My two cents
I'm still numb from the whirlwind of commotion created by LMI and BTS. I really like it when things run smoothly - no chaos. At 46 - I've had my share and I just want this mess to go away. Alas - I know it won't. All I want is to teach my class members a great BP & BF class. I love these programs and they have changed my life, and my husbands for the better.

And now we are faced with making a choice - or rather our club does. As much as I like some of the things BTS is doing - I DO NOT like the 'canned', studio band music. It sounds cheesy. I do not like the new names, especially "Group Centergy". Yuck. Our class loves the sound of body pump music - it's real. I know some of the lyrics are pretty bad, so I just choose not to play them. I just don't think BTS will play any where close to LMI stuff.

Another thing - if BTS has such a great program - why we can't 'try before we buy'? As far as I know, only club owners and fitness directors are allowed to go to Atlanta for the 'showing'. They don't teach the classes!!! At least most do not. We instructors do! If we could just see what they had to offer first - but they are pressuring our club to sign on the dotted line as soon as possible - without seeing anything!

Why does corporate greed have to get in the way of physical fitness? LMI has developed an incredible fitness system. Yes - it could use some revamping on the difficult stuff. But the music is awesome, people love coming to class, they are enthused about working out and they ARE seeing results. Sometimes it great to challenge our bodies - as long as it is done safely.

Anyway - I'm pretty miffed about the whole thing. Did I mention all the music and clothes I have bought for the LMI programs which could no longer be used for BTS???? (I have steam coming out of my ears!!!)

Whichever our club chooses, I will gracefully abide. We have great instructors, employees and owners who are concerned. I have been at this club for almost 4 years and I love it.

OK. I'm done.

Tami W.
17 Comment(s):
On 06 May, 2005, Blogger IBMocha said...

Tami, I work at two different clubs. They both currently offer BP, but it looks like one will go LMI and the other BTS. This leaves me between a rock and I hard place! I feel the same way about the split, especially since I have already felt the sting when BTS and 24 Hour Fitness split and I had to teach Reebok Rep. I also had to pay for the cert. to teach a new format. I have emailed Les Mills and clearly stated my position. During the time 24 Hour and BTS split I went for 2 years teaching Rep and not BP. Sometimes I would get lucky and go out of town and catch a BP class at a local gym.
Anyway it looks like I will not be teaching at one of my gyms. IBMocha

On 06 May, 2005, Blogger Tami W. said...

Thanks for your comment. It would have been nice if the corporate bigwigs would of asked us instructors our opinion - since we deliver their product. And its not like we are in this for the money. We spent more on releases and clothing than we make. And to have to start all over again?? I'm wondering if it's all worth it.
Tami W.

On 07 May, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

Hi Tami,

What decision has your club decided to go with?

On 08 May, 2005, Blogger Tami W. said...

They decided to go BTS. Not sure what we will do at this point. Are you faced with a similar situation?

On 09 May, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, you recently posted on my entry in a Les Mills Livejournal community, and I thought I'd return the favor! I am so sad to hear that your club is going with BTS. I don't know what I would do. I just completed BodyStep training a month ago, and I would hate to have to learn new stuff. And I can't imagine having to get rid of all of your BodyPump/Flow clothes and replacing them with (stupid names like) GroupCentergy and GroupPower...Ugh. AND not to mention having to learn all new (and less exciting I'm sure) chorey.

I went to both websites to see each "version" of the story. I must say (as I already have on my Livejournal entry) that BTS's article really upset me. They blatantly called themselves the "good guys," whereas Les Mills didn't really even mention the conflict at all. They merely said they wanted to reach more of the North American market. I'm pretty sure I don't recall reading anything about BTS being unreasonable in their suggestions or anything of that nature. However, BTS's article mentions (without a name, but we all know they are talking about Les Mills) the fact that they were "continuously ignored." But I would find it difficult to believe that Les Mills was sitting in New Zealand laughing at and ignoring their requests.

I guess (like most everyone here) I really don't know the WHOLE story. But from reading information for the different websites, it clearly seems to me that BTS is whining.

Something that really ticked me off was BTS saying (as mentioned in the previous post) that Les Mills has a "one size fits all attitude." That is such an easily made's ridiculous. I know that at my club (and I'm sure everywhere else) we go over SEVERAL ways participants can modify the workout to fit THEIR OWN level. And how the chorey is too challenging. But what is going to keep someone coming to class if their goal is not to do better? And how can you have fun if everything is too easy? Geez! You would think the instructors were just standing up in the front of the room yelling out moves at lightning speed, expecting everyone to catch on!

