I trained on RPM 7 and my Trainer was Glen Ostergaard! At that stage we were already dating. I was teaching Body Circuit at the time, so I knew how to teach, but my main memory of Initial Training was the Race of Truth and how hardcore it was. As a former cyclist, I was used to pushing myself, but the Race of Truth definitely kept me honest.
I love RPM because of the connection to the music, and most importantly, the connection to the people. I’m all about building a sense of community and I love taking people through the journey of the workout, bringing out the highs and lows of the music.
What’s my favorite track? Glen and I just returned from doing a workshop in Sydney to celebrate RPM 100, where I presented at a ‘best of’ class. I taught one of my favorite tracks – ‘Castle on the Hill’ by Ed Sheeran, from RPM 76, Track 4. The reason I love that track is the emotion of the song and the meaning of the lyrics. At the time that release came out, I was pregnant with Ella, so going through a tough time physically. We were also trying to sell a house, so it was very stressful. That song reminds me of a particular moment in my life, and it’s always had a special place in my heart. Another favorite is ‘Voodoo People’ from RPM 43, just because the music is banging!
A special moment for me was when I was pregnant with my first child. I was lucky enough to be able to present on RPM 56 and I loved being able to role model that you can still exercise safely while pregnant. And then coming back from pregnancy, it was great to show that you don’t have to bounce back straight away. A lot of celebrities today seem to give birth one minute and then the next they’re super thin. I think it’s important to role model a safe return to fitness. And now in the next stage of my life heading towards perimenopause, I want to show that women can continue to be strong and fit as we move into the next phase of our journey.
My two favorite Instructors are Glen Ostergaard and Lee Smith. Lee Smith is amazing, and Glen is… pretty good! They’re very different in the way they teach. Lee Smith comes from a coaching, motivational place. I love the language he uses – he’s a real wordsmith. And then I love the physicality that Glen brings to the program and the way he interprets the music, brings it to life. But mostly he inspires me by the way he moves and how hard he works.
In 2003 I was invited to move to New Zealand to become Program Director for RPM. My background was in professional cycling and it was incredible to be able to turn my sport into a career. Led by gut instinct, I moved from Canada to Auckland in 2004, and it profoundly impacted my life in the most positive way. I started on Release 28, and I vividly remember teaching my ever first class. It was essentially an audition for the role and I was a nervous wreck because of the people in the room: Phillip and Jackie Mills, Glen and Sarah Ostergaard, Steve Renata, Susan Renata, plus lots of other staff from Les Mills International.
I’ve got many favorite releases but a few standouts are: RPM 29 — filmed in a bike shop, RPM 39 — global filming event, and RPM 67 — the release I retired from presenting on. In Release 67 I shared the stage with who I believe was the dream team at the time: Glen, Sarah, and Lee [Smith]. I truly think it was a masterful blend of authenticity, athleticism, coaching and connection. I literally had tears in my eyes by the end.
Who are my favorite presenters? This is a tough one! Historically, Sarah O, Lee Smith, Chris Richardson, and Meg Chalker. Currently, Glen O, Dee Rowell, and Amy Lu. There are a few great presenters who have never presented on an RPM Masterclass but who I think are great at delivering the program, one of these being Matt Thraxton.
My advice to new Instructors coming into the program is:
- You don't have to be a seasoned cyclist, but I do believe riding outside helps bring a certain authenticity to the program.
- Be YOU! Watch as many different presenters as you can to look at different styles and allow them to influence how you teach/coach but never try to be someone else!
- Don't be afraid of silence. Embrace the moments where you don't have to say anything. Find times where you can allow the music to speak for itself. RPM is a wonderful musical journey.
RPM has helped me develop global friendships I still have today. Being a part of the Les Mills family led to my meeting my wife and having a son, the best gift ever! I still teach the program every week. Making the choice to join Les Mills was the best 'unknown' decision I ever made.
I love the ride. Always have. I was part of the coaching staff for the Australian BMX team for the 3 years leading into the Beijing Olympics. I love high-performance sport and so to be able to combine the sport of cycling, my love of music, language and of coaching, meant teaching RPM was the perfect fit for me.
