comment 0

RPM 71 Review


Here’s my quarterly RPM review post giving some details and thoughts about the 2016 Q3 release, RPM 71. 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 71 is the sixteenth full release of this program that I’ve coached, and it continues some trends from RPM 70, namely short recoveries and fast sprints. Both the Pace and Hills tracks offer what are essentially standing sprints with heavy resistance, which never fail to lift the heart rate. As the sizzler (brief overview written by the head program coach) states, the highlights for this release are lots of options for both new and regular riders: (1) going slower in the Mixed Terrain and Speed Work sprints, and (2) going even faster in the Mixed Terrain, Intervals, and Speed Work tracks.

This release also brings with it a good mix of artists that are new to the programs I’m certified in (i.e., Bon Jovi and Ellie Goulding), along with ones you’d expect to see in RPM (i.e., Nick Skitz and Armin van Buuren). It’s wonderful when a release gives me two favorites — this time it was Not Many (Hills) and Cusp (Speed Work).

The only thing new to the quarterly education update was about internal vs. external coaching, and how we can use both to help riders get the most from their workout. Internal cues encourage people to focus on their body parts and the mechanics of movement. External cues inspire people to focus on the outcome of the movement; their energy is directed outside the body.

The masterclass had three main presenters — Glen Ostergaard (Program Director), Sarah Ostergaard (Head of Training for RPM), and Brent Findlay from New Zealand. Glen and Sarah coached in their usual styles, so nothing new there. Although Brent checked all of the standard must-dos for teaching an RPM class, I got more of a BODYPUMP/GRIT vibe from him (e.g., a little less engaged with the music, very rigid, and didn’t invoke much cycling-oriented imagery).

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

See you next time for RPM 72!

Track-by-track Breakdown

Pack Ride

Broken Arrows – Avicii

  • Cadence: 120 rpm
  • Genre: EDM / country
  • Key: G major
  • Origin: Avicii (Tim Bergling) is from Sweden
  • Released: September 2015
  • Other releases
    • BODYJAM 54 (Warmup) – The Drums (Avicii’s Mouthful Remix)
    • BODYJAM 66 (Jammin’ for the Rest of My Life block) – I Could Be the One (John Christian Remix)
    • BODYJAM 68 (Swedish Tango track) – Levels (Skrillex Remix)
    • BODYJAM 68 (Groovedown) – Wake Me Up
    • BODYJAM 76 (Bangers block) – Waiting for Love (Carnage & Headhunterz Remix)
    • RPM 55  (Speed Work) – Drowning (Avicii Remix)
    • RPM 61 (Mountain Climb) – I Could Be the One (John Christian Remix)
    • RPM 62 (Pace) – Wake Me Up
    • RPM 63 (Speed Work) – Dear Boy
  • Thoughts
    • The uncredited vocals from this track come from the Zac Brown Band (from Atlanta).
    • This is a pretty straightforward warmup to get the heart rate moving quickly and safely.
    • I’ve not been a fan of the country style Avicii has been exploring the past few years.
    • Point of difference: Every block starts heavier than Racing resistance.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “You’ll find the light that leads home”
    • “It’s not too late”


Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning – Bon Jovi

  • Cadence: 131 rpm
  • Genre: rock
  • Key: C major
  • Origin: The band Bon Jovi (Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres, Phil X, and Hugh McDonald) is from New Jersey
  • Released: August 2015
  • Other releases: Bon Jovi is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The format of this track reminded me more of an intervals track with the six short efforts of 30 seconds. There are two definite halves.
    • Although the simple pattern for the choreography makes this track easy to memorize, you really have to think about how to coach each block differently.
    • The upbeat rock feel makes for a good first working track.
    • Point of difference: Two Standing Attacks (15 seconds) at about 100 rpm. (This technique was also used in RPM 70’s Pace track.)
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Opened my eyes, now it’s a new day dawning”
    • “Everything about us is what gets me through”


Not Many (Invader! Remix) – Scribe & Nick Skitz

  • Cadence: 50 & 100 rpm
  • Genre: hip hop, hands up
  • Key: f# minor
  • Origins:
    • Scribe (Malo Luafutu) is from Christchurch, New Zealand
    • Nick Skitz (Nicholas Agamalis) is from Australia
    • (I couldn’t find anything about Invader! as an artist.)
  • Released: August 2015
  • Other releases
    • Scribe and Invader! are new to RPM and BODYJAM
    • Nick Skitz
      • RPM 63 (Mountain Climb) – Toca’s Miracle (Original Mix)
      • RPM 65 (Hills) – Anthem #2 (Nick Skitz & Technoposse Remix)
      • RPM 66 (Bonus Hills) – Classical Gas (Extended)
      • RPM 69 (Hills) – Boom Boom Boom
  • Thoughts
    • This is the first track I’ve seen with two specific cadences called out in the choreography notes. It’s a perfect balance between resistance and pace.
    • The style of the music corresponds very well with both the recovery and effort phases.
    • Currently this is my favorite Hills track in my collection; when I heard the music, I could not wait to ride along with the masterclass. The choreography delivers as well.
    • Points of difference: Fast Power Climbs and Standing Attacks.
  • Good lyric cues:
    • “How many dudes you know got the skills to go in and rrrrrock the show like this?”
    • “Ya’ll ready? Let’s go!”

