Les Mills Bodypump pioneer Mike McSweeney has died, aged 64

Les Mills Bodypump legend Mike McSweeney has died, aged 64.

Les Mills/Facebook

Les Mills Bodypump legend Mike McSweeney has died, aged 64.

Iconic Les Mills Bodypump instructor Mike McSweeney has died, Les Mills has confirmed.

A post on the global fitness chain’s Facebook on Sunday night confirmed that McSweeney, who “presented, choreographed and educated trainers, presenters and instructors around the world for over a decade”, died. He was 64.

McSweeney was the former Bodypump and RPM programme director for Les Mills International. He presented and choreographed classes including Bodypump 6-58 and RPM 1-25.

Details surrounding the fitness instructor’s death have not announced.

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According to a public Facebook post by McSweeney’s brother Dennis, the fitness instructor arrived in Auckland on Saturday night from Hong Kong and was in ICU. On Sunday, Dennis confirmed McSweeney’s death in a separate Facebook post.

Friend and former colleague Tracy Minnoch posted a tribute to McSweeney on Facebook, saying he “made ‘authenticity’ a thing before it became a lesson, and it was his legacy that drew this out of many of the Les Mills trainers worldwide.”

“If he yelled at you, told you to pull it together … it’s because he believed you could handle it and that you would rise to your own greatness, in your own way, and not as a carbon copy. Mike wasn’t a copy of anyone – raw, grit, honest, iconic.”

Minnoch continued that McSweeney’s dedication to his family was “heartwarming”

“Mike threw himself into parenting the boys like he threw himself at any sport … with passion, full commitment, strategy and humour.”

Peter Joseph Maea worked with McSweeney in the early 1990s for “several years” and he told Stuff the pair played golf, got to know each other’s families, travelled the world and took masterclasses together.

“He was a bit of a typical stanch … fulla … he didn’t really fluff around … he just said it as it is. But that’s what I liked about him.”

Both Maea and McSweeney were involved in the early stages of what would later become Bodypump and Maea said McSweeney had a big influence on the fitness world.

Mike McSweeney (left) with Peter Joseph Maea.


Mike McSweeney (left) with Peter Joseph Maea.

“If anyone was the backbone of Bodypump, that was Mike. He put pump on the map. He had a lot to do with the programme, how it was designed, built, the music, the choreography.

“I think that’s what he wanted to do. To create something that he could put his name on, his stamp on, and eventually as the newer generation came on, they had a platform to work on.”

And McSweeney’s legacy still holds strong, said Maea. If you ask anyone in the fitness world, “they’ll know who Mike is”.

“I’m just sad I lost an old mate.”

Les Mills wrote on Sunday that McSweeney, “made a huge impact within the Les Mills community, and we all owe a huge debt to him. Rest in peace, Mike.”

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