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RPM 70 Review


The Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center’s RPM team just launched this on Tuesday (Apr 5), and I’ve had a chance to teach it a few times. Here’s my quarterly RPM review post giving some details and thoughts about the latest release, RPM 70.

Track-by-track Breakdown

Pack Ride

I Don’t Like It, I Love It – Flo Rida feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White

  • Cadence: 118 rpm
  • Genre: pop-rap
  • Key: d minor
  • Origins
    • Flo Rida (Tramar Lacel Dillard) is from Florida
    • Robin Thicke is from Los Angeles
    • Verdine White is from Los Angeles; White is best known for being the bassist for Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Released: March 2015
  • Other releases
    • Flo Rida
      • BODYJAM 47 – In the Ayer (feat. Will.I.Am)
      • BODYJAM 47 – Low (feat. T-Pain) (Travis Barker Remix)
      • BODYJAM 54 – Jump (Jump Smokers Remix)
      • BODYJAM 57 (Afro-Caribbean Street Party) – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
      • BODYJAM 57 (Afro-Caribbean Street Party) – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (John De Sohn Remix)
      • RPM 51 (Mixed Terrain) – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
      • RPM 55 (Mixed Terrain) – Good Feeling
      • RPM 58 (Mixed Terrain) – Let It Roll
      • RPM 69 (Pace) – That’s What I Like
    • Thicke
      • RPM 65 (Pack Ride) – Calling All Hearts
    • White is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This is the first time Flo Rida is on a Pack Ride.
    • The music has a playful tone and sets a great mood to start the class.
    • Points of difference:
      • Racing 1/1 is always preceded by half-pace (i.e., there is no medium pace transition in between).
      • The first 1/1 section is at Base Resistance, rather than at least one gear above.
      • The last two blocks have 60-second phases where we slow to medium pace for 15 seconds.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I don’t like it; I love it”
    • “Let’s all aboard”
    • “Perfect time, gotta let it flow”
    • “Meet me at the studio”


SummerThing! – Afrojack feat. Mike Taylor

  • Cadence: 134 rpm
  • Genre: electro house
  • Key: a minor
  • Origins:
    • Afrojack (Nick van de Wall) is from The Netherlands
    • (I couldn’t locate any information about Mike Taylor.)
  • Released: June 2015
  • Other releases
    • Afrojack
      • BODYJAM 65 (Warmup) – Last Night
      • BODYJAM 75 (Jungle Terror) – Afroki
      • RPM 58 (Speed Work) – Can’t Stop Me (Tiesto Remix)
      • RPM 63 (Pace) – The Spark
    • Taylor is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The music offers a clear contrast between the upbeat, funky sections and the driving, electronic sections, which gives riders a clear indication of where the work phases are.
    • In the masterclass, Glen coached (vocally and physically) that the Standing Attacks were on-pace (134 rpm). After some clarification from Les Mills, it turns out that medium pace (100 rpm) is the correct speed.
    • Points of difference
      • Each block starts with a Standing Climb.
      • The first two blocks have Power Climbs, which is new to Pace tracks.
      • There are two 15-second Standing Attacks at medium pace (essentially standing sprints).
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Just want to [ride] all night ’til it hurts”
    • “I just wanna go…”
    • “Hope you always remember…”


Blaze the Fire (Rah!) [Sub Zero Remix] – Danny Byrd feat. General Levy

  • Cadence: 87 rpm
  • Genre: drum and bass
  • Key: f# minor
  • Origins:
    • Danny Byrd is from Bath, England
    • General Levy (Paul Levy) is from London; Levy is best known as a ragga DJ
  • Released: September 2012
  • Other releases
    • Byrd
      • RPM 59 (Intervals) – Daydreamer (Danny Byrd Remix)
    • Levy is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Drum and bass as a genre is no stranger to RPM, as that style mixes high energy with a driving rhythm.
    • With the last three blocks being identical, it’s important to coach each of the layers differently to keep things moving forward.
    • This is an intense Hills track; the fast pace combined with short recoveries (and options to reduce) provides a challenge for all riders.
    • I liked the bit in the masterclass where the presenters punch forward during the “rah, rah” part of the song; I may borrow that one.
    • Points of difference
      • This is a fast hills track (87 rpm); previous releases were 72, 70, and 74 rpm.
      • There are fewer gear additions (compensated for by faster cadence), and options to reduce every time we Power Climb.

