Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Battle Against Globesity - HAKA in the House

Les Mills fitness warriors have a powerful new weapon in their battle against global obesity – a highly-motivating modern take on the traditional Maori haka. The awe-inspiring Maori dance made famous by New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team, has been a vital feature of LES MILLS™ Quarterly Workshops for the past ten years.

Now LMI has its very own version - Tu Mai Nei Nga Toa E, which translates into English as “Standing Here are the New Warriors”. The Les Mills haka premiered at the Global Summit in a performance led by Steve Renata and a fearsome team of eye-rolling, foot-stomping LMI members. It was greeted with rapturous applause.

Steve says the LMI team wanted to create a haka with a clear, compelling message about overcoming obesity and sedentary lifestyles as one tribe. Best-known as a war dance performed by men, haka are also performed at ceremonies and as a welcome, and – like the LES MILLS haka - can be performed by a group that includes women.

To ensure all cultural traditions and protocols were adhered to Les Mills International commissioned Paroa Sharples (Ngati Kahungunu) New Zealand’s leading Kapa Haka specialist to choreograph and train the launch team.

The LES MILLS haka will become an important part of all Les Mills training sessions and the unique culture that is Les Mills.

Words to Les Mills Haka "Tu Mai Nei Nga Toa©"
Maori Version

Kia wiri
Ki raro
A kia mau Hi
Kia whakata hoki au i ahau
Hi Aue Hi
E nga matua tipuna
Tukua mai te kaha
Te rangatiratanga e

Tu mai nei nga toa e
Haka ana ki te noho mangere
Ko te whakaara ko te momona
Me pakanga, parekura e
Kia pakari hinengaro, tinana, wairua.
Ko te ha o tane e

I te wehenga ka puta hihiri e

Na reira, me puta to ihi e
Kia tu te wana
Kia tu te wero aue
Kia tu kotahi tatou
Ana, Ana, Ana,
Tenei whakatau. Hi.

English version
Let your hands quiver by your side
Hands on hips,
Hands down by your side (still)
Be steadfast
Let me be at one with the earth
Hi aue hi
Ancient ancestors/warriors of old
bestow upon us strength and leadership

Standing here are the new warriors
We haka in fury at sedentary lifestyles
Obesity is our adversary
Let us do battle
Let your mind, body and spiritual essence be revitalised through the breath of life

At the separation of earth from sky,all potential was released into this world

Therefore, let your true potential be known
Reveal your inner strength & power
Hold fast to the challenge
Let us unite as one global entity
Yes it is , Yes it is, Yes it is
This we decree.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Les Mills brings Entertainment to Fitness

On February 10th 2008 the Les Mills Haka was unveiled in Auckland New Zealand to an international audience of over 650 people. This included the Prime Minister of New Zealand the Honorable Helen Clark, Les Mills Senior, 200 Agency staff and 300 trainers from around the world.

The Les Mills haka “Tu Mai Nei Nga Toa” (translated "The New Warriors Standing Here") is an evolution of contemporary haka representing a cultural expression of the Les Mills global mission toward fitness and health.

The key message in the Les Mills Haka is to “challenge and inspire people to do more to improve their lives. Literal translation reveals several strong themes including: Health and Fitness Warriors, Challenge, Global Obesity, Sedentary Lifestyles, Mind, Body, Spirit, Potential, and Community.

Research shows that 80% of Les Mills’s instructors are female. As such this Haka has been composed to include females as well as males

It is designed to be performed at conventions, expos, quarterlies and related events. It is envisaged that Trainers and Instructors all over the world will have the opportunity to witness, learn and perform the Haka much like the infamous "Ka Mate" popularised by the New Zealand All Blacks.

NZ Kapa Haka expert Paora Sharples (Ngati Kahungangungu) was commissioned to choreograph, address cultural protocols and train the launch team.

Global launch plans will be revealed later this year.

Train for life

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Most Evolved Indoor Cycle in the World

Im often asked what's the best bike for Indoor Cycling?

