Whether you’re all about the music, the fast gains, or simply staying ahead of the curve – there’s a cycle program to suit you. We delve deep into the difference between our Les Mills cycle classes, and explain exactly why they should be the next programs you train to teach.

If you’ve never thought about teaching cycle, now is the time, because cycle is hot. Indoor cycling is cresting a wave of popularity right now, and the upsurge in cycle boutiques and home bike experiences such as Peloton is creating an opportunity for traditional clubs to capitalize on this demand. So what does this mean for us Instructors?

But let’s be honest, taking your first step into the cycle studio can be a little intimidating.
First off, it’s dark, and everybody sits really close to each other. There’s all the cycle regulars, with their special lycra clothing and funny little clip-cloppy shoes. Then there’s the bike itself to contend with – working out how to adjust the seat and raise or lower the handlebars while trying to appear as though you know exactly what you’re doing. And you have all of this to deal with before you’ve even broken a sweat! (Although you may well have started perspiring when it took you five goes to work out how your cleats fit into the pedals.)

So, when you’re already teaching at least one Les Mills program, why should you consider doing a module in cycle?

As RPM™ and LES MILLS SPRINT™ Program Director Glen Ostergaard explains, “Teaching a cycle program is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself as an Instructor. You can teach cycle every day, it gives you longevity in your career, and it will help you to develop key skills that will help you in your other programs as well.”

But cycle is just pedalling on a stationary bike right? So why three different programs, and why are the Les Mills cycle programs so unique?


If you’ve ever thought that RPM is just another playlist, think again. Glen says, “The magic of RPM is in getting the music right. There’s a feel and a flow to the songs and each song builds the journey of the workout. If you remove one song from the playlist, it changes the whole class. Sometimes I’ll build the whole release around one song.
The great thing about RPM is that you get all the benefits of a road workout – compressed into 45 minutes. You have to cycle on the road for a good few hours to get in a decent workout, whereas with RPM you get the intensity, the resistance, and therefore the fitness in a much shorter time. Plus you have the community feel of the class.”

Furthermore, RPM has been scientifically proven to deliver results. Described as a Cardio Peak Training workout, it is designed to include phases of both high intensity and steady state training. A 2015 study showed that eight weeks of doing RPM three times a week generated amazing results in participants: 11.8 percent increase in VO2 (the most discussed measure of cardio fitness) and a 7 percent reduction in (systolic) blood pressure. Body composition also improved considerably, with a 13.8 percent reduction in body fat and a 3 percent reduction in waist circumference. There was also a total cholesterol reduction of 13 per cent.


LES MILLS SPRINT is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on a bike, and is entirely different to RPM. Glen explains, “There are a lot of ways you can achieve HIIT – on a rowing machine, with weights, sprints… the bike is simply the vehicle we use in LES MILLS SPRINT to generate the HIIT effect.”

Like any HIIT program, LES MILLS SPRINT is all about the fast gains in fitness. Every single release is rigorously tested by Dr Jinger Gottschall and her team at Penn State to ensure it is delivering on the program promise to keep us working at between 85-100 percent of maximum heart rate for 20 minutes. This is the program that creates amazing shifts in fitness in record time – and the nature of the training means that your members will never plateau.


THE TRIP™ was the brainchild of Les Mills Jnr and his school friend Adam Lazarus, who were inspired to try something completely different to anything the company had done before. “We really wanted to create something that represented drastic innovation,” Les says. “We saw where the industry was going and where the innovation was, and we wanted to create something that was so far out – something that could make a Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, if they were in the room, sit up and notice.”

This program continues to push the boundaries of the traditional workout, and sets Les Mills at the forefront of fitness leadership. THE TRIP is guaranteed to keep evolving as technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated. As Marina Nola from Les Mills International says, “There isn’t anyone in the market doing what we’re doing…. we don’t really know where it’s going to go. We just know it’s going to keep getting better.”


Teaching a cycle class is a great way to build your connection with your members. Glen says, “You can really create a community feel when you teach the cycle programs. The nature of these classes is that everyone hangs around afterwards, has a stretch, has a chat, they go for coffee together. It’s a great way to build class numbers and create a real following for you as an Instructor.

There’s a different type of connection that you get with participants in the cycle programs. It’s a more intimate, intrinsic connection than you might get teaching other programs in a bigger studio.”


There’s no doubt about it – cycle is big and getting bigger, so let’s get ready for the opportunities that will be opening up in this space. You don’t want to miss out on this particular ride.

Click here to find a training in your area.

More in Tribe Talk