Are Quarterlies Worth Attending?
Back before The Changeover (as it's called here in the States), BTS would organize large instructor events called "Supers". These things were great - imagine doing Step or Pump in a large exhibit hall with eight onstage presenters and 400+ excited participants. It was super, in every sense of the word. And we miss them.

When LMI took over distribution of their programs, one of the biggest changes they promised was to get closer to the instructor community by holding instructor events more often. And they wasted no time making good on that promise - within days of announcing the changeover, the first round of quarterlies were scheduled in locations across the country. The lucky instructors who attended those events were treated to an all-star cast of international trainers (sadly, our schedule was such that we couldn't be one of those attendees).

We did sign on for one of the Fall quarterlies, though - up in Lorton, VA this past week. The venue was a Gold's Gym - not a convention center like the Supers. To us, this meant maybe three or four trainers and maybe 35-40 participants. Yeah, we were still looking forward to it - but we felt it wouldn't be the same high-energy experience of our beloved Supers. Or so we thought.

Maybe it was the nine national and international trainers. Or maybe it was the thrill of working out with over 100 revved-up instructors. Whatever it was, the whole experience was far more exhilarating than anything we expected. The morning started off early with an hour of the new BodyAttack (similar to Step, but without the bench), followed by a BodyCombat master class. The next several hours included RPM and Step break-out sessions, two Pump master classes, a Flow master class, and the new BodyJam to round out the evening. Short fifteen-minute breaks punctuated the otherwise non-stop schedule; if you didn't leave there totally exhausted it wasn't for want of activity!

So was it worth the trip? Well, we drove five hours each direction for this quarterly - and to tell you the truth, we can hardly wait to do it again. We came away inspired to take the quality of our instruction to a new level, and with our own personal workouts rejuvenated. And although we've heard that the first round of quarterlies this past summer were a little rough around the edges in terms of logistics and general organization, things must've smoothed out quite a bit since then because this event went off without a hitch.

But was it as good as the Supers? Well, yes and no. Yes, the classes were a Wow! experience. Yes it was exciting. And yes it was well-organized. But it's almost impossible to fully match the show quality of the Supers with the smaller venue size. It's also tough to cram seven programs into a single-day format - even as attendees we were totally exhausted after only the third session, so it has to be tough for the trainers to pull that off week after week. As a result, the educational sessions had to be kept pretty short. And our ability to absorb the information was probably less than usual because we were so fatigued. Maybe a day-and-a-half format would work better - do some instructional work for two or three hours the night before, then do the master classes the next day.

In any case, the quarterly format here in the States is still evolving from what we gather. The trainers we talked with were very interested in getting feedback from the attendees. So while we came away from this experience both impressed and anxious to return, we're also looking forward to seeing how this program improves over the coming months. The bottom line? Yes, they're definitely worth attending - just make sure you bring several changes of workout clothes, lots of snacks, and get plenty of rest the night before. Oh, and don't come alone - it's even more fun when you're with friends!
6 Comment(s):
On 29 November, 2005, Anonymous ETR said...

Hey Craig! Thanks for a great blog! Just wanted to let you know that I think the quarterlies will alternate between large venues and small venues. And let me assure you, the two quarterlies I attended with Les Mills this past summer had every bit and more of star power and show quality that the BTS Supers had. They were fabulous! I will be attending the quarterly in Woodstock, GA this coming weekend and thanks to your post I am now very excited! I was a little concerned it wouldnt match my previous experiences.

On 29 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the Atlanta quarterly in August and it was abolutely wonderful. It was fun and I learned a lot. I am also planning to attend the Atlanta quarterly again this coming weekend. I, too, was concerned due to the smaller venue this time around, but I am looking forward to it just the same!

On 29 November, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

I'm so glad you both had great experiences at the quarterlies! We had signed up for the Atlanta one this past summer but had to cancel because of our schedules. I really wish that we could've been there for that one, it sounds like it was just brilliant! (to borrow a phrase from our British friends!!)

On 29 November, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

Quarterlies are awesome events. I love them weh have them where I live. Action packed day. We have the best venue in all Australia for Quarterlies. We have over 200 + attend the Pump - Step Masterclasses. We were told that we hold the Australian Record for the most people doing step at the same time at the 1/4.

They are great places to meet the Master Trainers as well as the Choreographers.

Glad they are in the USA :)

On 30 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Craig,
I have to agree it is a lot to cram into one day and extremely exhausting. I did get to talk with Les Mills USA before we signed our agreement and asked if they would be having something similar to the suppers and they said that they would eventually add something like that. So I hoe they do.

I went to the Dallas quarterly in August and it was not as big as BTS but defiantly had a lot of energy and I thought it was a lot more professional. I enjoyed getting more of the Les mills cultural and you can't beat those fantastic instructors. To be honest the quarterly put our gym a great ease with deciding to stay with Les mills, we totally realized we had made the right choice! I won’t be able to go back to a quarterly until the summer when I graduate from college, but I can't wait!

Thanks for the great blog site!

On 02 December, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Alright! Thanks a bunch!!


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