Dan McDonogh was the main reason I decided to become an Instructor. I was shown a DVD of him teaching RPM before I knew what it really was, and that lit a fire in me. I trained on 31 and Michelle Bridges (Aussie ‘Biggest Loser’ host fame) and Jako Misic were my trainers. I pushed back a bit (because I was a know-it-all cyclist) and Jako pulled me aside and said: “You’ll be fine so just do as we suggest and when you’re certified, you can get out there and change the world…” He put me in my place, but I also did get out there and help influence the world of RPM.
What’s my favorite release? I remember being in Auckland for the filming of Release 58. I wasn’t presenting but I attended the last rehearsal class before filming day and Glen taught Track 7, ‘Never Give Up’. What Glen did that day will stay with me forever. There weren’t any cameras, it was just the 50 or so participants, but it was incredible.
I think the reason the program has longevity is because it has broad appeal. It’s achievable. It’s accommodating. The bike gives people autonomy over their workout and allows them to grow their confidence without the barriers around “I look like I’m doing this wrong”.
My advice to new Instructors is to nail the basics until you feel like you’ve plateaued, then develop yourself. Understand your natural strengths and amplify them. At the same time, dedicate energy to what you need to improve. Talent is only seen with hard work.
RPM has done so much for me. I had some amazing mentors who encouraged me to bring my strengths to the RPM world — Glen, Sarah, Dan McDonogh, Pete Manuel, Kylie Gates, Jackie and Phillip, Dan Cohen, just to name a few. They helped me to be myself, but always aim to drop something new into the coaching or language to help the program evolve. I don’t think I was ever “the best” at RPM, but I always tried my hardest. It takes hard work, self-belief, confidence, and an ability to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Jackie Mills taught me that.
RPM was my first Les Mills program, and I trained on Release 14.
It’s a special program. It’s hard to put into words. Connection is amplified in RPM because you’re so close together, and it creates an environment where, as the Instructor, you really see people — you take them on a journey and help them achieve things they thought were beyond their capability.
The magic occurs when everyone is feeling the vibe and are 100 percent in the moment. You can escape the outside world and fill your tank with the RPM feeling. I love the inclusivity of the program – how it allows everyone to grow at their own pace. No matter your age, the bike allows you to push your limits without breaking down the body. You can still chase your goals. It’s limitless and I love that. Most of all, you get to create a sense of community.
Going way back, my favorite track is RPM 12, Track 6, ‘Silence’ by Delerium. There’s an epic musical build at the end into a Climb, and the song is timeless. RPM 49 was fire – Track 3 ‘Russian Roulette’, Track 5 ‘Propane Nightmares’, and Track 7 ‘Blade’. It’s got those big beat songs mixed in with lyrics that you can really hook into. I was fortunate enough to watch RPM 100 being filmed and the selection of music and tracks was electric!
A special moment was getting my first class on the timetable at Les Mills Christchurch. It was competitive and you had to wait your turn. My goal was to have a waiting list like the best of the best. To create an experience that made people not want to miss out — not just one time but week after week. That's been a constant expectation I've placed on myself: to create an experience that leaves people feeling better than when they walked in the door.
Who are my favorite Instructors? Mike McSweeney, Glen O, Jean Scott, Chris Richardson, Mid Thomas, Bevan James Eyles, Scott Agnew, Lisa Finnerty, Brent Findlay, Josh Berrier, Dee Rowell… So many amazing Instructors!
Thank you to the team at Les Mills for this amazing program that has created so much joy in lives across the globe. I’m forever grateful and I will be riding forever.
I started my journey 16 years ago at a licensee club in Wellington, New Zealand. The first releases I was given to learn by the Head Trainer were RPM 28 and 29. Coming from a cycling and triathlon background, I was sceptical, at first but soon fell in love with not only the training, but also the music.
While I’ve had the opportunity to share many incredible experiences over the past 16 years, for me the true magic of the program is in the deep connection and bonds you form with other Instructors and participants. Each playlist has a collection of memories that beautifully captures shared moments in time. What lights up the program for me is the participants. That’s what makes RPM incredible, knowing the collective power we have to share this intense passion with the world. Each time I ride it’s never just me, it’s always us, and I honor those connections.