For the last 10 years Ive travelled the globe attending conventions and tradeshows. During these events I trial all the various bikes on the market.

The best bikes have micro adjustment to adjust the bike to match your body perfectly. There is a whole school of thought around chain versus belt driven but its really a matter of taste. Chain is more like an outdoor bike, belt is smoother. Both provide a great workout.

Next is handlebar design. I prefer a design that an inside pair of handle bars, short versus long. Many bikes have designs that tend to overextend your posture, try before you buy.

From a maintainence perspective, covered bikes make life easier, less sweat, humidity and dirt on moving parts.

After a couple of years of trialling I recommend BodyBike for indoor cycling because of the quality of its construction and its contribution to a great cycling experience. We chose this as the presenter bike for the world's largest RPM™ class in Bremen Germany, August 2007. 1200 bikes)

My company Les Mills uses the Body Bike for the quarterly releases of RPM™ when they are filmed for instructor DVDs and at international trade shows and conventions. We also encourage clubs to use Body Bike in their RPM™ studios.

RPM™ Program Director Dan McDonogh says the Body Bike is a low-maintenance machine offering numerous features that make for a safe, effective and enjoyable ride.
These include:

Ease of set-up for riders of all sizes;
A super-sensitive resistance adjustment control and smooth operating mechanism that closely simulate an outdoor cycling experience;
Inner “bullhorn” handlebars suited to the RPM™ “aero” riding mode;
A fixed flywheel-pedal connection ensuring riders have to constantly generate their own sense of momentum;
An enclosed flywheel that protects the mechanism of the Body Bike from the corrosive effects of sweat and dust.

Body Bike International is based in Frederikshavn, Denmark and produces several models of indoor cycle including the revolutionary HBS bike – the first indoor cycle to have a hydraulic brake system to ensure an even smoother ride.

Chief executive Kim Peterson says Body Bike’s commitment to a safe, high quality cycling experience is closely aligned with the quality and values embodied by RPM™.

Please visit or contact your local LES MILLS™ representative for more information about Body Bike.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Call of the Peaceful Warrior - Haka

Kia Ora Tatou (Hallo everyone) visitors to this site have asked for more information on the pictures of "The Haka" - performed at various Les Mills Events celebrating the 10th anniversary of BODYPUMP.

Origin of the Haka According to Maori ethos, Tama-nui-to-ra, the Sun God, had two wives, Hine-raumati, the Summer maid, and Hine takurua, the Winter maid. The child born to him and Hine-raumati was Tane-rore, who is credited with the origin of the dance. Tane-rore is the trembling of the air as seen on the hot days of summer, and represented by the quivering of the hands in the dance.Haka is the generic name for all Maori dance.

Today, haka is defined as that part of the Maori dance repertoire where the men are to the fore with the women lending vocal support in the rear. Most haka seen today are haka taparahi, haka without weapons.More than any aspect of Maori culture, this complex dance is an expression of the passion, vigour and identity of the race. Haka is not merely a past time of the Maori but was also a custom of high social importance in the welcoming and entertainment of visitors. Tribal reputation rose and fell on their ability to perform the haka (Hamana Mahuika).Haka reflected the concerns and issues of the time, of defiance and protest, of factual occurrences and events at any given time Haka History

The centrality of the haka within Les Mills tradition is not a recent development. Since the original "1997 IMT team " from New Zealand the haka has been closely associated with Les Mills Trainers. Its mystique has evolved along with the fierce determination, commitment and high level skill which has been the hallmark of Les Mills programs and people.

