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Velojunkie
04-12-2006, 03:20 AM
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the Les Mills RPM program and your thoughts on it. I had a corporate memo dropped in my inbox yesterday stating that in September our facility will no longer be associated with LeMond/Revmaster(tm) and we will be a Les Mills RPM(tm) Certified Facility.
If I understand the attached brochure, the classes are pre-choreographed to their choice of music? And we all have to be recert'ed by LM.
Also, all of our LeMond bikes that I have grown to love are being replaced with BodyBikes. Should I be a little upset or happy here? (and how the hell do I tell my staff?? geeesh! )
I guess my opinion doesn't count when making these decisions, I'm only the Cycling Director...just a pee-on, small potatos, a bug to be squashed by corporate bureaucrats, a speck of dust to be swept aside by....ooops, sorry, got a little carried away there.....my bad.:D

britspin
04-12-2006, 09:40 AM
Oh...Les Mills, yes pre choreographed.
All my experiences have been bad..at conventions where the guys at the front show off incredibly, but teach nothing.
That said I have never sat in on a real class, taught by a normal(?) instructor.
But by extension, if all the Spinning MIs rode like that would you be keen to get certified?
Good luck.

rick316
04-12-2006, 09:54 AM
I'm gonna be taking part in my first RPM class on friday.I'll let you know how it goes.:confused:

alexkaboom
04-12-2006, 10:10 AM
Velojunkie... check out the posts in this site for RPM / GroupRide...:o

Group Ride is a RPM knock off with the same philosophy... they claim to be a "Rock concert on wheels"... very impressive!:rolleyes: (not!)

Why do bad things happen to good clubs?

Alex

EuroD
04-12-2006, 10:42 AM
Alex, From what I've heard Body Group is the spin-off from Les Mills. It all used to be called Body Training Systems which was Les Mills owned. Long story short, there are now two camps - Les Mills and BTS. Les Mills stuck with the Body in the title of their formats, where as BTS is now Group 'whatever'.

Yes, RPM is pre-choreographed, you have to follow the format, you cannot change the format. You can use different tracks from the different releases BUT the format has to stay the same.

The reason that has been cited is that participants will get the same workout no matter who teaches. I feel a case of the Stepford's coming on... Ooops going over the top.:o

Velojunkie
04-12-2006, 12:27 PM
.................................................. .....................
Yes, RPM is pre-choreographed, you have to follow the format, you cannot change the format. You can use different tracks from the different releases BUT the format has to stay the same..................


Ahhh yes, There was a very "friendly" staff meeting at our building at 9am this morning. Consisting of our C.O.O., the V.P. , the Marketing Director, all 4 Program Directors, all 4 Fitness Directors and of course, Myself and two of my Asst. Cycling Directors for our other facilities.
The Decision was made because of a Corporate deal with Les Mills to have his "brand" taught exclusively at our 4 facilities. Our facilities currently teach BodyJam, BodyStep and BodyBalance and we are adding BodyCombat, BodyAttack, BodyPump and of course RPM. The only fitness programs not being axed are Pilates, our pre/post Natal Program and our Seniors Program.
Our beautiful LeMond / Revmaster bikes are being sold off to our local YMCA for "chump change" and we are getting BODYBIKES sometime in July. (yes, I'm grabbing a couple of these LeMonds for myself.)
The Guru's from Les Mills are coming in August for Staff Training (brainwashing) and Certifications.
I'm not happy, to say the least. I expressed my discontent, but it fell on deaf ears. Their reply to me was it is on a "trial basis". (OK, what College did you go to? , because you should ask for your money back.) You don't make an investment like this for anything that is on a "trial basis".
So, after the meeting I called the CEO/President to talk to him about it. (we are good friends and I call him often)
*My first question was: "why didn't you let me in on this earlier?"
*and my second was "why are we doing this anyway?"
My answers:
1. - "The deal was only finalized 2 days ago and I wanted everyone to be told at once so we can make a smooth transition. Trust me, it's a good move for us."
2. - "LM has a solid marketing strategy and their programs are innovative and draw people in. These programs are taking off all over the US and I feel the current cirriculum of programs we have now will be obsolete in a short period of time. Trust me on this, it's good for us, I promise you'll be happy with this."
*My 3rd question: "Prechoreographed classes? C'mon, (name withheld), we don't need this, It's an insult to our staff who have trained hard to be IC Instructors. Why would you even need us if we can't TEACH the classes with are own style?"
3. - "Relax, we have no staff changes planned and after the LM folks are gone you can be a little lenient as to what is being taught in there. Just calm down, we're gonna be good with this move, trust me, you'll be happy with this, OK."

And that was it.

I listened to some of the music from the 31 CD's I was given in the meeting. It's all Techno-style, super fast-paced crap. Regular songs have been sped up for a quicker beat. AHHH! I wanted to throw the damn thing out the car window!

Most of my staff and I met at 11am, I have a mixed bunch with various Certs. and nobody was happy and more than half said they would quit, including my Wife.
It's sad, but after almost 20 years at this same facility, I think it might be time to move on.
Am I over-reacting? Should I give it a chance? Sorry, folks I'm just venting.