OK, I think I've gotten myself a bit too worked up. I hope everything I said made sense. I need to study. Thank you for posting this and for responding to my LJ! I really wish you the best of luck with the new BTS programs. I'm sure they will be great. I hope my post wasn't overly's just something that really bothered me. And I really just love everyone at Les Mills. I guess I'm fortunate that Gold's decided to stick with them. Please keep updating about the new programs; I really am interested to see what they're about.

~Stacie (pinknlemon)

On 09 May, 2005, Blogger Tami W. said...

I agree with you totally. No one in our classes has ever complained about the difficulty of the moves. I've "heard" that BTS is taking out one of the clean and presses to make it easier - but I thought 4 was fine! Do they want a work out or not? You have to challenge the body to see results! If 4 is too much for some folks they should come down on their weights!

I think too that there was some bias written in an article re BTS since it was written by their 'friend'. Also - it takes a long time to develop a program - get music, find experts to do the chorey, all the marketing for the new names, posters, etc. You mean to tell me this was done in a matter of a few months? Things that make you go hmmmm.

Well - like you, I'm upset by the whole thing and I could go on and on. However - life goes on and there are far more important things to worry about!

Take care and thanks for reading!

Tami W.

On 09 May, 2005, Anonymous Cody said...

I'm studying abroad overseas right now and can't believe that all this is going on. I really hope my gym back home stays with les mills, I love the difficulty level and making it easier just seems like a waste. Don't people want a workout when they go to the gym? Anyway good luck with BTS, I hope it's not too different! Have you heard anything about the music choices and if they will license big name songs like bodypump did?

On 09 May, 2005, Anonymous JJ said...

It seems everyone is torn. It is clear we all love Bodypump, Step, Flow, RPM, etc. But I'll bet before them, we all loved what it was we were doing too. We need to keep an open mind and understand that BTS has been our source for all we do int he US, for everything other than the actual release. The Supers, the support, the training, the clothes. All of that BTS created for us. They don't currently do any of the support extras overseas. Nike has partnered with BTS, not LMI which says a lot because they could have gone either way. Try not to let you opinion be about the clothing you have already or your library of music. Les Mills will also be changing music format due to licensing infrngements and distribution in the US. We have to look at the overall, what will keep the instructors current and edgy in this ever changing market. What if BTS can do it even better. The fact that BTS is putting a 7 month money back guarantee with the new programs speaks volumes too. Every Master Trainer from the US stayed with BTS. We all know and love them. If you speak to any of your former trainers they have a lot to say as to why they chose BTS. Don't let emotion, inventory, apparel or a sense of loyalty drive your decision. Let what you do for your participants and for yourself drive the decision for the long term, not for the immediate. Yes, we will only have 2 releases per program you teach to use for summer but when you trained you had one release to teach over and over and over until your 90 days - assessment video was complete. Did you mind it them? Be open and consider every aspect for the long term. BTS is offering a comprehensive approach to this unfortunate change. They have been available by phone, e-mail, mail, etc. Again, showing their support for us. The new programs have been described by the Master Trainers, as being even better. From a participant perspective they have been tried and evaluated by participants and got rave reviews, from first timers as well as seasoned Bodypump diehards.

Pump, Step, Flow, RPM - Instructor. It breaks my heart to have to consider this change too but I have to remember why I do it. I too think the names of the new programs are not as dynamic but who knows the buzz in a few years, may be all around "Group".
Good luck with your decision.

On 09 May, 2005, Anonymous Stacie said...


I know what you are saying and in no way am I trying to say that BTS doesn't know what they are doing. My main point was that BTS seemed to be doing a lot of complaining. And as far as teaching the same stuff until my 90 day video is due, I can submit my video as soon as I want. It's only been 30 days, but I am submitting my video in 2 weeks; which would make it 44 days. I am SO READY to learn new music, and I'm sure the participants are, too. The clothes/music isn't a big deal I guess, it just really sucks.

Anyway, I KNOW BTS people are professionals and I know they care about what they do. Just my overall impression from them was a bunch of complaints that I have really yet to hear anything about from participants or instructors or myself for that matter. It almost seemed as if they were TRYING to find things to complain about. Les Mills simply wants to extend their market...BTS wants to blame the lack of participants on silly things that have to do with lyrics and complexity.

Ahh, I've run away with myself again. I just want to reiterate that I am in NO WAY saying that BTS is stupid. Just simply stating the impression I got from them. I know their programs will be great, and I'm sure they will have their loyal participants/instructors; I have no doubt about that. But personally, I would rather stay with Les Mills because I love the fact that their programs are all over the world...and doing very well.

Take care!

