From couch potato to group fitness instructor

During secondary school, I was the girl that always had some kind of reason not to participate in gym class. Always picked last when teams were made. I hated every kind of physical activity other than sitting on the couch munching on chocolate cookies.

However, at some point, my mom got a book about Pilates (thanks mom 😀 ). I became curious, because I also wanted that gorgeous body that was pictured on the cover. So I tried the exercises described in the book, and after some time, I bought a few at-home-workout DVD’s. Slowly I got really into it because I felt stronger, leaner and my lower back pain disappeared.

Between secondary school and university, I had a rough year. During that year, I decided to get a gym membership because I had a lot of free time. And then, I discovered Les Mills BodyCombat by accident. Gawd, I still remember my shock and fear as the extremely tough looking BodyCombat instructors stood before me, in stead of my pretty and always joyful Zumba teacher. Then it hit me – I was an hour too early. I forgot to change the clock to winter time. I completely panicked, but before I realized what was happening, the class already started.

It was the best damn thing that could happen to me at the time. After that one class I was hooked. All my frustrations and pain I put in group fitness, especially in BodyCombat and Pilates.

That was almost four years ago. For me, ‘fitness’ is not just about having a smashing body with rock hard abs. Those group fitness classes were like therapy to me.

Now I want to do the same thing back. I want to make people feel better about themselves, and yes, also about their bodies. That’s why two years ago I decided to teach Pilates.

But my true ‘fitness love’ has to be BodyCombat. BodyCombat means so much to me, it has helped me through that rough time. For a long period, I didn’t feel secure enough to teach BodyCombat; what if I was so bad I would ruin it? But I wanted people to experience BodyCombat the way I experience it.

Since two months, I also teach BodyCombat and damn, it feels good. I feel so alive during BodyCombat classes! I’m growing as a person every class I teach.

I’m a group fitness instructor because I want to keep growing, but most of all, I want to inspire people to become the best version of themselves; not just physically. There’s nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on someone’s face 🙂

Leave a Comment


  1. Suzanne

    It’s awesome to read this article because hopefully I’ll be a group fitness instructor (Les Mills bodypump) at the end of this year.

    • Lisa

      Aaahhh that’s so awesome!!! Good luck, you can do it 😀 😀

  2. Cariena

    De pijn in je onderrug verdween door Pilates? Misschien moet ik dat eens gaan proberen! Ik heb helaas in mijn sportschool geen pilates groepslessen..
    Wat gaaf trouwens dat je dit allemaal doet joh! 😀

    • Lisa

      Thanks wat lief van je 😀 doet me goed! 😀
      Lees dit artikeltje eens over de voordelen van Pilates: zeker het proberen waard, ik krijg ook heel veel mensen via de fysio vanwege rugklachten!

  3. Petra

    Hi Lisa, I’m too shy to join a group fitness class because of my lack of body coordination (LOL) It seems like everybody knows where to move their body while I went to the left when they said right or jumped when I’m supposed to kick so I never (too embarrassed to) join a class for more than once. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    • Lisa

      Aahhw Petra you shouldn’t be! EVERYBODY feels exactly the same during their first fitness classes! The simple trick is; don’t give up ;).. After you’ve done it a few times you’ll know what to expect, you’ll get used to the style, movements etc.. I always advise to try a class 6 times in a short period of time, and then you can decide whether it’s for you or not. Try to find a spot somewhere in the back where you feel more comfortable; that way you can also look at other participants. Once you feel more secure you can move up to the front more :). I also was exactly in your position once! Good luck!

  4. Sissa

    What a great article! I really enjoyed reading it and I could totally relate O:) I also used to avoid gym classes during high school: Earlier this year at Uni I went through really bad times and started working out. I began with zumba and later accidentally signed up for a BodyCombat class, which resulted into love on first “sight”, (let’s say class in this case 😀 ) and a regular attendance at Combat classes a few times a week 🙂

    • Lisa

      Ahh thank you Sissa! This is too awesome it’s exactly what happened to me!! Ah the BodyCombat love, BC is so much more than a class haha.. “Stay with the fight” 😀 :D!!! xxxx

  5. audrina

    I loved this! I want to become a group fitness instructor in the future but I only recently got into being fit,already lost 20 lbs but I’m still overweight 🙁 I want to do it but its hard to stay motivated and it’s intimidating because fitness instructors are well super fit… and I’m not 🙁

    • Lisa

      If you really want something, you will succeed. What classes would you like to give? Ask your trainers for guidance and advise, they will help you get there! And btw not all instructors are super fit, some just have really loud voices haha! So don’t be intimidated and try to think positive, I mean Audrina, you’ve lost 20 lbs how amazing is that?!?! <3