Mixed Terrain

Ready – Kodaline

  • Cadence: 134 rpm
  • Genre: indie rock
  • Key: B-flat major
  • Origins: Kodaline (Steve Garrigan, Vinny May, Jr., Jason Boland, Mark Prendergast) is from Dublin, Ireland; they were formerly named 21 Demands
  • Released: February 2015
  • Kodaline is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Given the trend of Mixed Terrain tracks being considerably faster in the past year, I was pleased that this one was a little less intense as far as cadence.
    • I wish the masterclass or the release notes had more information about why we’re holding the cadence under the beat before sprinting. My guess is that we are to be more deliberate about controlling our speed; another theory is that we’re just shaking things up and not following the usual routine.
    • The track finishes out with a brief pause before the last 45-second sprint; that makes for a good time to reconnect with the riders and ask them to commit to finish.
    • Points of difference
      • As with the Pace track, each of the working sections for blocks 2 and 3 are preceded by quick transitions to Standing Climb.
      • We hold for 30 seconds at Building Pace (3/4+) when the chorus starts (i.e., where we usually sprint), and finish the block on-pace for 30 seconds. This technique was used in the Pace track for RPM 69 (That’s What I Like).
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I’ll be ready to grow”
    • “I’m ready”
    • “But never let the pressure overpower the fun”


This Goes Out to You – P.O.D

  • Cadence: 89 rpm
  • Genre: Christian alternative metal
  • Key: D major
  • Origins: P.O.D (Sonny Sandoval, Wuv Bernardo, Traa Daniels, Marcos Curiel), short for “Payable on Death” is from San Diego, California
  • Released: August 2015
  • P.O.D is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This track is very similar in musical style and block structure to the Intervals track from RPM 66 (1000hp): metal genre with the second half being identical to the first.
    • Despite the driving music, this track doesn’t really challenge me as much as I expected. There aren’t many gears above Attack Resistance, and the work phases are pretty short.
    • I typically get self-conscious about tracks that have identical halves, because the coaching has to be different as people fatigue (and to keep things from getting dull). The masterclass presenter (Fatma Azzouz) did not give me as much coaching material to work with as Dallas Blacklaw did in RPM 66.
    • Points of difference
      • There’s a new Standing Attack combination: four jumps with only two gears (as opposed to adding every time we stand).
      • Starting in Block 2, there’s an option to ride faster than the rhythm during the Standing Attacks.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Ups and downs, traditional phases”
    • “This goes out to you”
    • “All original, never duplicated”

Speed Work

Zero Gravity – Borgeous feat. Lights

  • Cadence: 134 rpm
  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: G major
  • Origins:
    • Borgeous (John Borge) is from Los Angeles
    • Lights (Valerie Anne Poxleitner) is from Toronto
  • Released: June 2015
  • Borgeous and Lights are both new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • I first heard this song on Hardwell on Air Episode 218, and I enjoy the soft lyric sections combined with the progressive house style choruses.
    • As a Speed Work track goes, there aren’t any curve balls here; we have a Standing Climb followed by Power Climb, and then simple 30-second sprints.
    • The three working blocks play perfectly into coaching (i.e., Levels 1-3).
    • Point of difference
      • The last sprint is 60 seconds. (When Glen taught this in the masterclass, he waited until the last second to announce the longer interval, which I didn’t particularly care for. I tell my participants about the long effort ahead of time so they can pace themselves.)
  • Good lyric cues
    • “You lift me off my feet”
    • “There are no borders”

