Les Mills in The Netherlands

I keep getting asked online if I’m going to the upcoming workshops in The Netherlands, but unfortunately the answer is no. I was proud in the past I never missed a single workshop, not until the one that was 1 week after I gave birth, lol. But since then I’ve not been able to attend again, cuz here in the Netherlands they won’t let me go.

When I first arrived here I tried to register, but they told me I had to register through a gym that I worked for. The unfortunately thing is that I have not yet been able to get classes at the gym I’ve been a member of because I cannot speak Dutch. I’d kinda given up trying but I’ve since heard that other English speaking instructors have been able to teach classes elsewhere so I might give other gyms a go. However my chances here are small since Apeldoorn isn’t really a touristy area and they expect you to speak Dutch.

Anyway, back to the Les Mills issue. Here you must work for a gym otherwise you can’t go to the workshops. The plus side is that the gym pays for all the training and materials. I used to think this was an awesome idea and would have LOVED to have my materials paid for. God knows how much I’ve spent on my trainings and DVD’s etc……..I know I’ve spent about AU$2000 on DVD’s and CD’s alone. But now that I’ve actually seen it in action I don’t think it’s a good idea for the quality of the fitness industry. It means, if you want to become an instructor then a gym must agree to hire you and pay for all your training.

The negative side of this, is you could REALLY want to desperately become an instructor, be very very passionate about the program, have plenty of potential…………but unless the gym wants you as an instructor then you have no chance (I’m not talking about me here, I’m already an instructor. I’m referring to the system and people in general). On the other side of the scale, if a gym desperately needs an instructor, they just pick a person and send them on the training. Depending on the management this person could be someone who has the passion and talent. Or it could just be the manager’s girlfriend’s brother’s bestfriend. You get the picture.

At least with the Australian way if you’re really passionate about teaching, then opportunity to do so is much more possible. Then, after those who’ve done the training and shadowed a bit……natural selection takes place. If you’re a poor instructor, you don’t get classes. It’s that simple.

Here however, once a gym has invested in the training for the instructor, there’s no turning back. In my opinion it appears this is generating a greater percentage of poor instructors here. Instructors that don’t really give a damn. Instructors that, even after 3 months of doing the same chorrey (the no mixing issue is another gripe of mine, grrrr) they STILL make mistakes with the chorrey. Instructors that do random stuff just for the sake of it.

The fact that they do a release nearly the entire 3 months here is just another issue that in my opinion reduces the quality of instructors. They tend to get lazy. After so long doing the same release the participants know the chorrey, and so the instructors just don’t cue properly. I’ve seen, more than once, the battery go flat on the mic. The instructor stopped completely (while the class just continued on their own), took the battery out, put new one in and then came back to the class and resumed. The class all knew the chorrey to death (it was an attack class) so the instructor obviously didn’t need to cue.

Anyway, that’s another issue in itself. I cannot understand why I cannot keep updated in Les Mills, despite being more qualified than most of the instructors here (there is no requirement for formal fitness education here like there is in Australia, so most instructors here have done the module and that’s all), and I have all my international certificates. I would like to teach again, as soon as I can get a class in English or I learn enough Dutch to being able to teach in Dutch…….but yet I am being explicitly prohibited from going to the workshops. I absolutely do not understand the logic behind this? I can understand not allowing participants to go to the workshop, but I’m hardly a participant?

I’ve written to LMI and the Les Mills agent here about this, so I can only wait and see if anything comes of it?

I miss Les Mills classes as I knew it ­čÖü