand and seduced by what he sees as a gap in the global health and fitness market, Mills founded Les Mills International in 1997 with the goal of developing other globe programs. The programs have been expanded to more than 15,000 gyms and health clubs in 75 countries, with approximately 90,000 Les Mills Instructors around the world and approximately 6 million participants each week attending a Les Mills class. One of the programs is called “BodyPump”; classes are taught to music using free weight plates, dumbbells and aerobic walking. Participants choose their weight based on exercise and personal goals. The main muscle groups are worked through a series of compound exercises and based on isolation, including squats, presses, lifts. The focus is on muscle endurance by moving lightweight to high repetitions. In 2004, Phillip Mills was Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year and the following year he was finalist of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Global Award. In 2005, Les Mills International was named New Zealand Service Exporter of the Year by NZ Trade and Enterprise and, in 2007, he and his wife Jackie Mills co-authored the book Fighting Globesity – A Practical Guide to Personal Health and Sustainability World. In 2011, Les Mills introduced the Smartbar, a dumbbell designed for BodyPump workouts.
Since 2015, Les Mills gym in Newmarket Auckland offers a 40-minute multi-peak cycle class where customers immerse themselves in a three-dimensional world created by digital graphics and audio. In 2018, Les Mills launched a free 30-minute training [Since 2015, the Newmarket Auckland Mills Gym offers a 40-minute multi-cycle class where customers immerse themselves in a three-dimensional world created by digital graphics and the audio. | video]] in association with Reebok. The campaign, called “Like Nina”, included Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev. It became one of the most popular training videos on YouTube in early 2018.