What is Les Mills BODYATTACK?

Published January 2nd, 2022

BODYATTACK is a high energy sports conditioning group fitness class made up of sports-inspired moves, agility and plyometrics – with a dash of interval training, strength and of course fun for good measure.

Available in 55, 45 and 30 minute formats, BODYATTACK is a staple in so many gyms – the members at Goodlife Point Cook go totally bananas for BODYATTACK.

Every 3 months, Les Mills releases a new release for instructors to learn, experience and deliver to their members in their local gym. As of writing, BODYATTACK 115 is about to be released.

BODYATTACK was the first program I started teaching when I became a group fitness instructor, and completed my initial training in 2007 with BODYATTACK 59.

Lisa Osborne, an Aussie now living in New Zealand, lovingly puts together each release of BODYATTACK, and is a former World Aerobics Champion herself. Her passion, inspiration and energy is the heart and soul of this program.

What does a class look like?

Since I started BODYATTACK, the program has shifted and tightened up its focus in with its roots now firmly planted in the sports-inspired arena. Gone are the days of the old school aerobics, and in is functional training, but its heart remains: high energy moves, high energy music, and an intoxicatingly addictive group fitness program. 

The class comes at you in 2 four track blocks, sandwiching an athletic strength centre:

  1. Warm up

  2. Mixed Impact

  3. Aerobic

  4. Plyometric

  5. Athletic Strength

  6. Running

  7. Agility

  8. Interval

  9. Power

  10. Core

  11. Cooldown

The 45-minute format offers two variations on this structure, breaking it in to 2 three track blocks, dropping either Aerobic and Interval or Aerobic and Running.

From BODYATTACK 83, the warm up started becoming more full body, including body weight strength training, and from BODYATTACK 87, the strength based tracks switched focus: Upper Body Conditioning (track 5) became Athletic Strength, combining Lower and Upper Body in to one track, and Lower Body Conditioning and Core (10 and 11) changing just to a longer and more challenging core track.

With its heart in sports-focused movements, there’s an emphasis on power, speed and agility. Track 2 and 7 often have direction changes and weight shifts, with 2 (at times) keeping the fun flamboyance of the older track 2s – yep, gallops and curls galore. Oh and some super fun arm lines from time to time.

Track 3 lifts the heart rate further, has more impact and really lifts the heart rate ready for the first peak – yep, Plyometrics. Think lunges, squats, burpees, tuck jumps, and a combination of any or all of the above – it’s time to hit your high with strength, power and insanely driving beats.

The strength conditioning tracks, 5 and 10, offer valuable recovery time, but also additional training. To be the very best athlete, you need to be a sum of your parts: that means not just being fit, but being strong through body, mind, and core. With a strong and engaged core, your power and athleticism sky-rockets – high knee runs feel like floating, and jumping takes you to new, well, heights. Next time you’re in class and think “oh I’ll go get a drink now”, remember that your conditioning tracks are there for a reason too – and where can your training go with a foundation in core strength, control, stability and activation.

The second half brings us back to the workout with running: we’ve had circles and even line running, burpees, lunges, squats and cross-room switches to keep everyone moving. The class then splits in to two halves for agility, and that sports focus comes back: there was even a time when there were specific sports-focused movements in different sports: tennis, American football, basketball and rugby. There was also a time when it was insanely camp with tracks like Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop The Beat”. Is camping it up a sport? Man, that was a fun track.

Track 8, the Interval track is a crowd favourite. The music is uplifting, the energy is high and the movements simple but effective. There’s highs, and there’s recovery, and then you repeat. You know, just like how Interval training should be. And the energy of the entire room helps every individual egg each other on to go a little further, longer, harder. With kicks, knees and running with clapping (oh it is insane with a large crowd, and not as nuts as it sounds), the training is simple: but it is the energy, the uplift, the drive, the motivation, that carries you on to the final track: Power.

Track 9, Power, is the finale, the final push. It is explosive, massive and powerful, and is designed to take you to your limit. Burpees, tuck jumps, circuit training: whatever the training, it is big, bold, and meant to leave you breathless. And maybe needing a bucket if you really did it well.

The class wraps up with that ever-important core track, and of course, a cooldown. But for more of a stretch, and to help with recovery, mobility, strength and mental balance, its always good to have a program like BODYBALANCE in your schedule too.

What made me fall in love with BODYATTACK?

The energy. The feeling it gave me. The music. It’s as simple as that.

When I was just a member (i.e. pre-instructor days) at the gym, I was always intimidated by BODYATTACK: looking in the studio and thinking “there’s no way I can do that”. Mind you, part of the reason why is that the instructor that pops to mind is actually a FISAF 2007 World Aerobics Champion – and who became my mentor as a new instructor.

One quarter, at new release time, a friend dragged me along to a mega class – 3 tracks of a heap of programs – and that got me hooked. It was BODYATTACK 56, and track 8, “Wanna Be Free” (still a favourite) sucked me in. That absolute euphoria of the rest of the room going nuts, everyone moving together, and that feeling of being totally breathless (and wondering if I needed a bucket) just stuck with me.

15 years later, I still remember that feeling. That’s what got me hooked; this program is addictive.

When did I teach BODYATTACK?

I started participating in BODYATTACK regularly at release 56, and was encouraged by my instructor at the time – who was looking to retire from the program – to do the initial training. On an oppressively hot weekend in Adelaide in late 2007 saw me at the BODYATTACK 59 initial module training, and the start of my group fitness instructor career. 

I taught BODYATTACK while I was still living in Adelaide, then at clubs around Melbourne when I moved to Victoria in 2008. I continued teaching BODYATTACK regularly until BODYATTACK 89.

I now keep myself busy with BODYBALANCE, BODYPUMP and Les Mills Tone, and come out of BODYATTACK retirement for covers when needed.

Where can I do BODYATTACK?

BODYATTACK is available at gyms around the world, and is how I’d suggest falling in love with the program – this is a program best experienced in a group.

You can also find BODYATTACK on Les Mills On Demand, but without a group of people does lack that BODYATTACK “group fitness” magic.

Find out more about BODYATTACK at www.lesmills.com/bodyattack. Want to come to one of my classes? See my regular class schedule on this site.

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