The Fitness Club of the Future According to Les Mills

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Les Mills’ New CEO Clive Ormerod has revealed what the fitness club of the future will look like, and how operators can prepare for the rise of Gen Z.

Speaking exclusively to Welltodo, the company’s former Chief Marketing Officer, who officially took up his new role on 1st July, explained: 

“Clubs need to urgently start thinking about the average age of new joiners – 80 percent of them are Millennials and Gen Z. They have very different experiences and expectations from the bulk of current members, especially when it comes to wanting a full live and digital solution to cater to their fitness needs, and that is also a huge opportunity for us.”

According to Ormerod, for Les Mills that means doubling down on its instructor training, developing its digital channels, and prioritising LES MILLS On Demand, as it drives its consumer brand forward.

The world’s largest group fitness provider, which turned fifty earlier this year, is currently preparing for further global growth, and Ormerod has been tasked with guiding the organisation through its next stage of development.

Looking ahead to the next 50 years, he has ambitions to help lead the industry, and its club partners in particular, as well as meeting the challenges of digital disruption and evolving consumer habits. 

“We talk about helping to create the “club of the future”, which moves the experience beyond the four walls of a traditional club, helping our club partners to scale, and into the virtual and at-home spaces, to create a seamless, integrated solution,” he tells Welltodo.

However, he adds, a huge part of that experience will continue to revolve around people.

“We work in a very human industry – it’s about sweating and getting your heart rate up with other people – and I never want to lose sight of that,” says Ormerod

Yes, we have to get the technology right and stay ahead of the digital curve, and we are investing a lot in that, but in the end, it will always be our people, from our rock star instructors to everyone across the business, who are our unique selling proposition. Our people will shape our future,” he adds.

With Ormerod leading the charge, Les Mills’ Founder and MD Phillip Mills will take on an executive director role, enabling him to “focus more on his passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.” 

Ormerod, meanwhile, says he’s not only ready to help grow Les Mills into a truly global brand but also to empower his team along the way.

“I whole-heartedly believe that success is built by great people, and that’s what gets me out of bed – helping other people realise their own dreams and goals, and enabling them all to be what I like to call “business-wide leaders” who feel empowered to lead at every level,” he reveals.

“Helping unleash the power in our people, is what’s really exciting.”

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