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RPM 76 Review

Here’s my quarterly RPM review post giving some details and thoughts about the 2017 Q4 release, RPM 76. 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 76 is the twenty-first full release of this program that I’ve coached.

As for the music, we have a mix of regulars and newcomers. The styles of tracks fit their respective slots well (e.g., drum and bass for Intervals), providing a good mixture of energies from each. An interesting discovery I made was that three of the tracks in this release are faster than the originals I found on YouTube or SoundCloud.

Each release brings its own challenges despite not having too many variables in the RPM format (e.g., position, resistance, pace). The highlight is the cardio peak training in the Speed Work track — fast 30-second races with four attacks that follow.

This quarter’s educational section focused on helping members shift from exercising because they need to, to exercising because they want to:

  • Importance of connection
    • Talk to someone new in your class
    • Learn two new names and use them during the class
    • Make eye contact — look and smile
  • Importance of meaningful coaching
    • Give meaningful praise, not just generic praise
    • Give meaningful explanations about why you’re asking participants to work hard
  • Importance of providing control
    • Convert extrinsic motivation into intrinsic motivation
    • Give your members control; external pressure is you telling them to work hard, internal pressure is them choosing to work hard
    • “I need you to…” becomes “I’m going to __; who’s with me?”
    • “You have to…” becomes “Who’s got more?”
    • “I want you to…” becomes “Let’s…”
    • Use Smart Start to let them leave early

The masterclass has four presenters — Glen Ostergaard (Program Director), Brent Findlay (RPM trainer from New Zealand), Dee Tjoeng (RPM trainer from New Zealand), and Kristin Donnelly (RPM and BODYPUMP trainer from USA).

As Les Mills doesn’t seem to provide the release overview on their website, here’s what the program directors have to say:

The release brings simple coaching where we focus on delivering to the new participant. We have given a big focus on technique coaching and coaching the basics of Position, Resistance, and Pace. It’s often the information we take for granted that is the most important for a new rider. Asking ourselves: what does a new rider need to get a great ride, to feel successful and, more importantly, to want to come back?

As always, the inspiration behind these awesome RPM releases is the music — it’s always the music! Where it creates a journey of emotions, you are taken through a series of different feelings.

From the old-style Pop songs with great lyrics that you can hook into, to the new full deep electronic sounds, the songs really lift you and you can immerse yourself in them.

RPM 76 is a workout that’ll challenge you and your class, both regular participants and new. Make sure you provide options if they are needed, again helping those newer riders to feel successful and empowered.

Trivia: This has been the first time the cycles featured on the cover art are not Body Bikes. They appear to be the IGC IC7 bikes we had at my previous gym.

See you next time for RPM 77!

Track-by-track Breakdown

Pack Ride

Falling – Alesso

  • Cadence: 119 bpm
  • Genre: pop, EDM
  • Origin: Alesso (Alessandro Lindblad) is from Sweden
  • Released: February 2017
  • Other releases:
    • RPM 57 (Speed Work) – Pressure (Alesso Remix)
    • BODYJAM 82 (Bangin’ on the Eastside) – Good Love (Alesso Remix)
    • BODYJAM 82 (Mash It) – Calling (R3hab & Swanky Tunes Vocal Mix / Extended Vocal Club Mix)
  • Thoughts
    • This track is fairly typical for a warm-up; it covers the basics of finding the rhythm and Racing resistance.
    • The vocals (around the 2:07 mark in the YouTube video linked above) get a little annoying and repetitive.
    • Interesting observation: The version on YouTube is about 3-4 bpm slower than the RPM version.
    • Point of difference: recovery breaks in the middle of Blocks 2 and 3
  • Good lyric cues
    • Right here, right now, it’s all we need
    • The way you move, the way you feel


Broken (Cash Cash Remix) – Tritonal & Jenaux feat. Adam Lambert

  • Cadence: 129 bpm
  • Genre: dance pop
  • Origins:
    • Cash Cash (Jean Paul Makhlouf and Alex Makhlouf, and Samuel Frisch) is from New Jersey
    • Tritonal (Chad Cisneros and David Reed) is from Austin, Texas
    • Jenaux (Eugene Veltman) is from New York City
    • Adam Lambert is from San Diego, California
  • Released: November 2016
  • Other releases:
    • Cash Cash
      • RPM 64 (Pace) – Take Me Home
      • RPM 67 (Pace) – Surrender
      • BODYJAM 70 (Mash It) – Dare You (Cash Cash Remix)
    • Adam Lambert
      • RPM 57 (Pace) – Never Close Our Eyes
    • Tritonal and Jenaux are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The dance pop style and uplifting energy gets this first working track off to a good start; the Racing phases fit very well with the music.
    • The first Block introduces the 30-second race; Blocks 2 and 3 have some off-the-saddle work and a 30-second race to follow.
    • Interesting observation: The version on YouTube is about 7 bpm slower than the RPM version.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • (None really seem to fit)


24K Magic – Bruno Mars

  • Cadence: 107 bpm
  • Genre: funk, disco, R&B
  • Origin: Bruno Mars (Peter Gene Hernandez) is from Los Angeles
  • Released: October 2016
  • Other releases:
    • RPM 52 (Stretch) – The Lazy Song
    • RPM 61 (Pack Ride) – Treasure
    • BODYJAM 73 (Bonus Block) – Uptown Funk
    • BODYJAM 82 (Super Fast Two Four K) – 24K Magic
    • BODYJAM 82 (Recovery) – That’s What I Like
  • Thoughts
    • Musically this is one of my favorite tracks. The groove is solid, and I happen to be a fan of funk and disco styles, so this ticked all of my boxes.
    • The lyrics offer several places for you to sing along with the call-and-response style (e.g., It’s show time (show time), show time (show time)).
    • The choreography was a bit tricky to memorize, as this track doesn’t really follow a typical Hills progression. I do like the variety, though.
    • There are options to reduce gear each time we enter a working phase.
    • Points of difference:
      • The working phases are Power Climbs (as opposed to Standing Climbs)
      • There aren’t many gears above Climbing resistance
  • Good lyric cues
    • Let’s start this party off right
    • What y’all trying to do?
    • It’s show time

