Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anatomy of an RPM class

I've just taught RPM in the CBD and thought that it might be fun to share what my 45 minutes is like up on stage. My class is at 12.15pm. Everyone has a different style of teaching, I would say that I'm a bit of a technician, rather than perky (I save that for Step!). The serious hat goes on and I'm all about everyone getting the best results with the best technique.

12.00pm: Arrive at Fitness First CBD, scan in and head straight to the studio and turn on the lights. Come back into the office section, grab the microphone and run into Libby from Perth who is a great mate of Shar's - we have a great chat and I give her instructions to say "hi" to Shar for me.
12.05pm: Have a "pre class piddle" (sorry if TMI) and then go and meet and greet my participants - check their bike set ups, see how they're going. Typically I get between 36 and 42 people in class (42 is a full class). Test microphone, set up bike, put on shoes and get ready to rumble.
12.15pm: Class starts - I introduce myself to the class, explain that participants need to work at a level that feels good to them and talk about perceived exertion, pedalling technique and position on the bike. I don't want to sound too chatty, but I need to get all of the info across and still be entertaining. Choose "Crabbuckit" for the first track, explaining my initiation into the world of keeping fish. Get a few laughs.

Track 2 begins and then I am coaching 'connection' through the pedal stroke and a strengthening of commitment towards their ride and their fitness. Encourage them through 3 x 30 seconds of gradually increasing effort and model seated and standing climb towards the end.

I choose Track 3 from the newest release, because I like the music and I really enjoy coaching this track. There are 4 hills in the track and I coach a slow steady build up to each peak, getting more intense each time. I find that it's less intimidating for everyone and that all of a sudden they get to the end and they're really tired.

Changed up Track 4 and chose a really trancy piece and got them to focus on a positive affirmation during the class to take withthem into Track Five. My example was "I ride strong" - I don't say too much during this type of track, rather I like to let the music speak for itself.

Track Five and we're onto 5 intervals at 100% effort. I tell the class that we're taking work in a 3 to 2 ratio and the recoveries are long, so if they're to ride strong they really have to smack it. Build nicely into a preparatory phase and then I tell them "two full turns" and WHAM! I'm at 100% max effort like that - two attacks and then sliding forward into the Aeroracing position and hitting my quads big time. Everything is stinging and I'm gasping for air like Jabba the Hutt. (aarh),. Thank goodness for recovery! I'm so fatigued, I just squeak out "back it off and recover!" Four more to go! Tell yourself "I ride strong," I yell - smack out 100% in the next two intervals, I'm kicking butt and my class are coming home strong too. Get through number 4 and then I ask the class if they're ready to bring it..." YEAH!!!!! " is the response. Give it everything I have and start feeling nauseous. Make a mental note to bring my big red bucket next time. You never know when you're going to need to throw up.

Track Six - after Track Five being such a gutser, I focus on recovery and encourage the class to "find the edge" of the resistance. I've chosen really short bursts of speed in this track rather than a lot of cadence work. Fifteen seconds to go as fast as you can with good resistance - class really went for it. "Well done team!" I say, "nice effort!" Next interval is 40 seconds and this time I get the class to find their 'push point' of resistance and coach a build up from 85% to 100% intensity over 45 seconds. On recovery, their legs all slow to half pace. I'm happy, as it is telling me that the class are putting enough resistance on, riding with control and staying safe.

Track Seven - one for the climbers definitely. Coached 4 massive hills and two seated attacks in between. Encouraged to go to max and pin pointed the recoveries so the class could gauge their effort. Let it go completely during 30 seconds seated under max load. Heart pumping, lungs and legs on fire, attack until the end and go out hard and strong...oooh yeah!

Track Eight and Nine: Congratulate class on a job well done and lead them through the cool down and stretches, explaining the purpose of each stretch and the correct position. Have a chat to them after class and mop up all the sweat I've accumulated around the bike.

Go have a shower and lament that I didn't bring fresh socks. I reckon I must have sweated a cup of fluid into each side..yuck!

Meet hubby for lunch - we have Thai Beef and Noodle salads on the waterfront at a restaurant right on the river and share a bit of cheesecake for dessert (that softened me up for signing my life away on this mortage) - what better time to time some post workout carbs hee hee.


ss2306 said...

Sounds like "SURGE" was warranted for that one!

Shar said...

Nice post Liz.

I knew Libby couldn't help herself!! always on the GF bandwagon even when on a break from Perth and especially if it involves Fitness First!

What a small world, could have been anyones class, could have been a different club, but it was yours and you know me, shes my good friend......... blah blah etc etc......
Its things like this I start analysing........ weird!

Shar x

Esme said...

I love RPM and have really missed it since my 'back problem'. I find you can really improve over a short time if you put you mind to it.

My fav hill climb is Going Insane - Warp Bros RPM 30, I also have it on my weights playlist. It's so funny, I remember all the 'moves' in my head!!!!

Can't wait to be given the ok to go back to it!!! Playing that song right now as you reminded me of it and haven't heard it for ages! Erika

P.S. the word verification for this comment was painess - mmm could be what you get after RPM?