Velojunkie
04-12-2006, 12:49 PM
It's funny how all this took place just shortly after our COO and Marketing Director got back from the IHRSA25 convention in Las Vegas. :mad:
(no more alcohol on business trips!! to easy to be brainwashed, especially if there isn't to much to start with!!!)

alexkaboom
04-12-2006, 03:17 PM
Well... at least they went with Les Mills and not BTS... they came up with the program originally if that's worth anything...

I have been to their summits, I am certified on a few of their programs and some of their stuff makes sense... unfortunately everything is done from a Marketing standpoint, fitness and proper training takes a 2nd seat.

I don't think you're over-reacting.

I would like to know what MDA is doing to fight against the competition... they better come up with some agressive marketing of their own.

Alex

Spinnin' My Heart Out
04-12-2006, 03:39 PM
i'm not a fan of "canned" programming.
I left a gym about 1 1/2 years ago due to bringing in RPM. I gave it my good ole sophmore try. Paid for my music/profiles etc. Boring, with a capital B.

What I found,,,it took the high quality instructor who works hard on their profiles and brings them down. However,,,,it took the sub par instructor and made them better. Why,,,,,,,,,it forced them to learn new music, make new profiles etc. So, you end up with mediocricy(sp) with a lot of hype.

keifer
04-12-2006, 03:56 PM
Not having had the luck of having seeing this in action, as a participant I really love the Spinning classes I go to of those instructors who really take the time to build an interesting program, with varying music week to week ... something that comes in the 'can' sounds like it could be taught by a robot ... as for time to be moving on ... I guess what shocks me about your situation is the lack of input from your instructors & clients ... not to mention the lack of communication ... suprise yesterday you were an gourmet chef now you work behind a McD's counter, hey it's still about food ... is it just me or is anyone else hearing the cash registers ringing?

SloSpin
04-12-2006, 04:14 PM
I teach both LMI and non-LMI programs/classes.
Yes, there is a down side to not having a choice in music, but look at it this way, it gives the instructor more time to focus on the delivery and execution of the ride.
Most clubs that have all LMI programs do allow for some Non-RPM classes.
No doubt you club will as well. One way clubs get around this is due to the need for shorter or longer classes, RPM being 45-50 min. long.
For what it's worth, teaching BodyFlow/BodyBalance has made me a more aware and attentive instructor, with a deeper understating of the moves and how to best cue them to the members at a gym.
D.

Velojunkie
04-12-2006, 07:00 PM
Well, I will say that our non-cycling Instructors are overjoyed about being able to offer the whole LMI Menu, but my Cycling Instructors are not happy. I have discussed this with them and have gotten more negative than positive feedback from them. I have one Instructor who is familiar with RPM and she thinks we should keep an open mind and that it's not as "packaged" as we might think and you can be very creative with the program.
I am open-minded, so I'm going to reserve judgement on this until after we have gotten a chance to see what LMI brings to the table. If the training is sound and safe for everyone, I think we can work with this, but I'm still not feeling it yet. Time will tell.
I got a look at the BODYBIKE brochure, and I think the bikes look like they might be pretty nice. They'd better be, since we're shelling out over $135,000.00 for these puppies. :eek:
We'll see.

Robert
04-13-2006, 03:52 AM
It's funny how all this took place just shortly after our COO and Marketing Director got back from the IHRSA25 convention in Las Vegas. :mad:
(no more alcohol on business trips!! to easy to be brainwashed, especially if there isn't to much to start with!!!)

Sounds to me like a classic case of kickbacks - when management say "trust me, it's good for us", it really means "sucks for you but it's great for me as I get a juicy fat back-hander"

If instructors are threatening to leave, why not just teach your normal class and just leave the Les Mills CD lying around? Managers won't know and if any LM people complain, you can just say that members hated it so you reverted to the "proper" IC.

At best, things will carry on as they are but instead of calling it Spinning, it'll be Cycle or BodyBike or whatever silly name they have for it. At worst, they'll ask you to leave - which is what it seems the instructors are considering anyway.

Don't quit - make life harder for them instead.

Power to the people!

Now, where's my Che Guevara hat....

Velojunkie
04-13-2006, 09:57 AM
After much soul searching, and venting on this board :) , and reading all of your great advice, I can only come to one conclusion.
As both an Instructor and Cycling Director for all 4 of our facilities, I am forced by my own ethics to stay, be positive and lead by example. For the benefit of our Cycling Program which I helped build almost 20 years ago, and for the benefit of our Instructors who have worked so hard, but most importantly to our Members.
So, we'll see how it goes. May->August are our slooooow months and we back the schedule down considerably. So when our Members come in off the road in the fall, hopefully we will have something different for them that they will enjoy.:)

alexkaboom
04-13-2006, 01:59 PM
I think the bikes look like they might be pretty nice. They'd better be, since we're shelling out over $135,000.00 for these puppies. :eek:

Please, please, please (In Roger Rabbit fashion) tell me that you're buying more than 100 bikes... otherwise... Yikes!

Good Luck,
Alex

Velojunkie
04-13-2006, 03:04 PM
Please, please, please (In Roger Rabbit fashion) tell me that you're buying more than 100 bikes... otherwise... Yikes!

Good Luck,
Alex

Alex,
Yes, actually we're getting 30 for each of our 4 facilities. Currently we have 25 Lemond's at each facility, but during the winter we're constantly turning people away.
I'm sure we're going to get a better deal than that but that is what the Rep. said they retail for a piece ($1125.00):)

EuroD
04-13-2006, 03:05 PM
Don't mean to keep stirring the pot - I also read elsewhere that we're talking 120-140 RPMS apart from the warm-up and cooldown. Correct me if I'm wrong someone who does RPM.

I can't remember which poster said this, so I apologize for not citing you by name - you said that having the canned ride helped you with cueing and doing all the checks and balances (per se). How much cueing do you do in a 'regular' class? I do very little cueing in the sense of the word. You give your riders the info they need for a drill or where you want them to be, and that's it. I'll motivate simply because I'm watching them. Canned class or normal, don't we do that anyway - watch our participants and make changes as needed.

One of my clubs is supposed to be getting this too and in the not too distant future, so I'll also get to experience the concept.

kszspin
04-13-2006, 03:33 PM
One of my clubs is supposed to be getting this too and in the not too distant future, so I'll also get to experience the concept.

Oh yea! Another one bites the dust :( .

spinmomma
04-13-2006, 04:06 PM
Velo,
As an instructor who teaches the Group Power as well as cycling, here is one thing I have to say toward you as the director.
You need to be the band leader, whether you like the program or not. "There is nothing better", until the powers above decide it is not working.
I got certified for GP in June. We launched the program late August. Our Aerobic Director got certified as well. About 2 weeks ago she let everyone know that she is no longer teaching GP. She says she can teach a barbell class with her own music and make it more interesting to her regulars. This says to me that the director doesn't believe in it, how can she really promote it the members. Our members believe in us, we tell them how great something is and we can make them believe it.

I did ask the owner of one of the gyms I work at this am if they were thinking of RPM since they have PUMP, STEP & FLOW. Thankfully he said no. Because I am not sure I would love it. These other programs are different than riding a bike.

Velojunkie
04-13-2006, 10:43 PM
My philiosophy has always been, "if it aint broke, don't fix it", so my reluctancy for change is born of my own stubborness. We have a program that works good the way it is, and our class attendance proves it. (ex: yesterday was sunny and 68 outside, bikes everywhere, yet our 6pm and 7:30 pm classes were still full.) :D
There's a "chain fitness center" just down the road with a brand new Cycling Studio that hardly gets used. They started with 4 classes a week and now only offer 2. Why? The clients come to us because we have a great program.
So, my thoughts are that the program is great because of the Instructors that teach it. So, even if the LM-USA program sucks big time, I have the best staff to make even a bad program work.:)
-Cheers

EuroD
04-17-2006, 01:01 PM
Oh yea! Another one bites the dust :( .

No worries KSZ, I ain't giving up that easily. LM, I think, is just 45 - 60 mins, and I have classes which are longer. Luckily the other place I teach at is non-canned (if that makes sense). :rolleyes:

beanher
05-02-2006, 05:21 PM
I have never taught RPM, but I did look into it after being offered a job at a new gym. I took a couple classes and I can tell you it takes the creativity out of any class. It is the same profile, no matter who teaches. What I love about the club I teach at is that we each have a different stength when we teach. One instructor is does a lot of sprints, another works on endurance, I do a lot of interval rides. This gives our students variety and a little bit of cross training. You don't get that in RPM

ChocolatePizzaRedWine
08-22-2006, 05:53 AM
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the Les Mills RPM program and your thoughts on it. I had a corporate memo dropped in my inbox yesterday stating that in September our facility will no longer be associated with LeMond/Revmaster(tm) and we will be a Les Mills RPM(tm) Certified Facility.


Hey Velo--

It's almost September. Do you have an update? How's it going?

Just curious...

TRIGUY102
08-22-2006, 11:30 AM
My philiosophy has always been, "if it aint broke, don't fix it", so my reluctancy for change is born of my own stubborness.


The horse wasn't broken...the outhouse wasn't broken....the chalk and slate weren't broken. I have been reading this thread and I can understand that no one is comfortable with the idea of change, but most of the comments are coming from folks who have never seen an RPM ride much less taken one. You are all getting so worked up and negative over what? Just my humble opinion (thats why we are here right?), give it a chance...you may just end up learning something new....my favorite quote "don't take the posion and hope someone else gets sick." Be a roll model.

Peace out

ACinNJ
08-22-2006, 02:46 PM
On one hand you can complain about how other instructors use crazy movements and contra-indicated positions and play lousy music.

