RPM is one of several fitness programs designed and trademarked by Les Mills. It’s a cycling class with predetermined routines and playlists. Nine music tracks correspond with nine transitions in riding position and speed.
Diane DeBardelaben, RPM instructor at Gold’s Gym North, said everything from the set up of the bike to the instructor can change the effectiveness of a class. However, the most important factor “comes from the participant,” she said, “and how hard they’re willing to work. Anybody at any fitness level can do this.”
DeBardelaben said the most important thing to bring to class is water.
A positive attitude helps, too.
DeBardelaben keeps participants motivated by talking through tough spots and encouraging them to feel the beat of the music. It’s not uncommon to hear the occasional “Woo!” in the middle of class.
The workout: This hour-long cycling class incorporates different speeds, positions and resistance levels for a cardiovascular workout that also shapes and tones the legs, hips and butt. Throughout the workout you’ll climb mountains and pedal through sprint races, alternating from standing to sitting positions. The music and lighting adjust for optimal motivation and synchronization. The class ends with a recovery spin and stretching.
Sweat factor: I sweat a lot when I work out, so I expected to be drenched (and I was), but there was not a dry person in the room.
Difficulty level: Honestly, I was ready to quit about halfway through the class. But I couldn’t. DeBardelaben attributes that to the class environment. “I’m not going to work this hard by myself,” she said. Having others there working as hard as you are is motivation to stay with it.
It’s not an easy class, but you can adjust the resistance according to your ability and increase it as you get stronger. When you first start, trying to keep up with people who have been doing it for months may not be the best approach.
Average calories burned: Les Mills’ literature puts the average at 600; DeBardelaben said anywhere from 400 to 700.
Commitment: To take RPM, or any other classes offered at any of the three Gold’s Gym locations in Columbus, you must be a member. Membership requires a contract.
Perks: All classes offered are included with membership and members can use any Gold’s Gym facility.
The Tower Road facility includes two levels with cardio equipment, including a cardio deck and cardio theater; free weights; circuit training; a yoga/pilates studio and aerobic room; tanning; sauna/steam room; and childcare. There is also a smoothie bar on site.
The Afterglow: I was soaked but proud of myself for completing the class. It was hard, and my quads were definitely exhausted by the end of the hour. After I stopped sweating I was in a great mood for the rest of the day. I see how the class could be addicting.