Les Mills BodyFlow training

by Kim on October 20, 2014

Hey guys! I’m taking a day off from my Monday inspo boards (hope you don’t mind!) because I have more exciting things to talk about…specifically: I made it through Les Mill BodyFlow training!!

And I even passed—3/3, woohoo!

Check out this shot of our awesome group:


Notice anything weird?

…Yeah. We’re all wearing wings. Glittery ones. Haha.

The release we were trained on had a bird theme to it—lots of songs with references to birds in the lyrics and lots of bird-related poses (like the ones you see us doing in the pic). So our instructor (who was AMAZING) actually went out and bought us all wings to take home. (And yes, she said “you’ve earned your wings!”)

There were also a few other trinkets, like this Kia Kaha – Stay Strong bracelet:


(Kia Kaha is from the New Zealand-based tribe that the entire Les Mills culture is founded in—when you join Les Mills, you hear tons of references to the language and the philosophies of the “tribe.”)

We were also given those pink ribbons on the first day of class. Our instructor called them Brazilian Wish Bracelets. The idea was that we tied three knots in them and repeated a wish for each knot, and when the bracelets wore out and fell off, it meant the wishes had come true.

Well, I cut mine off after two days, so I’m not sure what that means… (actually, she said we should, and my wish was related to the training, so its coming-true time was up anyway.)

So as you can see, we were totally steeped in Les Mills culture throughout the weekend. There’s even a special handshake that involves pressing your forehead and nose to the other person’s forehead and nose (pretty awkward, as you can imagine). I could see this element of the program scaring some people off—similar to the way some people see yoga as a bunch of weird voodoo—but I think it adds color and personality to the experience.

As for the training itself: if you’ve ever heard anything about a Les Mills training, you know that they’re known for being INTENSE. BodyFlow is no different. I was more exhausted after Day 1 of this training than I was after labor and delivery—ha!

We were in class from 11 AM to 8 PM Saturday and 8-4 Sunday. And we were physically moving for a majority of that time. Let’s just say my body isn’t too happy with me today (whatever happened to listening to your body, right??).

Here’s a little rundown of the schedule:


1. Welcome/intros. This is where we dove into the Les Mills culture stuff I mentioned above, talked about the history of BodyFlow and what it meant to be an instructor, etc.

2. Master class (a run through of the specific release we’re learning, taught by the instructor).

3. An hour or so of lecture, talking about how to learn and deliver choreography.

4. Time to practice our assigned tracks, one of which we’d be presenting to the class later that day.

5. The Technique Clinic, where we broke down all of the movements one by one. This was SUPER helpful (turns out I’ve been slacking on my Warrior II form for a loooong time) but also SO exhausting, since we were on our feet working the poses the entire time, and the whole process took about two hours!

6. Day 1 presentations. We were all super nervous, but everyone rocked it. My notes from the instructor were pretty minimal, and she even said “I wish I could think of more to say!”—but I picked up on LOTS of other ways I needed to improve throughout the course of the training.

Oh, and presentations didn’t just mean we got to present and be done—we had to participate in the entire workout, too, while everyone else presented.

By the end of the day, I was cross-eyed tired. I had absolutely nothing left to give, and I was horrified by the fact that I had homework for the next day, in addition to eating/showering/taking care of Josh/face-planting into bed by a decent hour—all of which started when I got home at 9 PM.

Oh, and I had to be up by 6 AM the next day…


1. Day 2 presentations – round 1. We dove right into presenting this day, which was hard for me because my track for the day was super high energy, and I just didn’t have it yet. My presentation still went ok, but it was nowhere near what I’d hoped it would be. We were also videotaped this time (yiiikes), and then we watched the videos and shared feedback together as a class.

2.  A very short lecture about how to create “fitness magic” in class, followed by the most awkward moment of the entire weekend…the instructor had us all stand up and close our eyes, and then she played the first minute or so of each song in the class and had us “let our bodies do whatever felt right.” So, imagine a group of people dancing (or doing who knows what) around a room with their eyes closed…I didn’t peek, but I heard a lot of nylon swishing sounds, haha.

