Out of all the gyms currently existing in the Auckland health and gains ecosystem, the New Zealand-bred sweat empire Les Mills is by far the most well known, inspiring "millions of people to get moving every week."
Started in the 60s by Phillip Mills and named in tribute to the founder's father, Les Mills (an Olympic athlete and ex-Mayor of Auckland), the gym chain has now sprawled across New Zealand with twelve gyms countrywide — half of those are dotted across Auckland alone. The Les Mills empire also extends beyond its various physical sites, the gym's choreographed exercise and music combos such as BodyAttack, BodyPump and BodyBalance are also regularly imported by other gyms. Their workouts are licensed by 19,500 partners in over 100 countries around the world - including Benin, Congo and Japan.
Les Mills is a giant of the Auckland fitness circuit (some call it 'the McDonald's of fitness') and it's easy to see why. Prices are mid-range, facilities are clean with some nice add-ons like straighteners and hair dryers in the bathrooms, instructors are well trained and generally very safety conscious. The gym's facilities cater for a wide range of fitness enthusiasts — from those looking to shred for New Years in the weights area to those into toning up through group fitness classes or those who just want to run along a treadmill while a giant screen plays music videos in front of them.
Membership prices range from $26.50 per week (with a $29 joining fee) for a minimum 12 month membership, to $23.50 per week (plus $29 joining fee) for a minimum 24 month membership. The tertiary student rate is $23.85 (plus $29 joining fee) for a minimum twelve month membership. For those wanting a nationwide membership of all Les Mills branches, rates are $31 (prepay membership), $27.50 (minimum 12 month term plus joining fee), $24.50 (minimum 24 month term plus joining fee) and $24.75 (minimum 12 month term plus joining fee student deal) per week.
With great success comes great crowds (especially in the group fitness classes) and the gym doesn't really have much of a personal touch, but it's a decent deal in terms of price and the variety of exercise equipment and activities on offer.