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RPM 66 Review

RPM 66 is the 2015 Q2 release. You may also want to check out my comments on just the music.

rpm-66-booklet

Track-by-Track Breakdown

Pack Ride – Angel in Blue Jeans

  • Unlike the last four releases, we gradually find Racing load over the first two blocks (instead of going above it to recruit more muscle).
  • We reference the 1/2 pace in all but one block; I attribute this to getting people accustomed to the most common pedal speeds — 1/2 pace (recovery), medium pace, and on-the-beat (work).

Pace – Ugly Heart

  • This is an upbeat song that Sarah coached very energetically on the masterclass.
  • Unlike what the masterclass and the booklet have to say, there are five sprints (short, short, long, short, long), not four; this made memorization a bit more challenging.
  • Differing from the last two releases, Standing Climb returns to this Pace track. We do continue the concept from RPM 64 of setting up Racing load early on and not dropping below it for the rest of the track.

Hills – Keep on Pushing 2K13

  • Each of the three blocks is identical and follows the usual climbing circuit (Standing Climb, add a gear, Power Climb, Standing Climb, Standing Attack). This is an excellent chance to use each of the coaching layers (setup, educate, challenge).
  • The last time we had a Pullback Transition where we hover over the saddle was RPM 62 (Hills).

Mixed Terrain – Run, Run

  • The trend of faster tempos (144 bpm) continues. RPM 65 had a Mixed Terrain track with 145 bpm.
  • Something new is that each speed effort is preceded by a climb.
  • I like the progression of efforts – 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and then two 60-second phases.
  • The third and fourth blocks have recovery phases where we alternate which leg leads for Standing Recovery; I wish the booklet or masterclass would have described why we do that. We touched on this in the Intervals track for RPM 65 by purposefully alternating which leg we start the effort with to focus on our non-dominant leg.

Intervals – 1000hp

  • Given that the masterclass really tapped into muscle car imagery for this track, it was very easy to continue with that analogy (e.g., tune your engine, hit the nitrous button). A missed opportunity in the masterclass was the halfway-point where the lyrics say “time to rewind,” considering we basically reset to the beginning of the song.
  • This is probably the best example of an intervals track I could think of — multiple blocks where you have explosive jumps and a short recovery time between the efforts. Having the option to add gears or stay at the current level makes it achievable and gives others the option to challenge themselves.

Speed Work – Raging Bull

  • This is a pretty standard Speed Work track — a climb in the first round, three sprints that get progressively longer, and stretch breaks in between efforts.
  • The music is what I think of as a typical EDM song; however, it gets a bit repetitive lyrically.

Mountain Climb – Ping Pong

  • I’m glad this is a different mix of Ping Pong than we had in BODYJAM 71; it’s got a bit more punch to it. Something out of the ordinary was the first Standing Climb coming in during a soft part of the music (just a drum riff).
  • From a choreography perspective, the only major difference is that we add a gear during the Standing Attack phases for the last two blocks. I also enjoy the power phases.

Ride Home / Stretch – We Are Done

  • I found this to be an appropriately-titled and light-hearted way to wrap up the class.
  • The off-the-bike hamstring stretch has returned; although it took me about four or five times to figure out when to switch legs because the transitions don’t line up cleanly with the music.

General Thoughts

Release

  • This release has special significance for me because it was the one we used for my AIM 1 training about a week ago.
  • The main elements that stick with me are the fun/rough Intervals track and the super-fast Mixed Terrain track.
  • RPM 66 is the first release since RPM 61 where there are no “high performance”options in the choreography; perhaps that addition wasn’t as successful as Les Mills had hoped.

Masterclass

  • Instead of filming in Studio 1 (Aukland City), the masterclass took place at Auckland’s Viaduct.
  • There were 12 presenters on stage; Glen coached three tracks (Pack Ride, Hills, Mixed Terrain), Sarah coached two (Pace, Ride Home / Stretch), and the remaining three tracks were coached by Dallas Blacklaw (Intervals [Australia]), Jako Misic (Speed Work [Australia]), and Anass El Bouhali (Mountain Climb [Morocco]).
  • The bonus Hills track is actually included in the masterclass (presented by Lilian Chong from Malaysia), which was an unexpected bonus. (Usually the alternate tracks are available via the music and choreography notes.)

Overall I’ve enjoyed teaching this release and have received positive feedback from members. I’m looking forward to what new things await me in RPM 67!

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