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RPM 77 Review

Here’s my quarterly RPM review post giving some details and thoughts about the 2018 Q1 release, RPM 77. 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 77 is the twenty-second full release of this program that I’ve coached.

As for the music, the majority are new artists — SJ and Emma Gatsby, Nelly, Sheppard, Wilkinson, Shannon Saunders, Youngman, Nevve, Paramore, and The Weeknd. Two artists were in recent releases — Illenium and Tritonal. Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, Bassjackers, and D’Angello & Francis have been in BODYJAM, but are new to RPM. Finally, Lorde (from New Zealand, the home country of Les Mills) hasn’t been around for 4 years. The styles of tracks fit their respective slots well (e.g., drum and bass for Intervals), providing a good mixture of energies from each.

Each release brings its own challenges despite not having too many variables in the RPM format (e.g., position, resistance, pace). The highlight for RPM 77 is the fast cadence for the Speed Work track, our fastest Speed Work yet. That being said, the fastest parts of this release — Speed Work and Mixed Terrain — are at Building Pace (3/4+), and there’s an emphasis on finding an achievable cadence and keeping it up as opposed to ensuring you’re at 1/1 the entire duration of the race.

The track structures are pretty typical, which makes it easier to memorize. However, with more repeated material, as an instructor I work harder to find ways to make each block unique. Speaking of coaching, I’ve not found the statements about track focus provided in the choreography notes to be very useful. They’re not incorrect, but they don’t tell me anything I don’t already know. For example in the Speed Work track, “Coach PRP [position, resistance, pace] with clarity”. That should be implied for every track. The same goes for suggestions to match your voice to the contrast in the music. Perhaps these suggestions are for instructors new to RPM who haven’t attended the advanced training modules yet.

Unfortunately I didn’t seem to receive any educational videos with this release.

The masterclass has four presenters — Glen Ostergaard (Program Director), Brent Findlay (RPM trainer from New Zealand), Dee Tjoeng (RPM trainer from New Zealand), Karen Russell (RPM, BODYPUMP, and CXWORX trainer from Australia), and Joshua Berrier (RPM and SPRINT trainer from the USA).

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

RPM 77 is the perfect musical journey – emotive, uplifting fun and driving balanced by the riding backdrop of hills, flats and

The key focus is to look after all our new riders so ensure a good bike setup preclass and precisely coach riding positions, resistance changes and speed changes. Coach the choreography as this is one of our most important roles as an instructor. It
lays the platform for riding terrain, workout intensity and musical feel!

Hung Up sets the emotive feel; Track 2 gives us the Green Light to ride faster, balanced with slow climbs engages the muscles early on. Hills kicks the aerobic system with faster climbing then Keep Me Crazy keeps us crazy through the Mixed Terrain until we hit the hypnotic zone. Track 5 Hypnotic is the classic Interval track, one for the ages. The final mountain is a total banger so get your train hat on – toot toot and go hard!

Enjoy the ride!

See you next time for RPM 78!

Track-by-track Breakdown

Pack Ride

Hung Up – SJ & Tritonal feat. Emma Gatsby

  • Cadence: 124 bpm
  • Genre: pop/EDM
  • Origins:
    • SJ (Seth Jones) is from Nashville, TN
    • Tritonal (Chad Cisneros and David Reed) is from Austin, TX
    • Emma Gatsby (couldn’t find her origin)
  • Released: December 2016
  • Other releases:
    • SJ and Emma Gatsby are new to RPM and BODYJAM
    • Tritonal: RPM 76 (Pace) – Broken (Cash Cash Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • The music has a good feel to get the ride started; pretty simple; not much to add here.
    • Point of difference: recovery breaks (slow to 1/2-3/4) in the middle of Blocks 2 and 3
  • Good lyric cues
    • Pulled and pushed away
    • Your love is a fire


Green Light – Lorde

  • Cadence: 132 bpm
  • Genre: electropop
  • Origin: Lorde (Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor) is from Auckland, New Zealand
  • Released: March 2017
  • Other releases:
    • RPM 61 (Stretch) – Royals
    • BODYJAM 68 (Recovery) – Tennis Court
  • Thoughts
    • I enjoy the contrast between the verses and the full, powerful choruses; it helps establish the tones of work and recovery.
    • It took a little more effort to memorize, as Block 1 is different from the others during pre-chorus.
    • Clean edit: “such a same liar” instead of “such a damn liar”
    • Points of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • …I’ll be seein’ you down every road
    • I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it


Sounds Good to Me – Nelly

  • Cadence: 100 bpm
  • Genre: hip pop
  • Origin: Nelly (Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) is from St. Louis, MO
  • Released: March 2017
  • Other releases: Nelly is new to RPM, but has been in some BODYJAM releases
    • BODYJAM 46 (Isolations) – Party People
    • BODYJAM 77 (Mash It) – Hot in Herrre (Clean)
  • Thoughts
    • This Hills track continues a now common theme in RPM of fast uphill runs. We get a climbing combo with three times off and on the seat.
    • My memorization hiccup for this track is the slower Standing Climb right at the beginning of Blocks 2 and 4.
    • Clean edit: “See, I’m sexual” got muted
    • Point of difference: climbing combo (3x) mixing Standing Climb and Power Climb
  • Good lyric cues
    • Sensational, incredible
    • …make you scream and shout
    • One more time, that’s alright

