As a GoodLife Group EXercise Instructor, I’ve witnessed the many benefits that group cycling can provide, both in myself and in my class participants. However, when I ask some of my friends why they still haven’t tried it, I hear a ton of excuses. “I heard my butt will be sore for days!” “Indoor cycling is way too intense for me!” “I don’t have those fancy cycling shoes.” Perhaps you’ve even said some of these things in the past. I’m here today to dispel the rumours and (hopefully!) get you on a bike in your nearest club.
Les Mills RPM classes are offered at GoodLife locations across the country and if you’ve ever wondered what they’re all about, read on!
First things first: What happens in a class?
Your instructor will help you to set up your bike so that you’re able to ride with maximum comfort, safety, and efficiency. The workout begins with a gentle warm-up to get you ready for the work ahead, then progresses through various drills including hills, pace work, mixed terrain, and intervals. Each choreographed track has a different purpose and your muscles will surely be challenged. Your instructor will coach you through each portion of the workout, indicating how fast you should be riding and how intensely you should be working.
What if I’m new to fitness or have injuries?
Not to worry. Cycling is a fairly low-impact form of exercise in comparison to other cardiovascular activities like running. This makes it a much safer and enjoyable choice for many individuals, especially those with troublesome knees and backs. If you don’t feel comfortable working at a high intensity right away, you have complete control over your bike’s resistance and can dial it back to a level that feels right for you.
How long will I be on the bike for?
Most RPM classes range from 45-60 minutes in length. This allows enough time for a warm up, cool down, and plenty of work in-between!
How will I benefit?
In addition to feeling a fantastic endorphin high by the end of the workout, doing RPM regularly can help you get fit and strong. You’ll increase the strength of your heart and lungs, and therefore boost your cardiovascular fitness. Working with enough resistance will also help to increase your muscular strength and endurance, and your instructor will help you along the ride to ensure that you are gaining maximum results. Cycling is a fantastic lower body toner, and the average person burns more than 600 whopping calories in a standard 50 minute class. Have I got you convinced yet?
What shall I bring?
Most importantly, you will want to be as comfortable as possible on the bike. Therefore, I’d recommend wearing cycling shorts (padded if you prefer), a light, breathable top, and appropriate footwear. Cycling shoes can help to give you more control over the pedals, but regular running shoes are all you need to get started. You can expect to sweat a lot during the class, so be sure to bring a towel and plenty of water. Oh, and yourself!
And finally, the one I hear most often: Will my butt be really sore?
To be honest, it might. But don’t worry! The more classes you do, the stronger you’ll get and the less awkward the bike seat will feel. I promise, the group atmosphere, motivating music, endorphin high, and fantastic instructors (ok, maybe I’m a little biased there) make a little soreness totally worth it!
Now that you know all about RPM and how it can benefit your heart, lungs, and overall physical fitness, I encourage you to find a class. If you still have questions, feel free to visit my blog and send me an email, or get in touch with one of the GoodLife Associates at your local club. See you in the studio!
A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier’s BBA program, Angela Simpson holds FIS and NWS qualifications from Can Fit Pro. She has also completed certifications from Schwinn, Reebok, and Les Mills International, and teaches RPM and freestyle cycling at GoodLife locations in Kitchener Waterloo. When she isn’t working at her full time job in high tech marketing, Angela can be found running, cooking, and scoping out her next new purchase of fashionable athletic wear. She’s also the author behind the blog Eat Spin Run Repeat, where she offers healthy recipes, workout ideas, and tips for living a healthy, balanced life.