Special thanks go to Glen Ostergaard for his dedication and commitment to deliver the best possible classes and fitness experiences, and for continuing to develop the program and its people. Being part of the rich historical tapestry that is RPM, especially celebrating RPM 100, is an immense honor and one that continues to motivate and inspire me as we work to motivate and inspire the next generation of RPM legends. Our focus now shifts to the next 100 releases and beyond and while I can’t say I’ll be leading a class in 25 years’ time I know, thanks to RPM, I’ll likely still be participating.
I started teaching on RPM 30. My Trainer was Wendy Elphinstone, and I actually didn’t initially pass Initial Training because I couldn’t ride on the beat! That “withheld” result made me super determined to master the program.
The initial reason I fell in love with RPM was because it was on a bike and the music is awesome. While my love for cycling and music hasn’t changed, my why has evolved to be around serving and growing our fitness community. I love the consistency and reliability of the program; it’s been a constant in my life no matter what.
I love the big Track 5s for their energy and the real outdoor riding fitness benefits they offer. RPM 69 sticks in my mind as it was my first opportunity to ride a solo filming class with Glen and Sarah and it introduced me to Track 4, ‘White Lines’ by Six60. Still one of my favorite songs.
In terms of Instructors, I love Glen O for the endless inspiration and application of the craft, Sarah O for her warmth and connection, Dan M for his authenticity, Lee Smith for fracturing and challenging how we think as Instructors, Dee Rowell for her humble brilliance, and Khiran Huston for being a combination of all the previous.
My advice to new teachers is to use the program structure to allow your own personality and strengths to shine through as an Instructor. Remember: you don’t need to be the best rider or the best coach. Just show your passion and how much it means to you and people will buy in and be alongside you for the ride.
I trained on release 47 and my Trainer was Dallas Blacklaw. It was my third program for Les Mills so I could relax a bit and fully immerse myself in how wonderful Initial Training is. I enjoyed being able to sit in the training a bit more confidently and then to be trained by Dallas was the most amazing experience. He’s such a caring, enthusiastic, no-frills, down-to-earth, funny Trainer and the whole thing was awesome. The way Dallas spoke about RPM and taught it made me really fall in love with the program.
I love RPM for several reasons. Number one is the emotion I feel in each class. Whether I start the class feeling happy, or sad, or tired, there’s always something I can anchor to that will help me to really feel those emotions or turn them around. I love being able to sit with myself and feel all the things, and I think that comes from the amazing music, plus the intensity and rawness of the workout. Being in a darkened room just adds to that.
From a teaching perspective, I love being able to give that experience to people. I love connecting with people and giving them those feelings, ‘cause I know how amazing it is to feel it myself. I love being able to create a journey for my riders – emotional, musical and physical – and I don’t think you get that in many other programs.
What's my favorite release? RPM 50 stands out for me – I loved all the presenters on the Masterclass and connected to the fun and intensity. I was new in my Instructor journey, so it had a big effect on me. More recently, I love RPM 98. Track 6 in particular is such a dream song and to be able to present it on the Masterclass meant a lot to me. And I have so many favorite Instructors. Chris Richardson, Glen and Sarah, Lee Smith… Dallas always.
RPM has got me through a lot of hard times. It helped me a lot through my mental health journey, whether it was connecting with people in the room or just sitting on the bike by myself and immersing myself in the workout. Being able to feel all my feelings and let all my emotions out has been therapeutic for me in some really hard times. It definitely got me through a couple of challenging years.
What’s my advice to new Instructors? Teach the program with passion. Find out why you love the program so much. For me, it’s the emotion that comes out, and the connection, so teach from that space. If you can find out why you love RPM and teach from that place, that’s going to be really special for your classes.
I’ve had so many incredible moments teaching RPM – whether that’s at club level, doing marathon RPM classes, or big events on a global stage. But it all comes down to connecting with the people in front of you and going through the musical journey with them.