On 09 May, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Replying to Cody ("Have you heard anything about the music choices and if they will license big name songs like bodypump did?", above) - It is our understanding that the source for BTS tracks is PowerMusic, which licenses the music but not the original score. In other words, the music would not necessarily be performed by the original artists.

It should be noted that both Les Mills and BTS have to modify their tracks to fit the routines - if you listen very closely to a track you're familiar with from the artist's CD or radio release and compare it to the same song on a Les Mills BodyPump release, for example, you'll see exactly what I mean.

Still, though, the fact that Les Mills' tracks are performed by original artists is a key difference. They spend millions (yes, really) to license the music in that way. Why? Because it matters.

On 10 May, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

The problem is that Instructors are not showing the lower options they automatically spring to Leve1 and ignore 2 and 3. Most people I know had difficulty with BC 20 it was a hard release for participants who are not young to do. The one-size fits all is not being observed by some instructors who have no idea how a 40 year old participants body moves. No one can know that until you reach that age.

The body does change and they need to understand that a 60-year-old who has had no exercise and is entered into a gym program can not do some of the complex moves in the choreography. They should trial the programs on different demographics and learn from that.

I simply walked off half way through BC 20 and did not finish the class.

In relation to BTS, I have had dealings in the past with the people there and they are champions of Les Mills International all the time they have been associated with Les Mills International.

Who is right and who is wrong is not the issue, it is the livelihoods of many instructors and trainers being threatened, and that it does have a financial side to this. People spend hard earned money for their CD’s, uniforms, choreography, dvd's etc... The time and effort to learn it and time out of their own lives and not being paid for prep time and do this because they love BP etc..

I often think that the losers are the instructors and trainers and their members who have grown to love the music and releases that they have now come custom to and have it totally replaced.

I fear that some participants will leave the gym and move on. Instructors will be left in the cold and leave the industry and a total fracture of the Group Fitness Industry in the United States of America and Canada.

My thoughts go with the instructors participants.

On 12 May, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very comforting to see that all over North America, we as instructors, all feel the same. My fellow instructors are very upset by all this, but you people in the US at least have an option--in Canada, unfortunately the Good Life gym has purchased exclusive rights. Les Mills sure wasn't thinking about the rest of us when they did this. I think it was very unfair and the more I dwell on it, the more angry I become. I would like to pick up the phone, call Mike and said "thanks a lot". Then I got to thinking, what I really hate is when Les Mills uses the song twice--ex Summer Rain is Hill climb in RPM 26--now I see they are using it for chest press in Body Pump 54, same as with Run to You was Song 3 in RPM 24 and now they are using it for squats in BP 54--oh ya and remember "the stomp song"--I had people asking me before class " are you playing the stomp song"--they hated it already. Despite all that, I am just trying to make myself feel better, what choice is there anyways. I would just like to say thank you to the Good Life for ruining all our fun--They don't want to open a gym in our dinkie province--it is all about the masses--besides we have tons of happy members--you have to camp out to get a spot in RPM or BP at our gym. I guess it just boils down to real disappointment that they couldn't have come to some kind of agreement, because in the end who loses--the instructors and the clients. thanks Les Mills. In the end maybe there will be nothing left but to go back to doing grape vines--yuck!

On 17 May, 2005, Anonymous Steve McMahon said...

What a mess!
Neither BTS or Les Mills are thinking about the most important thing - our students. I teach Body Pump in San Diego. I have taught for 3 years for free because of what it has done for me personally. I am 58 years old and love everything about Body Pump.
It is greater than the sum of it's parts. There is such a nice rhythm and feel to the class - that is what is fun and draws the crowds. I teach at 6am and have full classes every time! BTS has spent years telling me that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And now, all of a sudden, it is terrible! It is too hard! The music is too dirty! It is not designed for someone who is 50 or above! Baloney!! They have the gall to want us to sign up for a program that they refuse to show us! "Trust me, it is better." Well, if it is so good, let me see it. If it is really better, give me 3 months to explain to my classes that we have found something better. "We can't do that. It is against the law!" What law??? You can probably tell that I am a little angry. I am glad that my club decided to stay with Les Mills. I have lost all respect for BTS.

On 18 May, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that some people haven't stopped to consider the choreographers for the new programs... Molly Fox, Natha & Gabby, and Marcus Irwin have all worked for LMI at one point -- all have been "let go" -- choreographers who, for whatever reason, didn't or couldn't work w/in the LMI pre-choreography system. Other than that, the teams are made up of some of the trainers (agreed, that we all know and love and appreciate) and it's then overseen by Cathy Spencer-Browning & the BTS medical team.

Points to consider: If these choreographers couldn't work with LMI, why can they work w/ BTS -- in a system SO clearly similar to LMI (since they're 98% copying the LMI system)? If they do end up not working out at BTS, what are we left with?
LMI has the world-wide ability to recruit choreographers due to their name/status/reputation in the industry. Who could BTS recruit considering they haven't yet created that status? And if they can't recruit the "top" -- aren't we left with instructors choreographing routines, which is exactly what BTS has been preaching against for 7-8 years...

Also, Power Music... they are huge. For some reason, LMI - with 25 years in THIS industry hasn't chosen to work with them... If Power Music offered the consistent quality, don't you think LMI would use them?

Finally, we talk about all the resources that BTS has delivered over the last 7-8 years. They may have re-worked the info for the North American market, but BOTH SIDES at the beginning of this issue 3 weeks ago said the original thoughts were from LMI. Even BTS, when knowing our clubs were happy customers w/ our programs, said all the materials came from LMI, but BTS had "re-worked" them to be appropriate for the US... interesting that now the sales team at BTS is claiming that everything is the property of BTS and their brain-children... even the copyrights on all the GFM, AIM, and program manuals have LMI... wonder why???

On 19 May, 2005, Blogger Max said...


You need to wake up and smell the coffee, man!

First off - "The Supers, the support, the training, the clothes..." How many trainings sis BTS hold annualy? LMI is having AT LEAST 5 every quarter. I called them and once they have their operations up and running at full speed (they weren't allowed to speak to us until May 1st, so they had no way to know how many people needed training in what program, and you're kidding yourself if you think BTS shared that info with them). Also, from whom do you think BTS's trainers learned? And BTS had nothing to do with the clothes... all they did was sell them and their sellection was not close to what LMI has. Have you checked the store on

Also, Nike HAS NOT partnered with BTS... all they are doing is acting as a distributor and supplying them the clothes. An LMI employee let me know that they are in negotiations with Nike for a real partnership. Just wait...

Who told you the Les Mills will be changing music formats? BTS perhaps? Spreading lies is a sign of a desparate company. Both companies had to know about this split for months and do you really think that a world wide company like Les Mills would proceed if there was any type of music licensing infringment? Stop listening to the BTS lies! By the way, do you know that BTS is using a system called Powermusic? A company that makes covers of music; gee that will be fun to teach... NOT. How can BTS do better than a company that specializes is group excersise? And that fact that they are putting a 7 month guarantee on a product means nothing. Ever see Tommy Boy? The scene where he talks about taking a dump in a box and putting a guarantee on it? That what is seems like BTS is doing - they are so desperate! Come on... can't you see it? Aa far as the master trainers go - how can you state that EVERY ONE stayed? Do you know them all? Remember, they were trained by Les Mills (and I'll bet they will jump ship as soon as they see a poor response to the BTS's ripoff of Les Mills' product). As far as BTS being available... everyone that has an email address is always available. The test is do they respond? I've called Les Mills' number several times and the phone was answered by a live rep each time (within 3 rings even). I called BTS 3 times and only got a live person once - got a voice mail the other 2 times. So, logically, you have to think that Les Mills shows even better support for us by actually being there, right? Of course the new programs have been described as being even better... they WORK FOR BTS! Do you think they would actually jeopardize their jobs and come out and say that their programs are crap? Come on... you've fallen for the propaganda!
"Rave reviews"... from whom? Oh... I see it now... you must read The Club Insider (what a joke that piece of crap is)! I've heard reviews of the product as being a direct, poor ripoff of the LMI products! So who do you believe?

Come on people... use your brains here. Ugh!

On 19 May, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Max - I see your points and agree (the tone could be a bit less confrontational, though). In any case, the BTS programs actually have gotten good reviews. I thought they would get mediocre reviews at best, so I was pretty surprised - see my May 17th post here for more on that.

Keep in mind that most of the instructor community (and pretty much all of the participants) who will start using them June 1st probably don't have much choice. So while most everyone recognizes that BTS has in fact duplicated much of the LMI format, those folks gotta use it, warts and all. I'm just glad to see that many of the preview attendees thought that the programs were actually pretty decent.

I think all of us see this thing between BTS and LMI for what it truly is. But, as instructors we need to make the best of it - 'cause at the end of the day, pretty much only the club owners get to decide (unless you're in a Canadian club - then you get no choice at all!)

On 28 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a happy class participant of first Body Pump, then after the split, Group Fitness. Reading all the postings from more than 2 years ago, it was all a lot of hot air. I noticed little difference in the music and programs after the split. I have progessed nicely throughout the classes and I can see the resilts. I'm not sure how LMI is doign now, but Group Fitness through BTS is great. I highly recommend it!!!!


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