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RPM 73 Review

Here’s my quarterly RPM review post giving some details and thoughts about the 2017 Q1 release, RPM 73. I’ll start with my general thoughts for the release, and if you’re interested in a track-by-track breakdown, keep on reading.

General Thoughts

RPM 73 is the eighteenth full release of this program that I’ve coached, and it really shines thanks to the music. Based on what I learned in my AIM 2 training, I’m starting to see how RPM is starting to be more about a group of riders together on a cardiovascular training journey rather than an in-your-face challenge to be overcome.

As for the music, we have a mix of regulars and new artists. The regulars are Benny Benassi, Chris Brown, Seven Lions, Andrew Rayel, and Kristina Antuna. Our newcomers are The 1975, Shapeshifter, 3 Doors Down, KLP, Remi, and Broods. There are many musical styles in this release, and I can tell the programmers really thought about how to let the music speak for us.

There are three education items for this quarter: RPM vs SPRINT, tips for memorizing choreography, and an update on Les Mills GRIT for waistline reduction. There’s also the RPM Science Update which has been part of the past several releases. Important: Fellow RPM instructors should review the RPM vs SPRINT section as it mentions the specific terminology and focus for each program. For example, in RPM we don’t say “load” any more, and we don’t think of it as training. It’s a subtle shift, but keeping that in the back of your mind helps you bring the right energy to the class.

The masterclass has four main presenters — Glen Ostergaard (Program Director), Sarah Ostergaard (Head of Training for RPM), Brent Findlay (RPM Instructor from New Zealand), and Eerika Kiuttu (RPM Trainer from Finland); there were also nine shadow presenters. As for the masterclass itself, it was fairly typical. It wasn’t filmed in the typical venue (Studio 1 in Auckland City), and it looks like there were a fair number of riders in the audience.

For instructors, here are some videos from Les Mills with coaching tips:

See you next time for RPM 74!

Track-by-track Breakdown

Pack Ride

The Sound – The 1975

  • Cadence: 120 rpm
  • Genre: indie pop
  • Key: C major
  • Origin: The 1975 (George Daniel, Adam Hann, Matthew Healy, Ross MacDonald) is from Manchester, England
  • Released: February 2016
  • Other releases: The 1975 is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The track is upbeat and has an easy-to-follow rhythm to get the class started.
    • As for choreography, this Pack Ride is pretty typical. The focus is on connecting with your class.
    • Point of difference: Very minor, but we add the appropriate gear before the 1/1 phases instead of at the beginning of the phase.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I know when you’re around…because I know the sound of your heart”

Pace

Paradise – Benny Benassi & Chris Brown

  • Cadence: 133 rpm
  • Genre: electro house
  • Key: B major
  • Origins:
  • Released: March 2016
  • Other releases
    • BODYJAM
      • BODYJAM 47 – Waters of March (Benny Benassi Remix)
      • BODYJAM 49 – Womanizer (Benny Benassi Mix)
      • BODYJAM 53 (Isolations) – I Can Transform Ya
      • BODYJAM 55 (Isolations) – Shawty Get Loose
      • BODYJAM 58 (Future Funk) – Beautiful People, (Groovedown) – She Ain’t You
      • BODYJAM 60 (We Found One Close To Me) – Close to Me (R3hab Remix)
      • BODYJAM 62 (Turn Up the Quasar) – Turn Up the Music
      • BODYJAM 63 (Thunder Kick Ninja Styles) – Trumpet Lights
      • BODYJAM 67 (Warmup) – I Can Only Imagine, (Groovedown) – Fine China, (Dark House 2013) Let’s Go
      • BODYJAM 74 (Get It Lit) – Five More Hours
      • BODYJAM 75 (Groovedown) – Do It Again
      • BODYJAM 77 (Isolations) – Picture Me Rollin’
      • BODYJAM 79 (Old School Hip Hop) – Run It!
    • RPM
      • RPM 52 (Pack Ride) – Beautiful People
      • RPM 53 (Stretch) – She Ain’t You
      • RPM 57 (Pack Ride) – Don’t Wake Me Up
  • Thoughts
    • Musically this track really shines. There’s a wonderful contrast to the soft parts as we set up the Standing Climbs and build up to the drops where the sprints start. Set up the sprint, then say nothing for a good 15 seconds while the music grabs the pedals.
    • The Pace track for RPM 72 (Place on Earth) is very similar in format: climbs, sprints, and then very quick transitions back to the climbs.
    • The three blocks are fairly identical in structure, so this is where objective scripting can help me create different goals for each block.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • “You better be ready”
    • “I’ll see you on the other side”

Hills

In Colour – Shapeshifter

  • Cadence: 126 rpm
  • Genre: indie synth
  • Key: C# major
  • Origin: Shapeshifter (Nick Robinson, Dan Mcgruer, Sam Trevethick, and P digs) is from Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Released: May 2013
  • Other releases: Shapeshifter is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Music note: Apparently Shapeshifter is more well known for drum and bass style, but this track doesn’t quite fit that mold. I took a guess and called it “indie synth.”
    • Again, there’s a good contrast between the verses (simple vocals, beat, and bass line) and the chorus (full synths, soaring vocals).
    • I like how you can simultaneously feel the main pulses at 63 bpm and the sub-pulses at 126 bpm. It helps the speed changes make more sense — you feel the heavy climbing beat, and use the under-current for the 3/4 phases.
    • Based on comments I’ve seen in the RPM Instructors Facebook group, there seem to be more people that didn’t care for this track.
    • We’ve had fast sections in a Hills track before (think Not Many from RPM 71), and uphill accelerations (think Place on Earth from RPM 72); this track feels more like a Mixed Terrain to me.
    • Point of difference: Standing Attack phases at Medium pace
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Would you be so bold, and make it new?”
    • “You went and chased the miles away”
    • “I’m burning energy, my beating heart”

