You spin my legs right round right round…

Long before I began running and long before I heard of a Flywheel, a Cyclebar, or a SoulCycle, I joined a gym in the mid-Missouri town where I lived so I could “get fit.” I decided to be brave and try a group fitness class that was on a spincycle–Les Mills RPM–because of everyone was riding a spin bike facing in the instructor’s direction, then no one would look at my wibble-wobbling on the bike and huffing and puffing while I only hoped and prayed I had a small chance of keeping up.

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And what happened is the only true thing there is to tell you right now: I fell in love. Somehow, I felt free on that spin bike. I felt the rush of adrenaline and wave after wave of endorphins, and I would drive home smiling as the sweat on my body would cool against my skin. Somehow, I felt confident. I knew that the way my body looked didn’t matter–what did matter is the two legs I had that could make those bike pedals go round and round. It was a glorious thing.

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Les Mills RPM: the 45 minute cycling workout that helps you get stronger and faster…

After a handful of months of diligently making sure I got to the gym in time for class (and that I got to ride on “my bike”…), I knew that someday I would want to share this program with the world. I wanted everyone to feel as free as I would feel every time I was on the bike. I wanted everyone to know how strong their legs were to push pedals on a bike with a resistance knob cranked all the way up, and I wanted everyone to know that feeling of just having finished a class–no matter how the day went (or would go…), completing those 45 minutes on the bike and completing speed intervals and strength intervals and sweating their little hearts out was something to be proud of.

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So last year, after a long time of loving the program to bits and pieces, I finally became an instructor. I don’t want to talk about the certification process, but I want to share with you how I prepare for class.

…the pre-game: information you need to know…

Les Mills RPM is a pre-choreographed spin format. The instructor’s emphasis is first and foremost connecting with the class participants and coaching them to be inspired to work hard and maximize their workout while executing the choreography to perfection. Les Mills classes are generally coached in a “teach by doing” model, and I face my class participants. We all do the workout together. Every class I teach needs to have the same sequence of tracks, but I can bring in individual tracks from different quarterly releases of new music and choreography, so long as I have them.

…review choreography…

I spend time reviewing choreography I already know just to make sure that I have coaching cues down and going back through quarterly releases of RPM choreography that I have on my computer for great tracks to bring into my playlist. There are days where I bring masterclass videos on my iPad to the spin room at the gym and I practice (I’m a very kinesthetic learner), but when I am at home and nowhere near a spin bike, I “get ready to teach” by reviewing my coaching notes and the choreography as it’s shared on masterclass videos, and I spend a lot of time preparing my playlist to ave tracks that I can feel great about sharing with my classes–the ones at 5:30 AM AND the ones at 5:30 PM.

…get myself to the gym…

No matter what time I teach–5:30 AM or 5:30 PM–I need a good game plan. It usually begins the night before with making sure that my clothes are already laid out or packed in my gym bag, my bottle of preworkout is in the fridge and ready to go, I have a tube of Nuun electrolyte tabs to mix with water in that same water bottle as soon as class ends, and that my iPad is charging. On my drive to the gym, I listen through my playlist. (…and I may or may not say coaching cues out loud to myself on my drive to the gym. I’ll leave that for you to decide…)

…pre-gaming in the spin room…

As soon as I get to the gym, I plug in my iPad and my headset and make sure that the volume is good enough for my RPMers to get driven by the music and still be able to hear my coaching cues. People come into the room and I help them get their bikes set up.

…class begins and for 45 minutes we become gods amongst the humans…

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If you look like this during spin class, are you even doing it right?!?!?

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It will get hard. It will challenge you. It will change you. It will make you stronger, faster, fitter, and–best of all–freer! More confident! Happier! And more exhausted, sweaty, and closer to being hangry than you imagined possible…

…apres-class…

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What day is it? What time is it? How is it possible that this much sweat is coming off my body? Can I have some food already?!?!?!?

…and that’s it! I fill up my water bottle with water, plop in a nuun tablet, and rehydrate and get some good electrolyte replenishment going for my drive home–to my shower, my cats, my husband, my kitchen, and my bed (not necessarily in that order).

Do you take spin classes at your gym? 

What’s your plan for replenishing electrolytes after a hard workout?

What’s the earliest you’ve gotten up in the morning for a workout?

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