Focus On: Les Mills Grit

Hey everyone! I’m here in Portland, absolutely loving the weather and vibe- what a cool place to spend the weekend! I can’t wait to check out some of your suggestions -already on a Voodoo Donut mission- catch up up with some blog friends and enjoy the conference.
When I briefly mentioned Les Mills Grit last week, I got an offer from Bek, who teaches Les Mills formats, to write a guest post. I was so excited, especially since I’ve been curious about Grit and have heard mixed reviews. It’s not currently offered in Tucson -or if you know something I don’t, I’d love the info the take a class!- but if Grit is offered near you, here’s what to expect. Take it away, Bek! πŸ™‚
Hey there!
My name is Bek and I blog over at the healthy lifestyle blog Crave. I’m from Australia, studying primary teaching but very passionate about health fitness; which is why I’m also a Les Mills Group Fitness Instructor (and soon to be PT!).
So when I read that Gina wasn’t doing a Focus On for Grit because she heard so many negative things I was crushed! I mean, I could not let you guys miss out on the amazing experience that is the Grit programs.
The Grit Series is from the Group Fitness Hot Shots Les Mills and features a new type of training- Team Training. The three programs include Grit Cardio, Grit Strength and Grit Plyo. I live in Australia so I’ve had the chance to participate in Grit Strength for a while and was newly introduced to Grit Cardio at FILEX, with Grit Plyo to come πŸ˜‰
All the Grit programs involve thirty minute intense programs (HIIT) each with their own flavour. The Cardio is purely cardio based, Strength features weights and equipment, and I’m assuming Plyo will be plyo based also. They also incorporate HIIT and are all about working intensely and accomplishing a lot in a little bit of time.
They’re different from traditional group fitness as they use a team training approach where the instructors are on the same level as you and often only model the moves before moving around to correct form and motivate.
What to expect?
  • To sweat
  • To work really hard and push fitness limits
  • To want to give up (but not!)
  • 5-6 tracks including an accelerated warm up and abs at the end
  • Plenty of options. Whilst Grit may not be completely beginner-friendly (although it’d get you fit quickly if you’re not!) it really is doable for people of all shapes and sizes- trust me I’ve seen it!

What to wear?

  • Your typical gym attire- nothing too baggy or that will need constant pulling down and plucky πŸ˜‰
  • Good shoes
  • No jumpers! ha


  • Results…need I say more?
  • The time goes so quickly (my mum who is a newbie gym exerciser absolutely died during but loved that it was only thirty minutes). Good if you’re time poor also, a very effective use of time.
  • Constant motivation
  • Having someone there who can help you one on one with technique
  • Burning high calories (for the time)
  • Constantly going, so you won’t get bored
  • Getting fitter faster
  • Time for recovery given between rounds/sets to allow maximum effort during ‘working’ times
  • SO much time and research has gone into the formulation of these programs. Les Mills is (personally) the best in the business and you know you’re getting a credible and kick ass program and workout every time


  • You actually have to work really hard, might not be the best after a looonnnggg day…or maybe it’s the perfect thing for it? πŸ˜‰ But you have those days when you’re like, yeh I just want to chill through this workout ha
  • The intensity may turn people off
  • Less fit people may feel conscious taking options
  • Not all gyms offer the programs as they are relatively new



I guess my biggest tip to you would be to try it and give it a chance. I love working hard and as an instructor who normally prefers instructing than participating I really get my butt handed to me in both Grit Strength (mixture of weights and cardio stuff) and Grit Cardio (all cardio baby). I and so many other people have got results from it… plus would you rather spend 30 mins working it or an hour on the boring treadmill (HATE the tready ha).
Plus, for fun check out this video to see it in action! (The following video is of Grit Strength)
Have you ever tried any of the Grit programs? What did you think?

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  1. Lisa on June 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I’ve been hearing really great things about this workout and so badly want to try, but sadly there’s no les mills where I live. Sad, but hopefully it comes eventually!

  2. Alissa on June 27, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I LOVE Pump & Combat so I would jump on a chance to try this one out! I feel that Les Mills programs are amazing & truly work. Now I need to see if they offer this in my area!

  3. Pinky on June 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This class sounds awesome, I wish they offered it near me.

  4. Kelly on June 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

    This sounds awesome!! I love Les Mills classes, especially Pump. I haven’t heard of these classes before, but hopefully they come to my area soon!

  5. Ali @ Peaches and Football on June 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I love Body Pump, Combat, and recently started Flow so I’m wondering if this will make its way to my local gym at some point. You hear so much about HIIT now – I think it’s the big fitness buzzword and although you’re working really hard, I like the idea that it’s only for 30 minutes. Seems more doable than an hour like the other “Body” classes. Thanks for the review.

  6. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on June 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I’ve never heard of Les Mills Grit before, but I’m a big fan of group workouts to help push you to go above and beyond what you think you can do!

  7. McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped on June 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Thanks for sharing! I love your exercise posts. I will definitely be checking this out πŸ™‚

  8. Sarah on June 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I higly recommend les mills workout, but they are quite demanding.

    cheers, Sarah

  9. Tara on June 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Just looked in my area, I’m suprised San Francisco has no GRIT classes! We usually have everything, now I’m bummed. I love short but efficient workouts.

    • Lisa on June 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Check the Bay Club. I know they offer GRIT because I take it there and LOVE it!

    • Danny on August 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Hello! My name is Danny and I teach GRIT at UCSF Mission Bay. Monday nights at 7:45 pm. See you there!

