How to Become a BODYCOMBAT Instructor
BODYCOMBAT is a popular exercise program produced by Les Mills, a fitness brand that originated in New Zealand. BODYCOMBAT uses a mixed-martial arts base to create a high-intensity cardio workout that is most often practiced as a group fitness class at health clubs that offer Les Mills fitness classes. The Les Mills fitness brand is very successful, and part of this success comes from the standardization of the classes, music, instructional techniques and fitness routines. As such, there is a rigorous selection process for all Les Mills–certified BODYCOMBAT instructors.
Perfect Your BODYCOMBAT Skills
Find a local gym that offers BODYCOMBAT classes. Before you can become an BODYCOMBAT instructor, you need to become familiar with the fitness program and be able to perform all of the techniques with precision and speed. The best way to become proficient is to join a BODYCOMBAT class and work on your skills.
Purchase the Les Mills COMBAT DVD workouts so that you can work on your skills at home. If BODYCOMBAT is not offered at any of the gyms near you or if you would like additional time to practice at home, Les Mills COMBAT is now available for purchase as an at-home workout program. The benefit of purchasing the DVDs is that they come with additional segments that specifically focus on teaching you technique.
Practice, practice, practice. BODYCOMBAT requires not only a high level of fitness but also a sense of musical rhythm and a level of physical agility and skill that will allow you to perfect the various movements and martial arts techniques. All of the Les Mills classes are choreographed to popular and new music, with new releases of the fitness class being offered every three months to keep participants interested and challenged. If you want to be an instructor, you will need to have musicality, rhythm, endurance and technique.
Making the Grade
Find a Les Mills–certified fitness club in your area and express an interest in becoming an instructor. Because Les Mills is so highly standardized, the process of becoming an instructor has very clear and defined steps. The first step is being offered the opportunity to become an instructor by a club that offers the classes. This is why it is important to already be proficient as a class member. Oftentimes clubs and existing instructors will approach talented class members to ask if they would be interested in becoming a BODYCOMBAT instructor. Once you have found a club that is looking for an instructor, you can sign an Instructor Agreement. Depending on the club you choose, the club may pay for part of your training or may agree to reimburse you for the cost of training after you have successfully become an instructor.
Practice with the training materials that are provided to you after signing the Instructor Agreement. Although your practice at home and in classes will have familiarized you with the classes and routines, you now need to learn the moves from the instructor's viewpoint, which means that you will be doing the moves on the opposite side so that your students can mirror your movements. The training materials will help you to do this as well as to perfect the individual movements and teach you how to teach these movements to others.
Sign up and attend a training. Trainings are intense group sessions that teach the skills of BODYCOMBAT as well as the skills of instruction. After signing up for the next training session offered in your area, you will receive a DVD copy of the latest release of BODYCOMBAT. You must practice and perfect this release and be ready to demonstrate your knowledge of it when you arrive at training. When you are an instructor, you must memorize the choreography and take your cues from the music. In addition to standardizing the movements and music of each release, Les Mills also standardizes the script that instructors use for providing verbal instruction and encouragement to class members.
Practice what you have learned at the training session. After attending the training session, you will co-teach classes at the fitness club that sponsored your training. By teaching alongside an experienced instructor, you will gain useful experience and be eased into the process of leading a class on your own. You will have a specified amount of time, usually 2 months, to perfect your skills and move on to the final step of becoming a certified Les Mills BODYCOMBAT Instructor.
Film your assessment video. The final step in the process of becoming a BODYCOMBAT instructor is to film yourself teaching a BODYCOMBAT class on your own. The video will be sent to Les Mills and assessed for musicality, rhythm, technique, enthusiasm and proper use of the script. If you pass, you will then become a certified BODYCOMBAT Instructor. Sometimes, though, you will be asked to redo your video if the assessors feel that there are still some areas that you can improve. It is not uncommon for instructors to submit more than one video. However, if someone fails to pass, she will be required to redo the second day of the original training sessions.
Find out which gyms are looking for instructors before choosing the gym that you join, as this may give you a better chance of becoming an instructor. Let your class instructor know that you are interested in becoming an instructor, as often the instructors are asked to provide suggestions for who might be a good future instructor. Take as much time as possible with the submission of your assessment video to ensure that you have a good chance of passing. Just because you filmed your class doesn't mean you need to submit the video. You can take more than one video and choose the best one to submit for your assessment.
BODYCOMBAT is an intense and challenging workout. Not everyone will have the endurance or skill to get through the workout, let alone become an instructor. Depending on the fitness club you choose, there may be additional steps to becoming an instructor, such as an initial interview or audition.
Karen L. Blair has been professionally writing since 2001. Her work has been published in academic journals such as the "Journal of Sex Research," "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships" and "Psychology & Sexuality." Blair received her M.Sc. in psychology at Acadia University and her Ph.D. in social psychology at Queen's University. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow and research consultant.