Mixed Terrain

The Broken – 3 Doors Down

  • Cadence: 140 rpm
  • Genre: alternative rock / post-grunge
  • Key: a minor
  • Origin: 3 Doors Down (Brad Arnold, Chris Henderson, Greg Upchurch, Chet Roberts, and Justin Biltonen) is from Mississippi
  • Released: March 2016
  • Other releases: 3 Doors Down is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The angsty feel of the music fits well with the choppy changes in choreography (i.e., 6 short blocks, quick/sharp transitions).
    • As I mentioned before, the Hills track feels like a Mixed Terrain; this Mixed Terrain feels like an Intervals — short efforts, quick Attacks.
    • Points of difference:
      • Four of the blocks have two Standing Attacks at Medium pace
      • I believe this is the first Mixed Terrain track that uses Attack resistance
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Your heart is the only friend you have in this whole world”
    • “Take back your world today”

Intervals

Summer of the Occult – Seven Lions

  • Cadence: 85 rpm
  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: a minor/major
  • Origin: Seven Lions (Jeff Montalvo) is from Santa Barbara, California
  • Released: March 2016
  • Other releases
    • RPM 59 (Mountain Climb) – I Don’t Deserve You (Seven Lions Remix)
    • RPM 71 (Speed Work) – Cusp
    • RPM 72 (Speed Work) – Falling Away (MitiS Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • This track has claimed Favorite Intervals Track in my book by a wide margin. The music is intense and just makes you want to fight those heavy gears.
    • Seven Lions knocks it out of the park again — highs and lows, blending a world-music style, dubstep, and drum and bass. I love the quiet right before the beat drop; I just set up the tension, and then shut up and ride for 20 seconds.
    • Sarah, who coached this track in the masterclass, gave an interesting cue for the resistance in the heavy climbs for Blocks 1 and 2: “Double it.” That’s not quite accurate but it does create that urgency and weight that you want the legs to feel.
    • Point of difference: The first two blocks have heavy 35-second half-pace climbs after the 45-second 1/1 intervals.
  • Good lyric cues
    • N/A

Speed Work

Once In A Lifetime Love – Andrew Rayel feat. Kristina Atuna 

  • Cadence: 128 rpm
  • Genre: big room house
  • Key: B-flat major
  • Origins:
  • Released: March 2016
  • Other releases
    • RPM 72 (Mountain Climb) – Rise of the Era (Digital X Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • As far as choreography goes, this is a fairly standard Speed Work track: three sprints of equal lengths with recoveries in between.
    • Fitting with the theme for this release, you can easily use the musical contrast to build up to the chorus, then let the music fill the room.
    • Just like the Pace track, when the choreography is very similar between blocks, objective scripting makes the track come alive. My three focuses: fine tune, use the music to find a steady cadence, make this your best chase.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I still believe we can make it”
    • “Once in a lifetime love”

Mountain Climb

Parnassia – Winter Twilight

  • Cadence: 66 rpm
  • Genre: progressive electro house
  • Key: e minor
  • Origins:
    • (I believe Winter Twilight is a cover band; the video linked above is from Blasterjaxx & DBSTF.)
    • Blasterjaxx (Idir Makhlaf and Thom Jongkind) is from The Netherlands
    • DBSTF (D-Block & S-te-Fan (Diederik Bakker and Stefan den Daas)) is from The Netherlands
  • Released: December 2015
  • Other releases
    • BODYJAM 74 (Mash It) – Beautiful World
    • RPM 62 (Mountain Climb) – Adagio for Strings (Blasterjaxx Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • This rides like a typical Mountain Climb — some ups, some downs, heavy gears, nearly identical rounds.
    • The music fits well when we sit for the Power Climbs; Blocks 2 and 3 have the option to go above the rhythm.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Bring the beat back”

Ride Home / Stretch

Recover – KLP feat. Remi

  • Cadence: 85 rpm
  • Genre: deep Australian indie
  • Key: A major
  • Origins:
    • KLP is from Sydney, Australia
    • Remi (Remi Kolawole) is from Melbourne, Australia
  • Released: September 2015
  • Other releases: KLP and Remi are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • I have to give it to the RPM team — it’s a clever play on the track name. The music feels fresh and has a bit more upbeat energy for a wind-down track.
    • The recovery modes and stretches are the usual ones you’d see in a Ride Home / Stretch track, so nothing new to report here.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • (None really fit that well)

Outro

Free – Broods

  • Cadence: 92 rpm
  • Genre: synthpop / industrial
  • Key: b minor
  • Origins: Broods (Georgia and Caleb Nott) is from Nelson, New Zealand
  • Released: April 2016
  • Other releases: Broods is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Great way to end the class — “Hallelujah, I’m free, I’m free, I’m free.”
    • This track musically makes for a decent Outro — it’s a bit too fast to be an RPM track, but it feels current/modern.

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