02 Jul 2013

Increased effectiveness and workout safety; storage requirements shaved by 20%

Following the launch of the Les Mills SMARTBAR™ weights system, the Les Mills SMART TECH line has delivered the SMARTSTEP™ – an advanced version of the classic step that increases safety, efficiency and results in workouts and saves clubs up to 20% in storage space requirements.

Designed to maximize the effectiveness of any step-based workout, the SMARTSTEP™ features include:
• Unique riser ‘lock in’ system that increases stability and makes for fast, seamless transitions.
• Multi-direction non-slip surface providing both improved grip and soft support for the back and hands (making push-ups and bench work much more comfortable).
• Visual guides on the SMARTSTEP™ surface to aid foot strike.

The user benefits have been proven by Penn State University research. “Using the SMARTSTEP™ increases the activity of propulsion muscles which significantly improves the workout. It also reduces the impact of ground reaction forces and lowers the potential for injury,” says Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Group Fitness Research and Operations Manager.

Having these user benefits drive increased member engagement is not the only plus for clubs. Made with wear and tear in mind, the sturdy yet stylish SMARTSTEP™ has undergone rigorous testing based on typical step usage at some of the busiest group fitness studios in the world and is proven to withstand at least 2.4 million step ups (that’s the equivalent of 436 BODYSTEP™ classes*). The contoured sides enable easy carriage and its smart stack-ability allows clubs to save up to 20% on storage requirements compared to other step systems. Every SMARTSTEP™ also comes with a two year warranty on manufacturing faults.

Vaughan Schwass, CEO of Les Mills Enterprises, says, “Our SMART TECH philosophy is to solve problems with serious innovation. We considered all the standard complaints with step products, wobbly platforms, slow transitions, lack of intuitive design, cumbersome and intrusive storage, and dealt to each issue step by step.”

“For clubs, the SMARTSTEP™ increases safety for members and requires less storage space. For members the various enhancements increase workout efficiency. Its intuitive design makes for easy portability and faster transitions, platform guides allow for better foot placement and with step classes such as Les Mills BODYSTEP™ moving into more athletic territories including plyometrics, rock solid stability and grip are vital – the SMARTSTEP™ delivers on these.”

The aesthetically appealing SMARTSTEP™ is complemented by Les Mills’ slick and revolutionary SMARTBAR™ weights system. This unique barbell features the patented ‘gator’ fastening mechanism which speeds up plate transitions and helps people maximize their workout for faster results.

The ergonomic handles on the SMARTBAR™ plates allow users to work their target muscles harder, for longer, before reaching fatigue. Plate handles allow users to hold two plates in one hand, so they can increase weight sooner and in smaller steps to get stronger, faster. The ergonomic design of the weight plates also allows them to be used like dumbbells or kettlebells, ensuring the SMARTBAR™ is a multi-functional piece of fitness training equipment.

Les Mills gratefully acknowledges that the development of both the Les Mills SMARTBAR™ and SMARTSTEP™ has been assisted by Better By Design’s Design Integration Program.

For more information on the Les Mills SMARTSTEP™ visit

About Les Mills
Les Mills International is the creator of 13 global group fitness and team training programs, including BODYPUMP™ (weights), BODYCOMBAT™ (martial arts) RPM™ (indoor cycling), and its recent LES MILLS GRIT™ Series (30-minute high intensity interval training). Millions of participants every week build their fitness in a LES MILLS™ class, held across 80 countries in more than 15,000 licensed clubs around the world.

Independent research shows that those attending LES MILLS™ classes come to their club at least two times more each week than others** and 94% are likely to refer a friend***.

* Based on the average 5500 steps per BODYSTEP™ class
**Nielsen [2010]; IHRSA Health Club Consumer report [2011]
***IHRSA, HCD, LM Survey [2009]
SMARTSTEP™ AU Registered Designs 201216152 and 201216153. Registered designs in other countries pendingLes Mills SMARTBAR™ International Patent Pending App. No: PCT/NZ2011/171