Remix Gets Ripped: Editor Steven Fernandez tries Les Mills RPM

Winter’s here but that doesn’t mean it’s all comfy pants and cheat eating, and we at Remix are determined to prevent the summer months from surprising us. Instead, we’re hitting up Les Mills for a regular dose of motivation via their international group training classes.

I’ll be honest with you; I hate cardio. I know keeping up cardio is super important during winter, especially to counteract the hearty meals and extra glasses of red wine, but I find it so boring. I’ve tried to switch up my routine with the treadmill and the cross trainer, but still dread doing cardio because it just bores me to death.

I wasn’t convinced I’d think differently about cardio when the crew at Les Mills encouraged me to try RPM, the indoor cycling workout lead by an instructor to a soundtrack. In fact, I went to my first class with the attitude that it wouldn’t be for me.

I’ll be honest with you again; I hate being wrong. Turns out though I was completely wrong about RPM. I attended my first class at 7:10am, which is one of several classes throughout the day over each day of the week. I’m a pretty busy guy, so having heaps of class options to choose from makes all the difference.

The moment I walked into the dedicated RPM studio I was welcomed by Les Mills Auckland City instructor Sarah, who was eager to help me adjust my seat and get me all set up for my first cycle. I loved how she was high-fiving her regular trainees and chatting with everyone. Anyone wary or worried about Les Mills being intimidating soon discovers that classes like RPM are filled with all types of people, boys and girls, young and old, of all fitness levels. There’s a pretty cool community spirit and clearly heaps of the people meet for these RPM sessions with Sarah.

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The class starts with a warm-up and the music really gets you into the spirit; Bruno Mars and Beyonce booming out over the room. The RPM class is designed like a terrain ride, with uphill climbs, fast declines and smooth plains. The trainer takes attendees through different exercises, gradually building up to a series of intensive drills that really get the heart rate up. It’s designed in sync with the music, so you feel at one with the crowd and the beat pushing yourself hard.

The 45-minute session went really fast and there certainly wasn’t any time to get bored. In fact, I recall myself cracking a smile underneath all the sweat, especially when Sarah would glance over and tell me to push harder. Despite her working harder than anyone, she had a great intuition about the vibe of the class and the individuals, which made her loudspeaker motivations really genuine. It wasn’t about her shouting generic ‘rah rah’ lines, but more about her motivating the individuals and the crowd based on the energy she picked up. The warm down at the end relaxes the heart rate and helps recovery before the end of the session.

The best part about RPM was how I felt afterwards. Obviously I felt satisfied, having pushed myself to the limit during the class. However, doing the 7:10am class also really woke me up, so I was ready to take on the day.

If you want to give Les Mills RPM or any of the other Les Mills classes a go, click here for more information.