Mixed Terrain

Castle on the Hill – Call It Medicine

  • Cadence: 140 bpm
  • Genre: folk pop
  • Origin: Ed Sheeran is from Framlingham, Suffolk, England
  • Released: January 2017
  • Other releases: Call It Medicine (and Ed Sheeran) are new to RPM  and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Interesting note: The RPM track is a cover; the original is by Ed Sheeran, which is slower in tempo by 5 bpm.
    • I used the lyrics and feel of this track in my scripting. It’s about reflecting on memories, some good, some painful; but those events made you who you are.
    • The chorus is powerful and makes you want to move (“driving at 90 down those country lanes”).
    • The choreography doesn’t differ too much from other Mixed Terrains — races and some small hills.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • I’m on my way
    • …you make me feel, and it’s real
    • …I can’t wait to go home


Get Up Stand Up – Tiki Taane

  • Cadence: 87 bpm
  • Genre: drum and bass
  • Origin: Tiki Taane is from New Zealand
  • Released: November 2016
  • Other releases: Tiki Taane is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • In this release, this was the only track I had to just listen several times before I could get into it. When I first heard it, I thought to myself, “Of the thousands of songs they had to choose from, this is the one they chose?” The drum and bass style makes up for the other musical elements as a workout song.
    • Given the 80-second intervals, time cues are helpful to keep people motivated.
    • I appreciate the different choreography in Blocks 2 and 3 where the work starts on the seat with Racing; however, that breaks the Intervals pattern of “beat drop = Standing Attack”. (There were several times where I made that mistake while teaching.)
    • Point of difference:
      • Longer intervals overall, and longer periods before changing positions within the interval
      • Ending the intervals in Blocks 2 and 3 with Racing at 1/1+
  • Good lyric cues
    • Get up, stand up

Speed Work

Say It (Illenium Remix) – Flume feat. Tove Lo

  • Cadence: 150 bpm
  • Genre: electro house
  • Origin:
    • Illenium (Nick Miller) is from Denver, Colorado
    • Flume (Harley Edward Streten) is from Sydney, Australia
    • Tove Lo (Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson) is from Stockholm, Sweden
  • Released: April 2016
  • Other releases:
    • BODYJAM 78 (Mash It) – Never Be Like You – Flume feat. Kai
    • Illenium and Tove Lo are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The elephant in the room here is the tempo. I mention in my coaching that it’s fine if you can’t race that fast. As long as you’re in control and feel like you’re moving quickly for you, that’s better than risking injury or just sitting it out. Counting down until the recovery also can help riders know how long they’ll need to hang on.
    • Previous point considered, I’m pleasantly surprised I can actually maintain 150 rpm for each of the three races. The music really helps.
    • Blocks 2 and 3 are quite challenging. After 30 seconds of racing, there are four jumps off the seat. Cardio peak training indeed!
    • Point of difference: 150 bpm races (fastest track so far)
  • Good lyric cues
    • You make me wanna change

Mountain Climb

Higher Love – Seven Lions & Jason Ross feat. Paul Meany

  • Cadence: 66 bpm
  • Genre: progressive house
  • Origins:
  • 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)
    • RPM 73 (Intervals) – Summer of the Occult
    • RPM 75 (Mountain Climb) – The Journey
  • Thoughts
    • Note: The YouTube link to the music isn’t the exact version we use in RPM.
    • Structurally I can understand why Blocks 2 and 3 are separated — probably so that Block 3 becomes the standard pattern of recovery, Standing Climb, more gear, Power Climb, Standing Attack. However, both blocks could have been combined given there’s no reduction/recovery between the two.
    • I’ve enjoyed every Seven Lions track we’ve had in RPM, so I hope he doesn’t go out of rotation for a while.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • Let’s get higher love before it’s over
    • Light me up
    • …a higher love

Ride Home / Stretch

Digital Love – Digital Farm Animals feat. Hailee Steinfeld

  • Cadence: 101 bpm
  • Genre: tropical house
  • Origins:
  • Released: February 2017
  • Other releases:
    • RPM 72 (Intervals) – Work It Out – Netsky feat. Digital Farm Animals
    • Hailee Steinfeld is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The recovery routine follows similar patterns to other Ride Home tracks.
    • The music isn’t my favorite — the lyrics aren’t much to write home about, and I’m not really into tropical house.
    • Point of difference: We spend twice as long stretching the glutes than we do the quads
  • Good lyric cues
    • Hey, we got a good thing


Like It’s Over – Jai Wolf feat. MNDR

  • Genre: indietronica
  • Origins:
    • Jai Wolf (Sajeeb Saha) is from Long Island, New York
    • MNDR (Amanda Lucille Warner) is from Oakland, California
  • Released: October 2016
  • Other releases:
    • RPM 75 (Speed Work) – Indian Summer – Jai Wolf
    • MNDR is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Nothing interesting to share comes to mind with this track; it’s about what I would expect. I suppose it’s clever to end the class with a track titled “Like It’s Over.”

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