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Want sound and video with that workout? Les Mills gets immersive

Musicians Beyoncé and Kanye West are the inspiration for Les Mills International’s latest venture that adds video to group workouts for a shot of motivation.

The concept is exercisers see video projected onto three screens totalling 25.5m, backed by music and fitness instructions.

Every workout has a different scenic backdrop including spaceships, glaciers, futuristic velodromes and a music festival tent.

“[Immersive Fitness] adds a rich visual experience to music and group exercise choreography,” says programme director Les Mills Jnr.

Mills and co-programme director Adam Lazarus researched and developed the product over a 12-month period, including a trial in Auckland in February.

“There have been many sleepless nights and some seriously testing times. But now that we’re finally here I can see that it will revolutionise fitness – we’re only just getting started,” says Mills.

Australian gym owner Mack Stockhausen attended the Auckland trial and said early concepts of Immersive Fitness were promising.

“The concept is fantastic – being able to go into a darkened room with side-by-side screens and be immersed in the music, workout and visual element changes the idea, dynamic and work ethic of working out in a studio.”

Les Mills Jnr (left) and co-director Adam Lazarus (right) promoting Immersive Fitness in London

A promotional tour for the product started in London last month (see video below) and is continuing around Europe this year before the 2015 consumer release.

Sports equipment company Reebok partnered with Les Mills in September 2013 to help create Immersive Fitness.

Chief executive Matt O’Toole says Reebok’s partnership with Les Mills is its effort to change the in-gym fitness experience of exercisers in a practical and visual way.

Among the Immersive Fitness videos are a cycle class known as The Trip, martial arts and interval training called BodyCombat/Les Mills Grit Immersive and a dance-yoga class called BodyJam/Body Balance Immersive held in a tent at a musical festival.

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