Mountain Climb

Sparks After The Sunset (Rafael Frost Remix) – Cosmic Gate & Sarah Lynn

  • Cadence: 66 rpm
  • Genre: hard trance
  • Key: f# minor
  • Origins:
    • Cosmic Gate (Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems) is from Krefeld, Germany
    • Sarah Lynn is from Ireland
    • Rafael Frost is from The Netherlands
  • Released: June 2014
  • Other releases
    • Cosmic Gate
      • RPM 67 (Speed Work) – Alone (Extended Mix)
    • Lynn and Frost are both new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Note: I couldn’t find a YouTube or SoundCloud link that was the exact mix for the song.
    • The music sounds like a stylistic mixture of the Mountain Climb tracks from RPM 59 (I Don’t Deserve You (Seven Lions Remix)) and RPM 68 (In a State of Trance).
    • The masterclass presenter, Washington Chishaya, performed marvelously on this track. I particularly enjoyed the cue, “We have four gears for you to design your climb,” which makes the riders feel they are in control of their work.
    • This track has a good combination of on- and off-the-saddle work to really make the climbs challenging; the efforts are about 90 seconds each.
    • Points of difference
      • There are fewer efforts, but they are longer with more position changes.
      • We have two options to accelerate above the rhythm — one standing, one seated.
  • Good lyric cues
    • (None really fit)

Ride Home / Stretch

Not Letting Go – Tinie Tempah feat. Jess Glynne

  • Cadence: 102 rpm
  • Genre: British hip hop
  • Key: A-flat major
  • Origins:
    • Tinie Tempah (Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu) is from London
    • Jess Glynne is from London
  • Released: June 2015
  • Other releases
    • Tempah is new to RPM and BODYJAM
    •  Glynne
      • BODYJAM 70 (Groovedown) – Rather Be
      • RPM 64 (Outro) – Rather Be
  • Thoughts
    • The upbeat style and fast-paced lyrics make this a fun song to wind down the class.
    • The Racing sections are a bit longer than usual — about 30 seconds each — giving plenty of time to review with the riders what they got from the class.
    • Point of difference:
      • There are no on-the-bike stretches (e.g., upward stretch, side release).
  • Good lyric cues
    • “You made my heart work”
    • “You make me stronger”


Loud Places – Jamie xx feat. Romy

  • Genre: future garage
  • Key: F# major
  • Origins:
    • Jamie xx (Jamie Smith) is from London
    • Romy (Romy Madley Croft)
    • (Smith and Croft are two of the three-member band “the xx”, an indie pop band from London.)
  • Released: May 2015
  • Jamie xx and Romy are both new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This track continues the trend of getting a little bit outside of the musical comfort zone for RPM.
    • This release also continues the pattern of alternating in style between upbeat and soulful; recall that RPM 69‘s Outro track was the trip-hop song Gemini.
    • Lyric: “I have never reached such heights”

General Thoughts

RPM 70 is the fifteenth full release of this program that I’ve coached, and I believe it’s the most physically challenging. The combination of short speed intervals and longer climbs is very effective in my opinion. (The Hills track almost feels like an Intervals track when I get to the end of it!) As the sizzler (brief overview written by the head program coach) states, the highlights are in the Pace and Hills tracks: standing sprints and fast-paced climbs.

This release also brings with it several artists that are new to the programs I’m certified in. The first two tracks are earworms, and given I’m a fan of progressive house and trance, the Speed Work and Mountain Climb tracks were most welcome.

Here are a few comments I observed about the instructional materials for this quarter:

  • What used to be called The 3 Ps (pace, push, and position) has become PRP (pace, resistance, and position).
  • Each track has a Track Focus blurb, which has become longer (and actually has bullet points now). I believe this is to match the coaching strategy of making it clearer what we should get out of each track.
  • The education section has some of the same material as last time — RPM Coaching, RPM Science — as well as an additional section about how to mix previous releases (and how often and why).

The masterclass had three main presenters — Glen Ostergaard, Washington Chishaya (from RPM 68), and Fatma Azzouz — and two shadow presenters. Washington did very well, and Fatma may have been hindered by English not being her first language. My usual complaint about Glen still applies: He often rides much faster then the choreography indicates.

See you next time for RPM 71!


  1. marco barsotti

    The Outro….it was a song by Idris Muhammed, a sort of hit in 1977: it was amazed to hear it again after so many years!

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