The haka adds a unique component, derived from the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, and which aligns with the wider Polynesian cultures of the Pacific. The Les Mills Trainers perform the haka with precision and intensity which underpin the Les Mills approach.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Train Smarter, Live Longer - Measure your Heart Rate

How do you train smarter and live longer?
According to industry colleague Simon Drabble from POLAR International, get yourself a heart rate monitor like the RS400. So I did. My training has picked up from a 10 year low and with better bio-feedback I estimate adding another 10 years to my life. That's a deal worth checking out. See

By monitoring heart rate, the simple observation that the harder we exercise, the faster our heart beats is put to good use. Professional athletes and amateurs alike have for decades been relying on the information provided by their heart rate monitor for the following reasons:

1.A heart rate monitor is like a rev counter, giving a precise measurement of exercise intensity.
2.Training at your own ideal pace is made possible with a heart rate monitor.
3.Direct measurement of heart rate during exercise is the most accurate way to gauge performance.
4.Progress can be monitored and measured, increasing motivation.
5.It maximizes the benefits of exercise in a limited amount of time.
6.It introduces objective observation. Are you on the right track? Are you improving?
7.It is a tool for regulating frequency and intensity of workouts.
8.Because of the immediate feedback it provides, heart rate monitoring is an ideal training partner.

How does it work?

When you start training, your heart rate increases rapidly in proportion to the intensity of the training. In Polar Heart Rate Monitors, the transmitter belt detects the electrocardiogram (ECG - the electric signal originating from your heart) and sends an electromagnetic signal to the Polar wrist receiver where heart rate information appears.

The heart moves blood from the lungs (where the blood picks up oxygen) to the muscles (which burn the oxygen as fuel) and back to the lungs again. The harder the training, the more fuel the muscles need and the harder the heart has to work to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.

As you get fitter, your heart is able to pump more blood with every beat. As a result, your heart doesn’t have to beat as often to get the needed oxygen to your muscles, decreasing resting heart rate and exercise heart rate on all exertion levels.

SPIRA - Hottest Fitness Shoe on the Market

The Future Is Now. Got a tip from European fitness shoe consultant Guy MacCullum. Tried on a new pair of Spira's Del Sol and stepped into the future.

Great for cardio or strength training this is a true advancement in shoewear. If you want the edge in 2008 check out

WaveSpring™ Technology is here and it is coming to a shoe near you! Spira's™ patented WaveSpring™ technology may be the most significant advancement ever achieved in the footwear industry.*

WaveSpring™ returns energy with every step.

Ray Fredericksen, president of Sports Biomechanics, Inc. compares typical midsole materials found in many athletic shoes to running in sand. While initially perceived as soft and comfortable, these shoes require the wearer to exert greater effort. Muscles must work harder, causing fatigue and increasing the risk of injury.

Unlike traditional shoe midsoles made primarily of foams, rubber compounds, or polymers, WaveSpring™ technology stores and disburses energy with every step. Testing performed by an independent source reports that 87% - 96% of the energy is returned from the WaveSpring™. This is the highest energy return score for any midsole material ever tested.**

WaveSpring™ is light and compact.
The WaveSpring™ is laterally stable, lightweight, compact, and can easily fit into a typical shoe midsole. The technology is in the heel and forefoot of the shoe. As such, it has the appearance of a normal shoe. Looking from the outside no one will know you have a spring in your step but you!

WaveSpring™ technology will not break down.
Traditional midsole materials work through compression and often breakdown quickly. The WaveSpring™ is mechanical. The spring will outlast the shoe. The wearer will have a "new shoe" feel from the first day it is worn to the last! "Unlike rubbers and polymers, the springs have an almost infinite fatigue life. The shoe will fall apart before the spring performance degrades."
Popular Mechanics magazine
Shoe Technology Review, July 2003

"I feel it is the first technological advance that has been truly meaningful in the shoe industry in many years."
Donald A. Chu Ph.D., PT, ATC CSCS
Director, Athletic Training & Rehabilitation
Stanford University

Experience the WaveSpring™ difference!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Neck Piece for the Peaceful Warrior

Neck pieces carry symbolic meaning for the wearer

Pieces with New Zealand Maori design have been popularised through Les Mills International presenters and trainers

Here is sample of what is currently avaliable in New Zealand. There is a variety of designs avaliable depening on your taste

The piece is carved from beef bone and comes on a black cord with bone toggle. They come with description card inside a boutique mini grip bag.

If your interested in ordering some of these for yourself of friends the contact person is John Harrison John is my uncle inlaw in New Zealand and a bloody good bloke