3. The BodyFlow Challenge. We had no idea what this was going to be and were all super nervous about it—especially given how tapped our bodies already were from the morning and previous day, combined with the fact that we still had another presentation to do after the challenge.

It ended up being almost an hour and a half long workout, where we held each pose for several minutes each while the instructor fine-tuned our form.

Seriously—deadly. I had to tap out altogether during the ab work—my core was just destroyed, and my lower back was starting to ache like crazy. (And guess which track I was going to be presenting later? Abs!)

4. Day 2 presentations – round 2. We repeated the presentations from the morning, this time without stopping the music between tracks, so we could practice team teaching and transitioning. We had two people on stage at a time, with the person about to teach hovering right behind the current teacher, ready for a quick swap.

I did better with my track this time, surprisingly, and I had fun yelling things like “this is the LAST TIME we have to do this move ALL WEEKEND, guys!”

There were lots of other little exercises sprinkled throughout the weekend, too, like getting into pairs and practicing coaching each other into Warrior II, and writing/delivering our class intros. (“Hi, I’m Kim and this is BodyFlow. During the next 60 minutes…”)

I was lucky that the instructor was incredibly understanding about my need to pump every few hours. I was able to squeeze in two sessions on Saturday and one on Sunday, all while hiding out in this dark studio…


(Also lucky: two of the class participants were already instructors at that particular gym, and had keys to dark studios.)

I was so grateful that Brent’s mom was able to visit for the weekend to help him with the kids, so I didn’t have to worry too much about how things were going at home. Thank goodness for grandmas! (And dads!)

I can’t even express to you how excited I was to get home to my boys Sunday afternoon. I felt like I’d run three marathons in a row, but I’m glad I did it!

Now comes to even harder part: finishing my certification (we have to send in a video of us teaching a complete live class at a gym) and, you know, actually starting to teach this stuff. Just as soon as I can move my legs again…

Is there anything else you’d like to know about BodyFlow training?

I know some people find these posts because they’re considering certification—feel free to leave any questions in the comments, or shoot me a message via my Contact page!

Fellow Les Mills instructors, does this sound pretty similar to your training experience?

I’m curious to hear what other program’s challenges are like! I know they’re all brutal!

Tips for team teaching/certification recording??

I’m coordinating with an instructor at the gym, and she said I’m welcome to start team teaching with her whenever I’m ready. YIKES.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!



{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Elisa Hunter March 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm

I teach Zumba and would love to teach a yoga-type class to add more stretching to my teaching schedule. Bodyflow looked like an attractive way to do this as it was 1) a lot cheaper than a lot of Yoga Certifications (most I saw were around $3,000!) and 2) because it gives you a specific routine. I am VERY inflexible (that is why my body needs it!) Two questions for you: 1) do you think it’s possible for me to pass if I am super inflexible myself (I can’t even properly do Pigeon pose…my hips are too tight! and 2) Do you think you need a lot of experience attending Bodyflow classes before certifying (I haven’t been to very many myself)? Or do you think it would be pretty easy to pick up for someone who teaches other fitness classes?

Thank you so much!


Shelby July 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Hi! I’m certified in Body Pump already. The pump challenge almost killed me. I was woefully unprepared for that training and am not currently teaching because of physical issues. I went to Sh’bam training last year but did not receive my verification which was highly upsetting. So I think I’ll give flow a try and hopefully find my niche. I was curious about how intense the training was. I tend to have a problem with coaching properly. Any tips on how to give good ques and set up moves? I think flow might suit my personality more than Sh’bam did even though I love to dance. They said I wasn’t talking enough during Sh’bam and I that I didn’t have enough energy and flavor. I’m hoping flow will work out. ;)


Jo February 22, 2015 at 8:43 am

Hi! I did indeed find your post because I was searching for information about Flow training-I go in three weeks! Can I ask your advice for preparing for training? What’s the best way to get ready? We don’t have the release yet.


