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Les Mills launches Shapes – looks to leads on strength training trend

Les Mills has launched a new low-impact, strength-based workout programme
Shapes has been inspired by Pilates, barre and power yoga
The classes have been designed to help health clubs and studios engage younger members
Shapes provides a full-body dynamic and targeted workout
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Mount Batten Group
c£65,000pa + pension + benefits
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Les Mills has launched a new low-impact, strength-based workout programme inspired by Pilates, barre and power yoga.

Designed to help health clubs and studios engage younger members, Les Mills Shapes has been released as new research reveals strength training is the most popular activity among Gen Z gym goers, followed by pilates and yoga.

Called Gen Z Fitness: Cracking the code, the research also shows how the generation – people born between 1996 and 2010/12 – presents a "transformative opportunity for clubs to drive record growth".

Suitable for all fitness levels, the new Shapes programming provides a full-body dynamic and targeted workout that uses small, controlled movements and repetition to sculpt and strengthen all areas of the body, while boosting coordination and flexibility.

“Our research shows that choice is important for younger members, which is why we wanted to create a program that blends the best parts of Pilates, yoga and stretch workouts,” says Les Mills Shapes creator, Erin Maw.

“But it’s not just younger members – Les Mills Shapes is accessible to all abilities and allows participants to find their own hot spot and really challenge themselves.

“Despite the popularity of strength training, barbells and weights can be quite daunting for some people, so Shapes is great for those who want to avoid the intimidation of the barbell, but still get that full-body strength feeling.”

Trials of Les Mills Shapes in New Zealand clubs have seen 92 per cent of participants reporting they would recommend the class to others, with 94 per cent of instructors saying they would continue teaching the classes.

Research led by Dr Gillian Hatfield, associate professor In kinesiology at University Of The Fraser Valley, Canada, also found that the new classes are effective as a low-impact, high-intensity workout to add balance and stability.

A six-week study saw young people aged 19-35 who didn't do regular core training take part in Shapes classes three times per week.

At the end of the study, the group reported significant improvements in their balance, back and core endurance, with an average 35 per cent increase in abdominal endurance and a 26 per cent increase in back endurance.

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