  10. Beth on June 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I have taken both GRIT Cardio and Plyo. I enjoy the classes, but I must admit, if you are tired, or not in the mood for high intensity, it is rough. Very rough. But I have had days where I was really motivated, pushed myself, and by the end reached that runner’s high of a great workout. I really love the cardio, the plyo is good too, and it does use some weights, which can make it tough after doing a cardio based track. If you are not into high intensity (ala Zuzana or Insanity), I don’t think you would enjoy this class. I wish though that the class took 5 minutes at the end to do a cool down and stretching, I do think this is missing from the class.

  11. Lucie@FitSwissChick on June 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I love GRIT!! It’s so unusual that Switzerland offers something that isn’t present all over the US yet πŸ™‚ I love that it is only 30 minutes. Even if I am tired, I tell myself ‘come on, 30 minutes, you can do this’ – and then you have the motivation of the instructors and the music. It’s so quick and intense, there’s no way to think about stopping or giving up πŸ™‚
    But I agree with Beth, a little cool down, like 5 minutes or so would be great. I think it could be even a bit dangerous from beginners who overdo it and then walk out with such a high heartbeat.

  12. Ashley on June 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Hey Bek,

    I’m a certified Les Mills BODYPUMP and CXWORX teacher and I fully believe in any program created by Les Mills because of the research and quality. Your thoughts on the GRIT series are correct. It should probably also be mentioned that like BODYPUMP, GRIT is not something that you should do everyday. I think the standard suggestion is three times a week, so you don’t overwork yourself. It’s very challenging. There are tons of push-ups, burpees, high-knee runs, jumps, plyo lunges, and squats, squats, squats. Here in San Francisco, we do offer the GRIT series at one of the clubs where I teach, Western Athletic Clubs. At this club, it is required that new members take a GRIT FIT assessment before trying a class. It’s a safety issue, which isn’t meant to scare people away, but to ensure they are physically up for the challenge. Have you experienced GRIT in a group fitness room or in the personal training area of a gym? Les Mills has recommended that GRIT coaches (instead of teachers) always perform the class outside of the group fitness room if possible, to really delineate the program from a regular group fitness class. I will say that GRIT is not for everyone, but since high intensity interval training is all the rage, I’d absolutely choose to participate in the Les Mills version of it, than any other branded group program.

    Keep up the fight for fitness!

  13. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on June 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    This is the first I’ve heard of this workout, but it sounds awesome!

  14. CourtStar @ StarSystemz on June 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Wow! What a class πŸ™‚ They have Les Mils in Bangkok but not out here in LA (at least I have not seen it) and saw they had a GRIT class which sounds to me like a once a week KICK ASS class! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ Love + Shine CourtStar

  15. Annette @ FitnessPerks on June 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I love coaching GRIT!! Great, great review, Bek!!

    Anyone hearing about this–give it a try. It’s a great, great HIIT workout!!

  16. TITLE Boxing Club Lee's Summit on June 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Sounds like a quality workout.

  17. Kevin@BurnFatAndFeedMuscle on June 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Have never heard of GRIT, but checked out the Youtube vid you mentioned and looks very interesting. Would love to do the GRIT Cardio – especially during our cold winters in Canada when bike gets way too boring. Don’t think my gym offers it, but will try to find a location and get my wife going with me.

    Curious…Gina, what negative things did you hear about it?

    Good luck with PT Bek.

  18. Amanda on June 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I wasn’t into spending extra money for classes on top of my membership but I’m always looking for something new and challeneging so I gave in and started GRIT. Well now I am hooked. I go to three classes a week and I am always being pushed. I think the hardest part are the push-ups. I can do full push-ups when I am on my knees but I feel like I won’t get any stronger until I go to my toes. Any suggestions out there?? If you can you should try it. I definitely feel stronger already. Now I just have to get that diet down!!!

    • Bek @ Crave on June 28, 2013 at 12:16 am

      Hey Amanda!
      I’m glad you love it πŸ™‚ My suggestion- go toes and just slow the pace down or whatever you need to before you drop. Think of it as 1 toe push up for every 5 knee push ups…that’s not a fact but just a thought so you don’t feel guilty for doing less! Ha. Keep working!

      • Amanda on June 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        I am going to make more of an effort to push myself and start out on toes! Thanks!

  19. Jessica on June 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Hey Gina! As a Portland girl, I would have to say that Voodoo donuts are def good but you should try Pip’s Original! They have sea-salt and raw honey mini-doughnuts, nutella doughnuts, and they make amazing spiced chai!

    • April on June 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Oh, thanks for the tip on this one!

      I was going to recommend Blue Star Donuts in downtown Portland if you are there at all during your stay. They have some awesome flavors including the bourbon, berry, basil that I tried today. Also, try a food cart–any food cart!

      Have a wonderful trip!

  20. Johanna on June 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Grit is totally awesome!

  21. Erin on June 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I’m on week three of the SSU and there is nothing that makes me sweat faster than a burpee. That plie squat, burpee, jump is KILLER!

  22. Mer on June 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Great guest post! I’ve enjoyed your updates on Instagram; have a nice vacation!

  23. Tracy on June 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Gina if you are ever up here in Gilbert/Mesa/Chandler area try a Les Mills class at Fitness Works! You will love them!

  24. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on June 28, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Hi Bek! I’m an LMI instructor as well, and teach RPM. I haven’t had a chance to try Grit yet, but I can’t wait to do it! I love the emphasis on high intensity in a short period of time. As a long-distance runner, it’s a much welcomed change to hours of cardio!

  25. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats on June 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    My gym offers GRIT but I haven’t tried it yet. It definitely sounds like something I would like though so I might check it out! Thanks πŸ™‚

  26. fitness on August 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hmmm…maybe get a review from someone who does not teach it.

    Seriously, an accident waiting to happen

  27. Natali Knight on October 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Thank you for your review. My gym will be offering GRIT in the coming weeks. I wanted to get your opinion of GRIT verse Crossfit.

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