Kim April 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Oops so sorry I missed your comment!!! I hope your training went well!! :)


Catie February 1, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Me again! Still perusing your posts :) Just saw this one and thought awesome! I too am a certified BodyFlow instructor. I’ve been teaching for 4 years. I hope you continue to love the program as must as I do. I’m also certified in BodyPump and will probably go for BodyCombat after my next child comes this March. My gym only licenses those three programs. Have you started teaching yet? Do you think you’ll go for any additional certifications? One tribe! :)
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Kim February 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Hey Catie! I have started teaching and I have my eye on Pump next…great minds, my friend! :)


Holly @ Pink-Runner.com December 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Thank you for this review!!! I go to my training for 67 this weekend!! I was assigned tracks 1 and 4… so I lucked out. I’m already certified in pump and cxworx, but feel more out of my element for flow. I found your review by searching for the “challenge” to see what it was! The pump challenge was fun, but the cxworx one was soooo hard! (5 min hover while teaching assigned track!) Hopefully my legs can handle this weekend! I’ve always had an easy time memorizing pump and cxworx, but I’m having a tough time memorizing flow. So much to say for tracks 2 and 3! I’m glad I didn’t get those ones!


Katie October 21, 2014 at 8:57 am

I already was considering a Les Mills certification, but this kind of seals the deal, sounds like an intense but thorough weekend of training!
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Kim October 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

That’s awesome! It’ll be a piece of cake for you with all your experience!


Ashley Pitt @ A Lady Goes West October 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Hi Kim! Congrats on passing your training. Yes, your experience sounds very similar to what I’ve encountered in many Les Mills training weekends. Looks like yours was full of women and no men? Wow! Give yourself plenty of time to shoot your video, because once you watch it, you may notice things you need to fix and do it over. Enjoy team teaching!!:)
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Kim October 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Yep, zero men! :) And a really small group, which was nice.

Thanks for the tip! I’m sure I’ll find things wrong with my video no matter what (perfectionist!) but I’m probably going to have to set up a special demo class to do it, so I’m not sure I’ll have more than one shot (unless something goes dramatically wrong)…Ok, I can’t think about it right now, too terrifying! :)


Kim October 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Sounds like an exhausting but great weekend!!
Congratulations on the certification – can’t wait to hear about your first class!!
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Kim October 20, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Thanks Kim! I’m *still* recovering! :)


Becky @ Olives n Wine October 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I’m exhausted just reading your post. Way to go, mama! And the layout seems super similar the BODYPUMP training I had in September. Killer!
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Kim October 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Yeah, it sounds like they’re all pretty similar, schedule-wise, but I heard Pump is just brutal! I could see myself considering it someday, since I’ve always liked Pump, but I’m honestly so intimidated by everything I’ve heard! :)


Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Yayyyy! So glad you had such a great weekend. I am right there with you… totally wiped after a physically AND mentally demanding weekend. But so worth it, right? And a huge congratulations on your pass score of 3/3 – I had no doubt! I wrote about my RPM initial training today too. It is quite similar to your schedule and such with the challenge and presentations. Les Mills knows what they’re doing and is top notch – love it!
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Kim October 20, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I was really impressed with the training! Blew PiYo’s out of the water (sorry PiYo). Glad I’m not the only one still recovering today. :)


Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy October 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm

That sounds like a long, but rewarding weekend — congratulations for passing the training!

I don’t know that I would want to press my head and nose up against someone else’s — I’m such a germaphobe, haha!
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Kim October 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

It was sooo weird Emily…we had to time it carefully too so we didn’t smash into each other, haha!


Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate October 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

My sister (who lives in Brazil) gave me a Brazilian Wish Bracelet but instead of putting it on my wrist, I put it on my key ring! Congrats on passing your training!
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Kim October 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

That’s awesome! It was a cool idea, but the hanging ribbon kind of got in my way all weekend, and it never actually fell off, so I think it was ultimately more of a nuisance than an inspiration, haha. Oh well :) Crazy that your sis lives in Brazil!! Wow!


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