Mixed Terrain

Keep Me Crazy – Sheppard

  • Cadence: 148 bpm
  • Genre: pop
  • Origin: Sheppard (George, Amy and Emma Sheppard, Jason Bovino, Dean Gordon and Michael Butler) is from Brisbane, Australia
  • Released: March 2017
  • Other releases: Sheppard is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • The upbeat, driving feel of the song makes you feel like chasing something!
    • The cadence is a bit on the fast side, so the Racing sections are actually at building (3/4+) pace. This jibes with my general statement about how RPM is handling faster cadences.
    • Because there’s not much contrast between the first verse and when the chorus comes in, the Racing phase always sneaks up on me.
    • Performance point: I enjoy doing a fist pump at the end of the chorus when the “uhh!” lyric comes in.
    • Point of difference: alternating blocks of climbs and races (instead of alternating within a block)
  • Good lyric cues
    • I’m out of breath
    • Give a little heat to the heart that was born to run
    • Let’s make a break for the door


Hypnotic – Wilkinson feat. Shannon Saunders & Youngman

  • Cadence: 90 bpm
  • Genre: drum and bass
  • Origins:
  • Released: March 2016
  • Other releases: all artists are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • I considered working in a cue about this track being hypnotic because it’s so repetitive musically. It’s a decent drum-and-bass track, but we’ve had better ones in RPM.
    • The structure is pretty straight-forward; three blocks of identical 1-minute efforts.
    • Points of difference:
      • 4x Standing Attack / Racing combo
      • Option to reduce gear and go 1/1+ for the last half of the Racing phase in Blocks 2 and 3
  • Good lyric cues
    • I take my time though, I don’t wanna waste the high…
    • Don’t overthink, let the darkness reignite

Speed Work

Fractures – Illenium feat. Nevve

  • Cadence: 160 bpm
  • Genre: future bass
  • Origin:
    • Illenium (Nick Miller) is from Denver, Colorado
    • Nevve (unknown)
  • Released: February 2017
  • Other releases:
    • Illenium: RPM 76 (Speed Work) – Say It (Illenium Remix)
    • Nevve is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Music tidbit: the vocals near the beginning are a variant of the Millennial whoop
    • This is probably my favorite track with regard to music. I also enjoyed Say It from the previous release.
    • Again, the coaching centers around duration rather than cadence to help riders be successful.
    • Point of difference: although we don’t ride at 1/1, this is the fastest track I’ve seen in RPM
  • Good lyric cues
    • Now it’s do or die
    • Screaming out loud for what I want
    • See me running full steam at it

Mountain Climb

All Aboard (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Edit) – Bassjackers & D’Angello & Francis

  • Cadence: 67 bpm
  • Genre: progressive house
  • Origins:
  • Other releases:
    • Bassjackers
      • BODYJAM 76 (Euphoric AF) – Memories
      • BODYJAM 78 (Mash It) – Higher Place (Bassjackers Remix)
    • D’Angello and Francis are new to RPM and BODYJAM
    • Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike
      • BODYJAM 57 (Street Party Riot) – Tomorrow (Give In To The Night / The Tomorrowland Anthem)
      • BODYJAM 68 (Mash It) – Leave the World Behind (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs. SHM Dark Forest Edit)
      • BODYJAM 73 (Mash It) – Tremor
      • BODYJAM 78 (Club Hard) – Arcade (Original Mix)
      • BODYJAM 78 (Mash It) – Higher Place (Bassjackers Remix)
      • BODYJAM 79 (A Downtown Lituation) – Go! (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Extended Remix)
      • BODYJAM 82 (Mash It) – Hey Baby (Blasterjaxx Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • This is a solid track that says, “strap in and feel the bass in your sneakers; we’re getting to work!”
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • Get ready
    • 1, 2, 3, hit it

Ride Home / Stretch

Hard Times – Paramore

  • Cadence: 120 bpm
  • Genre: new wave
  • Origin: Paramore (Josh Farro, Jeremy Davis, Jason Bynum, John Hembree, Hunter Lamb) is from Franklin, TN
  • Released: April 2017
  • Other releases: Paramore is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This song has a fun, retro sound to bring the mood back to light-hearted and cruisy.
    • Point of difference: None
  • Good lyric cues
    • Tell me that I’m alright, That I ain’t gonna die


Rockin’ – The Weeknd

  • Genre: alternative R&B
  • Origins: The Weeknd (Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) is from Hidden Hills, CA
  • Released: May 2017
  • Other releases:
    • BODYJAM 75 (Recovery) – Can’t Feel My Face
  • Thoughts
    • This track has a good groove to it; this could easily be a Ride Home / Stretch track. (It would also make a good recovery or groovedown track for BODYJAM.)

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