One the other hand, you can't complain if and owner/group ex manager takes the situation under control and decides to go with RPM because everyone now does the same things, uses the same music and the playing field is leveled. Classes and instructors are interchangeable. Scheduling and hiring is more manageable. Instructors work more as a team.

It's not what you were taught, but you can't dismiss it without looking at a broader picture of running a club.

JFK
08-22-2006, 03:42 PM
It's a little bit like the fast food concept: it may not be good, but it's the same everywhere. If people will accept that in a class, then you don't have a problem. It's when people tire of fast food (so to speak) or recognize its significant limitations that standardization in this situation fails to deliver.

ACinNJ
08-22-2006, 04:36 PM
The Les Mills family of classes as I know it has changed, from what I know as a split in the 2 people who invented their concepts, particularly Body Pump. My base facility has adopted a family of classes called "Group Power" (Body Pump) and "Group Cycle" (RPM). Plus others in the realm of other group fitness classes. Group Cycle classes are on the schedule in addition to "Indoor Cycling" classes, or Spinning, which I and others instruct.

If I look at the loyalty the members have to Group Power/formerly Body Pump, I think the RPM will have a place in the cycling world. Members look forward to the new "releases" every 8-10 weeks. They feel they master the profile and are ready to move to another one.

Is it my cup of tea? Nope. But I had the opportunity and the interest to learn from the top of the presenter chain. When I was in LA, anyone could take a class with JohnnyG any day of the week for $10-$15. Josh Taylor was doing 90 minute rides all around the area every 8 weeks or so.

MDA has certified about 100K instructors now. Some of them never even took a class before they got certified to teach it. There are a lot of hacks doing classes in a lot of clubs. This is where RPM/Group Cycle will take hold and stick. Many years ago on the Spinning forums a lot of us warned that they needed to gain some control over how the program was taught and there was no recognition by them. Standardization has many successsful business models.

Todd S
08-22-2006, 05:30 PM
MDA has certified about 100K instructors now. Some of them never even took a class before they got certified to teach it.

I resemble that remark! (Time to hijack this thread...)

I was teaching a sports conditioning class back in the 90's (I don't even remember what year it's been so long...) when the gym I was teaching at decided this new 'Spinning' thing was looking like it would be the next new, big thing in the fitness industry. Nobody else in the area offered it and we were only 50 miles outside of LA. Juni Armstrong drove up one Saturday in this old red Jeep CJ-5 with no top and Spinning logos on the side (the company car I guess - so Southern California) and gave about 8 of us our orientation. We then dedicated a few weekend days to drive into LA to take some of Johnny's classes to figure out what the heck we were doing. Those were the days...

Back then, there were only a handful of presenters and no continuing ed. You took your orientation and away you went... In my opinion, things were best around the time of the first WSSC in LA in what, 1999? MDA seemed to lose a lot of good people after that and things started sliding shortly thereafter.

SloSpin
08-22-2006, 08:44 PM
For those who did not know this about the Les Mills programs, of which RPM is one:
Within 90 days of your two day RPM orientation/training (16 hours) you have to send in a tape/DVD of yourself teaching an RPM class (This is true of all LM programs) and only if you pass that, can you go on teaching.
I assess for another Les Mills program, and I can tell you that passing is far from guaranteed, and the requirements are rather high.

Cheers,
D.

ACinNJ
08-22-2006, 08:48 PM
Yeah...I remember when we'd get up at dawn and walk 100 miles for a spin class uphill both ways. Then milk the cows and plow the back 40. Through a blizzard. Then go to town for some grub down at the old candy store then off to the school house for some book learnin'.

Those were the good old days....1999.

Legspeed
08-22-2006, 10:09 PM
...and I'm still partying like it's....

NJSpiner
08-23-2006, 07:37 AM
AC, I used to take those BP classes and always found myself taking the classes which made sure to vary the BP Class CD that they used a few times a week, otherwise the music got real boring fast!. Our gyms moved to Group Power for a few months but the music was not up to the old BP standards. BP is back now... I find the class ok if I only take it every few weeks.. otherswise my muscles cry for more variety!

Spin or cycle classes with the same music and or profile every week? No thanks! :o But, yes I know many would love it.


If I look at the loyalty the members have to Group Power/formerly Body Pump, I think the RPM will have a place in the cycling world. Members look forward to the new "releases" every 8-10 weeks. They feel they master the profile and are ready to move to another one.

Patrick
08-23-2006, 01:10 PM
AC, I used to take those BP classes and always found myself taking the classes which made sure to vary the BP Class CD that they used a few times a week, otherwise the music got real boring fast!. Our gyms moved to Group Power for a few months but the music was not up to the old BP standards. BP is back now... I find the class ok if I only take it every few weeks.. otherswise my muscles cry for more variety!

Spin or cycle classes with the same music and or profile every week? No thanks! :o But, yes I know many would love it.

I believe I'd be inclined to hang myself with my underwear if I had to teach the same ride three times a week for three months. That's 48 times (give or take) that you have to teach that same ass ride. :eek:

From a training perspective, does RPM modify the "profile" they provide in order to allow for heart rate training? I mean, the same workout over and over and over quickly becomes obsolete...

Patrick

EuroD
08-23-2006, 01:28 PM
Patrick, from what I know, and I'm sure SloSpin may jump in, you CANNOT vary the format, that was one of my beefs. You have to teach it down to the last note! The only thing you can do, after you have a few releases is swap out one track for another but the format HAS to stay the same. Make sense? Yes, I think you would go nuts.

I chose to opt out, as it just isn't my cup of tea, and not the way that I like to coach my classes.

I do agree that you have a level playing field, as it's all the same - difference being your personality, and I also think that there is a certain type of person who enjoys the same thing time and again. Unfortunately, like you if I taught the same class three times a week, I think my personality would be unrecognizable come week 2.

Taking the RPM training like MDA back when - I know LOADS of people who have NEVER taken a cycle class in their life but have taken the training, some have other LMI formats and others have ZERO group teaching experience and never even walked into ANY group exercise class.

I took BodyPump for a while but got to a point where nothing was happening - plateaued! There are too many reps on some of the exercises that you just cannot go up in weight, so I headed back out the room. As I said, there's a certain type of population for whom this works.

ACinNJ
08-23-2006, 01:33 PM
Be careful assuming that a "same" profile is not an effective profile for someone TAKING a class 2-3 times a week. They may not be taught by the same instructor, so the motivational cueing and leadership can be assumed to be different. These instructors, as stated before, have been tested and approved by a RPM/regional representative.

You (rhetoric) may not like to be the instructor, but don't transpose that into participant behavior.

Now take a club staff of 6-8 instructors...2 very good, 2 average, 2-4 total hacks. No evaluation unless it's a director who wanders into a class, and even then is not so quick to replace without having someone better to replace with.

Which has a better chance of gaining riders? If it's 50/50, in my opinion, an RPM program would win. It's always going to be consistant. You can't insure instructor quality and consistancy. People come and go on a staff.

SloSpin
08-23-2006, 08:23 PM
You guys crack me up.
I've been teaching BODYFLOW for more than two years, same format, never boring. Love it even more. A Sun Sal. (2nd track, every release) can be done in dozens of ways.
Are all hills the same when you teach? Intervals? Sprints? Are you?
If so, than yes, it would be a boring class, no matter what.
It's true the format is the same, but what changes is the how and the who.
The who being the teacher, and what they bring to the mix.
I know some of you have taken Les Mills classes, but be honest, most of you have not.
Why knock it if you have not even given it a chance?
I like both free style and Les Mills, and am here to tell you that I am a better teacher since teaching BODYFLOW. What have I learned? That I have so much to learn... Maybe you do as well.:)

ChocolatePizzaRedWine
08-24-2006, 07:46 AM
I have not taken either RPM or Group Ride (the Les Mills and BTS cycling programs), but am in the midst of getting certified in Group Power. I have to say that going thru the process of learning to teach Power (a weight-lifting class) has made me a much better cycling instructor as well.

One of the things BTS focuses on (and I assume Les Mills as well) is the "fragile eggs" -- that large segment of the population who knows they should exercise more, but for some reason don't. Maybe they are overweight, unfit, or self-conscious about their bodies. (We've talked about this elsewhere.) Whatever the reason, they need special encouragement to start and stick to an exercise program.

A pre-choreographed class may seem repetitive to us as instructors, but it builds in success for the participants. Since the experience is replicated, their confidence increases and they keep coming. (At least, that's the theory.) Contrast that with a freestyle cycling program, where a newbie might start in "Mellow Melinda's" class and feel successful, then wander into "Triathlon Tammy's" class and feel absolutely defeated. I've seen it happen.

And just because the choreography is the same, it doesn't mean the class is the same. It's like riding outside on a route you're familiar with. One day you might be focusing on your pedal-stroke or technique. Another day, you might be riding with a friend and chatting for the whole ride. Still another, you might be out for a joy ride, focusing only on what a glorious day it is. Same road, but very different rides.

Maybe teaching this way isn't for you. That's okay. But don't knock it. These programs are getting people moving who might otherwise be on the sofa. That can't be all bad.

Just my $.02...

kkoplien
08-24-2006, 11:04 AM
It's nice to finally see some positive remarks on this thread. I've been my wife's "coach" through her 3 Les Mills trainings. I have borrowed many things from those manuals that have made me a much better SPINNING instructor. Unlike other certification trainings, a great deal of time is spent on just being a good instructor (at least one full day of a 2 or 3 day training - RPM is 2 days other LM programs are 3). Connecting with your participants, motivating, coaching, being a role model, and yes watching for and correcting improper or unsafe form are emphasized.

Like was just posted above, its about what the instructor brings. Les Mills likens it to an actor being given a script. It's up to you to now "perform" it in a way that will bring a positive, fun, entertaining, and safe experience that will keep participants coming back.

As far as the repetitive thing goes, Chocolate was spot on with his explanation. In the past I have used the same profile two or even three times in a row for my SPIN classes. The reaction from the riders was always all smiles. The were exited to give the same road another try and maybe push themselves a little harder now that they know what to expect.

Again (see my earlier posts on this) I think RPM has it's place and deserves a respected spot on the list with all the other cycling programs on the front page of this website.:)

Keenan

PS - SloSpin, without copping up to any licensing violations haven't you found that BODYFLOW releases make for great endurance or recovery rides? I use them on my bike at home.:D

ACinNJ
08-24-2006, 11:28 AM
I like any format that gets people to participate. If I thought I would be good at it, I'd add an RPM/Group Cycle to my existing certifications. I didn't think I'd say that 5 years ago when I was a "Spin Snob", but I see happy people walking out of the Group Cycle classes and that's all that matters....happy customers.

The more people participating, more opportunities for more instructors.

EuroD
08-24-2006, 01:42 PM
You both make some pertinent points.

To Chocolate -
You are right in your thought that a pre-choreographed class is good for those who are new to exercise, etc - I made the point that these types of classes are good for a certain type of population. This is where I have to differ with you. You said "
And just because the choreography is the same, it doesn't mean the class is the same. It's like riding outside on a route you're familiar with. One day you might be focusing on your pedal-stroke or technique. Another day, you might be riding with a friend and chatting for the whole ride. Still another, you might be out for a joy ride, focusing only on what a glorious day it is. Same road, but very different rides."

Well, yes it is because you essentially cannot focus on pedal stroke or technique - pre-choreo is just that. In freestyle classes, of course you can focus on different aspects of technique. I'm talking to friends who took the course and some (those who have another cert) say that there is no variation, it has to be taught in a certain way. Yes, one's personality comes into it but that's it.


OK - to Keenan -
JGSI is very hot on "Connecting with your participants, motivating, coaching, being a role model, and yes watching for and correcting improper or unsafe form are emphasized." These were close to the first words of my MIs mouth. So, it's not patented by Les Mills.

This is my beef with Les Mills (yes another one) - You said "Les Mills likens it to an actor being given a script. It's up to you to now "perform" " You said it just right - YES, it is all about performance OF THE INSTRUCTOR not the participants. I don't perform in my classes I coach them, I get off my bike at times to connect, to give them individual drills, can't do any of this with Les Mills.

ChocolatePizzaRedWine
08-25-2006, 12:17 PM
Well, yes it is because you essentially cannot focus on pedal stroke or technique - pre-choreo is just that. In freestyle classes, of course you can focus on different aspects of technique. I'm talking to friends who took the course and some (those who have another cert) say that there is no variation, it has to be taught in a certain way.


Sure you can! You just have to be creative about it. You may not use the traditional drills, but you can direct the class focus with your cues.

Do you use loops in your classes? Think of a pre-choreographed class as a mega-loop that students repeat two or three times a week. Because they know what's coming, they can focus more on their technique, their breathing, their heart-rate, or whatever other goals you have in mind.




Yes, one's personality comes into it but that's it.


Don't discount personality, either in a pre-choreographed class or a freestyle one!

One of the things that I got from the Group Power training that has most impacted my cycling was the idea of "exer-tainment." (I confess I nearly choked when the trainer first used the phrase, but it is a useful way to look at teaching.) The manual asks "Are you someone that people would want to spend an hour with?" How can we make classes something that people want to be part of? How can we make sure that participants leave smiling after every class? In short, how can we make it fun? While my Spinning orientation suggested that I learn to convey a concept seven different ways, it never broached the subject of "fun"!

Moon mentioned two instructors from her gym. One (A) is very knowledgeable, but doesn't draw big numbers. The other (B) fills the room even though she does lots of CI moves. My guess without knowing more is that the students think Instructor B is more "fun" than A. If you brought in RPM or Ride, Instructor A could learn how to let his personality shine and bring more entertainment to his students, and Instructor B would be regulated to only teach moves that are safe. Wouldn't that benefit everyone?

That said, am I ready to let my Spinning certification lapse and teach only Ride? No. I enjoy the creative process of designing profiles (and I suspect that if you spend a lot of time hanging out in this forum, you probably do too! :) ). I'm not ready to give that up. But if my gym does decide to bring one of these programs in, I'll be in the front row during training, ready to learn!

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

EuroD
08-25-2006, 02:04 PM
Chocolate, totally respect your opinion.

Yes, I do loops in my class, and take your point in your explanation. Just not my particular cup of tea.

Yes, personality does play a part in how one comes across, I also know of instructors who have zero personality who still fill their classes. However, we can't discount the fact that if a timeslot is workable for someone, they are more likely to show up than not. They still get a ride - maybe you'll say AHA - Gotcha! They still get a ride, so it doesn't matter whether it's freestyle or a pre-choreo one. I agree to a point in my last sentence, however, having participated in many classes of pre-choreo, I continue to hit a wall, and have to go freestyle to get to the next level.

There has to be different strokes for different folks, and we are able to accommodate them.

vsmith
08-25-2006, 10:49 PM
This is one hot topic where I live! I teach at several gyms and I teach several formats. One gym here has Body Systems and another has Les Mills. Every other gym in town has only traditional style classes. The two pre-choreographed programs trash each other all the time! They also trash the traditional instructors saying that "those instructors" do not know what they are doing and aren't current. I am under the impression that once you are certified in Les Mills or Body Systems, you are certified for life. They consider their new releases their "up to date training." Correct? Traditional certifications require continuing ed classes and recertification every 2 years or so. I have a hard time accepting a new release of music and choreography as updating your education. I have taken both the RPM and Group cycle, as well as Body Flow, Body Step, Group Step, Power and Cyntergy (sp). IMO, they were Ok, at best. I hated most of the music but, that was my problem. I found stopping after every tract very distracting and choppy. The RPM was not a challenge to me. But I think the most irritating thing was the scripted jokes and comments. Both gyms in my area that have the two programs are going back to a mix of scripted and traditional classes in September. I am predicting that neither will keep the scripted classes in January simply because of the cost of the programs. I am not trashing either of the programs but my opinion of them would not make me want to teach any of them. But, according to Les Mills info, 4 million folks do.

ChocolatePizzaRedWine
08-27-2006, 08:04 AM
Chocolate, totally respect your opinion.

And vice versa. Thanks for having an open discussion.



I agree to a point in my last sentence, however, having participated in many classes of pre-choreo, I continue to hit a wall, and have to go freestyle to get to the next level.


Absolutely. I'm with you on that one! And maybe even going to freestyle classes isn't enough depending on your goals. I rode a century yesterday, and wouldn't have been able to do it if I had just been taking/teaching cycling classes. I had to put time in on my road bike as well.

But for that (large!) segment of the population who is either just starting out or isn't committed to going to the next level, pre-choreographed classes are a workable option.



My question is if you want to make a climb a little longer are you allowed or do you only have a certain amount of time for each move?


I believe that if you wanted to make a climb longer, you'd look for a longer climbing song from a previous release and pop that in. That would probably only buy you two or three extra minutes though. It is still a formula that you have to follow.



The two pre-choreographed programs trash each other all the time! They also trash the traditional instructors saying that "those instructors" do not know what they are doing and aren't current.


Well... that's just instructor insecurity or mean-spiritedness, and I don't have time for either.

Seriously, though, one of the things that impressed me most about the BTS training I attended was their attitude toward other programs. There was no "trashing". Rather, the overall message was that if it gets people moving, it's a good thing, even if it's not licensed by BTS.



I am under the impression that once you are certified in Les Mills or Body Systems, you are certified for life. They consider their new releases their "up to date training." Correct?

Sorta... You are certified for life to teach the releases you have purchased. For example, if I get certified on the Spring 06 release, and I don't buy any other future releases, then all I can teach are the 10 tracks from that release. If, six months from now, they decide that shoulder extensions are contra-indicated, then theoretically I wouldn't know about it and would continue to teach CI material.

But if you buy the quarterly releases (here's the CHA-CHING from the instructor's pocket! ;)), they come with continuing education material in addition to the music and choreo. The CE stuff I've seen is actually pretty good. For example, for Power, there's a pretty comprehensive DVD about how to do and teach core exercises effectively. I've also seen a write-up from RPM about anterior knee pain that's more in-depth than anything that I've seen in my monthly SPIN newsletter.

Obviously, it's not perfect. There isn't an actual measurement of CE knowledge. If an instructor doesn't make the time to go thru the CE stuff, or if they think they know it all already, they aren't going to learn what they need. But if someone wants to learn and become a better instructor, then they can.



But I think the most irritating thing was the scripted jokes and comments.


Yeah, some of it's pretty... uninspired. The thing to keep in mind is that each instructor is supposed to develop their own script, not just use what was shown on the instructional DVD. Again, the result depends on how much the instructor puts into it.



Both gyms in my area that have the two programs are going back to a mix of scripted and traditional classes in September. I am predicting that neither will keep the scripted classes in January simply because of the cost of the programs.


I'm seeing that too, especially with cycling. I do truly believe that there's a place for both pre-choreographed classes and freestyle on the schedule, but the investment (CHA-CHING ;)) clubs have to make to license the LMI/BTS classes may be hard to swallow.

TimG
04-22-2009, 01:27 AM
I am certified RPM instructor, and I can tell you that a lot of what is written here is just not true. Here is some facts:

1. I choose 9 tracks for every 45-50 minute class. I have about 20 releases, so that is 20 different choices for each track. So in terms of musical variety I can create literally thousands of different classes in terms of musical variety. If you don't have many releases you can back order them if you contact LM.

2. LM recommend teaching a new release for two weeks only. Then start selecting tracks from other releases so that people don't get the same music all the time. Some gyms have their *own* policy of teaching one release for three months then teaching the next one. For me that is stupid. It's obvious that people will get bored. This is a gym decision not LM recommendation!

