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Thread: My first Group Ride class

  1. #1

    Default My first Group Ride class

    There is no forum for Group Ride, the BTS North America formatted cycling class, so I'm posting about it here. I co-taught the very first Group Ride class at our club this weekend with another instructor who took the training with me - just 3 weeks before! We are hoping that the introduction of GR will boost attendance in our cycling classes, which has been sagging. We will continue to have instructor-designed classes also, to offer members a choice.

    My one cycling class here will become GR, and it will not be too much of an adjustment for me. I generally match changes in resistance, speed, or position to changes in the music, which GR does in a more organized way. The biggest change will be matching my cadence to the beat of the music. Instructors are supposed to match it closely, though of course they offer the option for participants to go at their own pace. Any opinions about GR from other instructors who teach it or have taken it from other instructors?

  2. #2


    I teach BTS ride, although my original certification was through Mad Dogg Spinning. I teach both formats. Honestly, I like teaching both. Riding to the rhythm was my biggest challenge, but it definitely helped me become a better instructor. In my experience, most participants like music that is familiar to them & consistency in the class.
    "If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves" Thomas Edison

  3. #3


    Could you explain a little about what BTS Group Ride is (and what it isn't!!) I'm guessing it is just another brand of RPM, but is that accurate?
    sometimes low self-esteem is earned. it's the correct response if you are not trying your best. do something about it. - Michael Koppelman

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  4. #4


    I know nothing about the RPM program so I don't know how differently it and GR may have evolved since BTS split from LMI in 2005. You can get a very good idea of what GR is like
    from a 90-second trailer at:

    Notice how they are always riding to the beat. In the first song, they shift from a cadence half the speed of the beat on the climb to right on the beat on the flat. The end of the last song has a "ramp", where the music is remixed for a gradual increase in tempo, with the object of increasing the cadence to match.

    There are always nine songs with basically the same profile: intensity building over the first four to sprints in #5, some recovery in #6, the steepest climb in #7, cooldown #8 and stretch #9. The four songs in the trailer are very representative of the variety of music in the program overall.

    New releases, for those that don't know, come out every three months, but we are encouraged to go back to a previous release after two or three weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Jersey


    At one point BTS and Les Mills were one operation, but they split a number of years ago. Group Ride is essentially the same type of program as Les Mills' RPM. There are other parallels, all of BTS's programs have the word "Group" in them. Group Power is similar to Body Pump.

    Here is a thread from the Pedal-On archives:

  6. #6


    I jumped into an RPM class an quarterly workshop last Febuary, gotta say, It just didn't settle with me, cadence a little too high for my comfort for one or two of the songs, the MI seemed like he didn't want to be there and it really affected cueing which I am sure didn't help but the idea of pre choreoed cycling classes just doesn't fit my cup of coffee in the morning. Each to their own I suppose

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Somewhere in the US


    Yep - Terps is right in what he says about the split and that BTS formats all have the word Group. Other than that, there is no difference.
    Neither are to my liking as I'm not your cookie cutter kind of lady.
    Cycle Happy!
    Cycle Instructor Emeritus
    Star 3 Spinning Instructor
    Schwinn Certified Cycle Instructor
    AFAA Primary Certification

  8. #8


    I'm not sure it's right to say there's no difference. Again, I'm not really familiar with LMI classes, but I know that Group Power has evolved in nearly 5 years since I was trained - more exercises with the plates and body weight. Some BTS programs are not exactly like anything from LMI - Group Active, a combination of cardio, strength, and flexibility using the step and adjustable dumbbells, and Group Core, core training using a towel, single plate, and an inclined step.

  9. #9


    I went through the LM RPM training, wasn't impressed, and didn't pursue it any further. The trainer from LM acted as if she was doing us all a really big favor by being there. I am in no way slamming LM, just sharing my experience.

    I really enjoyed the BTS ride training and completed the certification(you have to send in a video of yourself teaching the release learned in training to a live audience). I've found that to be a tremendous learning tool. All the music BTS uses is tested and evaluated by participants before it is used in a release. I can honestly say it is a great workout. It may not be everyones cup of tea, put it is very popular where I teach.
    "If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves" Thomas Edison

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by LAWOMAN View Post
    ...I really enjoyed the BTS ride training and completed the certification(you have to send in a video of yourself teaching the release learned in training to a live audience). I've found that to be a tremendous learning tool....
    I totally agree and want to suggest to all instructors of all formats, including those not teaching preformatted classes, to video their class occasionally, go back and watch it and if possible have other instructors do so. It's so easy now to shoot high-quality video there's no excuse not to. I recently did that for my Group Power class, a format I've been teaching 4 years, and got some useful feedback from another instructor. Videoing your class periodically was also suggested in the educational segment on the current Group Ride release.

  11. #11


    I have actually taught both Ride and RPM. I was originally certified in ride, in 2010, then this past August our club switched from BTS to Les Mills, so I had to re-certify in RPM.. I like RPM much better, I think that it has a higher intensity and much much better music. Honestly Group Ride had way to much cheesy bad covers of bad songs and I think that it was hurting our clubs indoor cycling program. Les Mills is challenging and IMO has better music. I also teach a freestyle indoor cycling class, and overall that is what I prefer, but if I much teach a programmed class RPM over Group Ride any day of the week!

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