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Mel Tempest has been running her group fitness-focused health club – Genesis Ballarat Gym 24/7, in Ballarat (Victoria, Australia) for 20 years. “I originally opened my club so I could teach BODYJAM®,” she says.

Much like its thousands of members throughout the past two decades, the club itself has also undergone many a transformation. What has stood rock solid throughout all the changes however, is Mel’s fascination with innovation and her unwavering commitment to offer her members the very latest and greatest group fitness experiences.

Mel attributes her long-term success and longevity in the industry to having created a culture through her group fitness programming, which is very inclusive. “We only ever select GX programs that speak to and will work with our demographic (as opposed to choosing what the industry says we should),” she explains. “Some operators consider innovation a bit like a sunken cost, but I see it as an investment that is returned through member retention, acquisition, and engagement.”

It’s very easy to let your fitness offerings grow stale because you don’t want to spend money, or because it still feels or seems new to you as the owner or manager. But the truth is, in today’s society of instant gratification, people get bored really quickly with the same old, same old.”

“These days, our members are always on the lookout for what’s new, what they can be among the first to experience, and how can quickly they can achieve the results they want. The expectations of today’s club members and how people live their life, is very different to how things used to be. And as fitness operators, we need to: 1) be aware of these changes (and keep an eye on them as they morph); and 2) cater to those demands, or we risk having our members leave us for a club that will.”

Most recently, Mel’s steadfast commitment to innovate, saw her become the first club within the Victorian-based Genesis chain, to launch LES MILLS SHAPES™ to members.

“I absolutely love my group fitness – it’s what my club was originally born from. LES MILLS SHAPES is a very easy sell for us; this is for a few reasons. For example, our members always appreciate new workouts because they love trying different ways to achieve their health, fitness, and wellness goals. Plus, these workouts are all very inclusive because we can tailor the movements to suit all ages, fitness abilities, and experience levels. It’s also awesome that Instructor training is so quick and simple – just one full day to get certified, and Instructors can be teaching in the club within a week; it's so good!”

Three of Mel’s Instructors undertook the one-day online training, a few weeks prior to the official in-club launch event. “It was so fast and simple,” Mel says referring to the certification journey. “And the Instructors wanted to do it, because it didn’t require them to get in the car, drive anywhere, or stay over for two days.”

The launch event itself saw more than 50 members experience LES MILLS SHAPES for the very first time.

“The launch involved a Masterclass, of course. This was delivered by James Brennan, one of the Lead Trainers in Australia and Southeast Asia for LES MILLS SHAPES. I also reached out to local businesses to invite them to join the preview session, and then Kylie from Les Mills Asia Pacific also held a recruitment chat afterwards, to which she had eight Instructors register their interest in further training. It was a really good event, and the program was immediately well received.”

In terms of integrating LES MILLS SHAPES into the timetable, Mel says “To start with, we’ll choose some quieter off-shoulder timeslots and drop them in there. We’ll also ease our Instructors into it by having the three of them team-teach for 15 minutes each.”

“When we launch our Christmas timetable, LES MILLS SHAPES will appear all over it. We’ll also run the program as a six-week summer challenge, and then beyond summer we’ll do similar, but with a different name for the challenge.”

“When we run our new year campaign in January, LES MILLS SHAPES will be part of our USPs – so people know they can come and try something that is brand-new: a ‘new year, new workout’ type of thing.”

“This program excites me because I believe it will attract members from female-only gyms to come across and try it. It will also appeal to people who feel they are perhaps not as coordinated as they think you need to be to participate in a group ex class that is done to the beat of the music. And, we’ll also provide opportunities for older adults to take part, so I think LES MILLS SHAPES will have succeeded in attracting a very broad spectrum of participants.”

Mel says she’s “also looking forward to launching LES MILLS STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT™”, which is the other Limited Edition Collection workout that was recently launched in Australia and Southeast Asia. But, for now, LES MILLS SHAPES has taken up permanent residence on Mel’s group fitness timetable, where it continues to garner a resoundingly positive response from members.

To find out how your club or fitness facility can introduce LES MILLS SHAPES™ or other Limited Edition Collection workouts and appeal to a new generation of member, contact your local Business Partnership Manager in Australia or Southeast Asia.


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