3. The structure of the class is always the same, warm up, pace, hills, mixed terrain, intervals, speed, mountain, cool downs. Within each of those tracks, you can have variation by choosing a song from any given release. Out of 20 hill tracks I have, they all have HR profiles that have different nuances, even though they follow the same basic pattern. Some tracks are harder than others even with similar "profiles".

4. HR training is incorporated using a perceived exertion coaching model that is simple and easy for participants to follow. Over an entire class you will work all energy systems. The work/recovery principles in the choreography make sure that this is possible and achievable for participants.

5. Instructors are given a DVD with each release that contains tips and education on technique, coaching and other key elements of the LM method. The DVD also has a class lead by expert trainers. Some instructors get lazy and repeat the cues/jokes verbatim, but that is not the intention - instructors are encouraged to use their own cues and coaching and bring their own personality into the class, not to be parrots.

6. There is so much structure in RPM. There are the 5 key elements of all LM programs, there are the 6P's of RPM etc etc. People seem to assume that it is a "leveller" of instructors. I don't believe it because there are poor instructors and awesome instructors of RPM, just like any other format. What I do believe is that RPM is "a rising tide that lifts all boats".

7. Finally, our gym's cycling program grew five-fold since introduction of RPM. You can't argue with results like that from a business point of view.

joycenahorski
04-23-2009, 08:51 AM
I would like to know how you get the back releases. I have been able to get some but my area is giving me a hard time trying to get releases from other areas. What is the big deal? I don't understand. I have called LM Midwest several times trying to get a back release and have been told I would get a call back when they get it from another area but I never get a call back.
What is the secret?

:o

bhamilton
08-28-2011, 09:19 AM
I would contact the other agency's. I am on the east coast and I have never had any problems. Another tool would be to contact your club coach and they are always willing to help out.

Brad

bhamilton
08-28-2011, 09:20 AM
I have to agree that the scripted jokes are a joke. However that is a Joke on the instructor, I have been teaching les mills and spin for a while and I don't use the scripted jokes.

bhamilton
08-28-2011, 09:21 AM
I must agree with you, whatever keeps them happy and keeps them coming is what I am looking for as a Fitness manager.

Jpgirl
08-29-2011, 08:44 AM
Just to clarify Tim-you are NOT certified-you have been trained. Certification means that you you have taken a test that has been administered and evaluated by an INDEPENDENT party who is accredited. This is an important point and is being discussed heavily throughout the fitness industry. For example I have 3 certifications with ACE and I have many trainings or ceu's including RPM,Schwinn,Reebok Step,YMCA ect. The industry is rapidly evolving and we really want to avoid the government getting involved to ensure proper credentials for fitness instructors. It is just a sore spot for me-no slam on RPM or Les Mills

Joyce as far as back releases-you may not be able to obtain some of them. Each region buys X amount and when they're gone they're gone. A few years back I was able to obtain some back releases from other regions, BUT I think they put the kabash on that. You might want to post on here and other sites looking for people willing to sell their releases. I know that there are people like myself who no longer teach RPM and might be willing to sell their libraries. I'm not interested in selling tho, never know when I may get back into it.

vivixen
06-27-2012, 02:34 PM
If anyone has any used RPM releases i wouldl ove to purchase them!!
Jennifer

Vivienne
06-28-2012, 07:18 AM
What a great thread to "bump"......whether you read it or not (which, for me would be an excellent reason NOT to purchase RPM DVDs, FWIW)

Some blasts-from-the-past and great insight etc.......where are they now??!?

Vivienne

vivixen
06-28-2012, 12:38 PM
I love the RPM classes at our gym! Luckily we have an instructor who has been doing RPM a long time and has a lotof the CDs to teach from so she mixes it up a bit. I love the fact that it is truly interval and not as anaerobic as a lot of spin classes. 5 stars in my book!!

joycenahorski
07-02-2012, 06:25 AM
I have almost all of them from 31 to 50 if you are interested in some. Let me know.

Joyce

vivixen
07-11-2012, 10:48 AM
YES I would love some...what do you want for them$$$?

vogelkel
09-29-2015, 04:31 PM
Hi.

I currently teach spinning for years & I'm currently enrolled to do the RPM Training at the end of October. Do you think that its easier to learn the training since I have so many years of spinning or is it completely different. I do have my certification in Les Mills Body Pump & I can tell you that it is overwhelming at first because of all the choreography & the timing. I didn't think it would be that hard since I have many years of lifting & teaching. But its a completely different "ball game" Let me know your thoughts. Thanks Kelly

Paul S.
10-02-2015, 06:44 AM
I was in a very similar situation when I took the BTS (now Mossa) Group Ride training a few years ago. Not sure how similar GR is to RPM, but I doubt you'll have any real problems. The biggest difference from most other cycling programs is that you usually ride to the beat of the music. The programming (choreography) is so much easier than in a barbell program because there are not nearly so many things you can do on a bike.

shaggybuck
04-20-2018, 08:35 PM
I just got certified on RPM 77, and I like it a lot, I am going to buy some back releases.