Mixed Terrain

Lost and Found – Ellie Goulding

  • Cadence: 140 rpm
  • Genre: post-teen pop
  • Key: C major
  • Origin: Ellie Goulding is from London
  • Released: October 2015
  • Other releases: BODYJAM 74 (Mash It) – Outside (Hardwell Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • There’s something unique musically in the verses where the meter changes from 3/4 to 4/4.
    • The musical style of this track reminds me a little of Fleetwood Mac.
    • With the happy and upbeat music and a nice cruisy start, we get a nice contrast from the gritty Hills track we just finished.
    • For riders who have difficulty holding on to 140 rpm, having the sections to back off makes this track more achievable.
    • Point of difference: Two segments of six short efforts where we surge onto the beat, then intentionally back off. (This “surge” technique was also employed in RPM 68’s Mixed Terrain track and RPM 69’s Speed Work track.)
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Is there anybody out there waiting for me on my way?”
    • “Tonight, nothing will bring us down”


Happy Alone (Extended Mix) – Matrix & Futurebound feat. V. Bozeman

  • Cadence: 88 rpm
  • Genre: drum and bass
  • Key: D major
  • Origins:
    • Matrix and Futurebound — Jamie Quinn and Brendan Collins respectively — are from Liverpool
    • Veronika Bozeman is from Los Angeles
  • Released: November 2015
  • Other releases: All artists are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Musically, this is a fairly typical Intervals track: an upbeat drum and bass song.
    • The last two blocks have big 60-second efforts with options everywhere, which lets people get their personal best out of the track.
    • Point of difference: Three chances to either go faster or add a gear.
  • Good lyric cues
    • I ended up reworking the lyrics in my cues: “This is a song about love — love for working hard!” or “We’re happy together — the whole team pushing!”

Speed Work

Cusp – Seven Lions

  • Cadence: 140 rpm
  • Genre: electro house
  • Key: f minor
  • Origin: Seven Lions (Jeff Montalvo) is from Santa Barbara, California
  • Released: September 2015
  • Other releases: RPM 59 (Mountain Climb) – I Don’t Deserve You (Seven Lions Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • Currently this is my favorite Speed Work track in my collection. (I have lots of favorites, so I can’t guarantee it will stay at the top spot.) What makes this track special is that the music makes me forget how fast and long the efforts are — I can’t help but ride quickly!
    • As for the track structure, it’s pretty simple: three 1-minute sprints where you find your max speed, and then you get 30 seconds to pull back a bit.
    • This track presents a good opportunity to break the sprints into sections, each with a goal to keep people working hard despite the physical fatigue.
    • Points of difference
      • This is the fastest Speed Work track I have; historically Mixed Terrains have the highest tempos in a given release.
      • Options to slow to Building (3/4+) pace in the last half of the sprint (and options to go above the rhythm in the first half).
  • Good lyric cues: N/A

Mountain Climb

Embargo – Armin van Buuren and Cosmic Gate

  • Cadence: 65 rpm
  • Genre: progressive trance
  • Key: a-flat minor
  • Origin:
    • Armin van Buuren is Dutch
    • Cosmic Gate (Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems) is from Krefeld, Germany
  • Released: October 2015
  • Other releases
    • Armin van Buuren
      • BODYJAM 66 (#makethecrowdgo block) – D# Fat
      • BODYJAM 71 (Bounce Generation block) – Ping Pong
      • BODYJAM 76 (Warmup) – Off the Hook
      • BODYJAM 77 (Mash It) – United We Are (Armin van Buuren Remix)
      • RPM 55 (Speed Work) – Drowning (Avicii Remix)
      • RPM 61 (Speed Work) – Forever Is Ours
      • RPM 62 (Speed Work) – This Is What It Feels Like (W&W Remix)
      • RPM 66 (Mountain Climb) – Ping Pong (Kryder & Tom Staar Remix)
    • Cosmic Gate
      • RPM 67 (Speed Work) – Alone (Extended Mix)
      • RPM 70 (Mountain Climb) – Sparks After The Sunset (Rafael Frost Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • I don’t really have much to say about this track. It’s a pretty standard three-peak format with a good beat to fill the room and keep people moving.
    • Point of difference: Riding heavy above the beat before the first Standing Climb of the last two blocks.
  • Good lyric cues: N/A

Ride Home / Stretch

Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay

  • Cadence: 113 rpm
  • Genre: pop rock
  • Key: a minor
  • Origin: Coldplay (Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, Will Champion, and Phil Harvey) is from London
  • Released: December 2015
  • Other releases
    • RPM 54 (Mixed Terrain) – Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
    • RPM 55 (Ride Home) – Paradise
    • RPM 56 (Mixed Terrain) – Charlie Brown
  • Thoughts
    • I love the uplifting tone and lyrics; this is an excellent way to end the class.
    • This is a pretty standard cool-down track, with plenty of opportunity to connect with riders and review the benefits gained from the class they’ve just finished.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Under this pressure, under this weight we are diamonds”
    • “I feel my heart beatin'”


Very First Breath – Hudson Mohawke feat. Irfane

  • Genre: indie R&B
  • Key: F# minor
  • Origins:
    • Hudson Mohawke (Ross Matthew Birchard) is from Glasgow, Scotland
    • Irfane (Christopher Irfane Khan-Acito) is from Paris
  • Released: March 2015
  • Other releases: Mohawke and Irfane are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This track continues the trend of getting a little bit outside of the musical comfort zone for RPM.
    • For a while now, there’s been a pattern of alternating in style between upbeat and soulful, but I’d put this about in the same category as RPM 70’s Loud Places.
    • RPM 63 was the first release where the Outro track was introduced, so it’s been part of the program for over two years now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *