“Welcome to Les Mills RPM. My name is Holly, and I’ll be guiding you through your workout today!”

It’s been a bit of a long road…

But after taking my initial training module in July,
Then waiting for gym-specific training in September,
And waiting our turn to Shadow and Team Teach,
Going away for two weeks,
And returning to unexpectedly learn that I could clear RIGHT AWAY (due to some scheduling changes at the gym)…

I’m a Les Mills certified, Fitness First-approved RPM Indoor Cycling Instructor!

Post Spin

Relaxing Stretching after today’s final Clearance Exam!

This has been a fun side project for the last few months.  I’ve been challenged in new ways athletically, learned a bit more about how I hold and move my body, and figured out how to adapt “run coach” to “indoor cycling coach”.  The training journey has been fun, but I’m happy to be bringing it to a close and continue my journey, learning and growing with my own classes.  Thanks to a series of fortunate events, it’s highly likely that the opportunity will come sooner, rather than later – I’ll be taking on my first classes starting in January!

So Fitness First members in Singapore who work/live/play/gym downtown – stay tuned, because I’ll be coming to location near you in just a few weeks!  I’ll share the details once everything is officially official.

I am planning to write a post reflecting on this training journey I’ve been on for the last several months – but for now, I’m exhausted.  In addition to standard holiday preparations, it’s been an exciting but busy few weeks for Run With Holly.  So I’m celebrating my new “Instructor” status by treating myself to a (relatively) early bedtime.  And heck, the weather is so beautifully rainy and cool tonight, we might even open the windows in lieu of using the air conditioning (don’t tell the bad guys)!!

What was the last project you embarked upon that really taught you something (or several somethings) about yourself?

My friends who Indoor Cycle: What is the #1, most important, not-to-miss quality that YOU think an instructor should possess?

31 thoughts on ““Welcome to Les Mills RPM. My name is Holly, and I’ll be guiding you through your workout today!”

  1. Jean

    Congratulations, Holly! That’s awesome!

    Is grad school a project? Because I’ve been learning some things. For example, I’ve learned that I COULD in fact eat pizza for dinner every single night without getting sick of it. That’s something.

    I’ve found that for me, good music and variety make for a great spin experience. I had one teacher who would do the same thing over and over again (hills for, like, 10 minutes followed by jumping sprint things for another 10, repeat ad nauseam) and it was sort of agony. I like not knowing what comes next.

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Grad school is one of the most draining projects (second only to parenthood, maybe?) and rewarding journeys you can take. And I definitely felt that way about Chipotle burrito bowls during grad school…

      Because RPM is a licensed program, we are somewhat restricted in the music we use – but the choices are generally pretty good. We also must follow the same GENERAL class order (sprint/climb/sprint/climb), but the details can change every class. So I suppose I’m hitting somewhere in the middle on that one. That being said, now that I’m finished training, I’m REALLY pumped to learn some new songs (I was training on the same set, and trust me, they WERE getting boring!) to bring to my classes.

      Reply
  2. Kristen L

    Congratulations Holly!! What a fun and exciting adventure it has been! I hope you enjoy indoor cycling coaching as much as run coaching. 🙂 For me, I have enjoyed when coaches remind you to think about what the terrain might be like outdoors compared to what’s going on in the class.

    One thing that I have worked on that taught me a lot about myself, was actually teaching a seminar class this quarter. It was good practice for me teaching some basic topics and doing more public speaking!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Mmmm…I love them both differently? But I think coaching runners will always be more rewarding in terms of watching their progress: Running longer distances, running for more minutes, running the same distance faster – all are easily measurable milestones that people aim for and achieve. In indoor cycling, measurement of progress is a bit more subjective and harder to “see” – both for me, and for the participants. I do enjoy the outdoor imagery – trying to work some more into my classes when I can!

      I think any good teacher is taught by teaching… (if that makes sense!)

      Reply
  3. Amy

    YAY for you! I want to come and take your class. A good spin instructor really, REALLY makes a class worth it. I took a 6 am one 3x a week with a super young, bubbly girl who blasted teeny bop music for a semester (it was at the university gym) so I have learned to appreciate ‘real’ instructors! So happy for you!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Well, teeny bop music isn’t my style. Although neither is some of the more hardcore spin music. But I’m adjusting! In fact, I’ve been into several Swedish House Mafia tunes for cycling lately – and when my husband got home from work to find me jamming to one of them, his first comment was, “Since when do YOU listen to Swedish House Mafia???” As I said – training has pushed my boundaries in lots of unexpected ways!

      Reply
  4. Elf Suzanne

    I love it when the instructor gives you that little extra encouragement as you get up to the top of the hill! Wish I lived in Singapore to take your class! Maybe a virtual class sometime! Merry Christmas fellow elf!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Suzanne!!!!! Thanks for stopping by (sorry about the comment moderation – it only happens the first time, and helps me reduce spam on the blog!)!

      Trust me – that encouragement at the top of the hill is my specialty – it’s one thing that translated VERY easily from run coaching! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Alyssa

    Congrats! I love Les Mills classes so much! I used to be obsessed with this one spin instructor. She was really loud, in a great way, like yelling at us and motivating people and generally enthusiastic but not in that annoyingly peppy way. But what really made me love her was the music choices. She always had an awesome playlist, always mixed it up, and her classes kicked my ass but I loved them. She would even do like holiday themed songs for xmas or Halloween, or 80s week, and stuff like that. When Eric wanted to move, I was like “but I really love this spin class!”. No joke. So I recommend doing that stuff! Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      I think that, many years ago, I may have been annoyingly peppy. But this days, I try to moderate my pep to spread it out throughout the day. Also, my husband is a pretty steady person and has helped level me out a little bit. 🙂 So I’m aiming for loud and enthusiastic, without being saccharine, fake, or nauseating. I suppose my students will let me know what they think!!

      One day, I DREAM of being the instructor about whom people say, “But I don’t want to move, because I love her spin class!” Aspirations….

      Reply
  6. Meagan

    Congratulations!! I wish I could fly to Singapore and take a spin class with you, but that would be an awfully expensive class. I can’t wait to hear about your first solo class!

    Having the windows open on a cool evening sounds nice. I love sleeping with the windows open on cool/breezy fall and spring days.

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Hahahah! Indeed it would be! But it would be fun. Sounds like there’s quite a bit of interest in that – maybe we could put together a group!

      Or…maybe YOU all meet in one place in the US, then I’ll just fly over and teach a class!! YES. Now we just need a “we’re not super famous, but we are genuine, realistic, enthusiastic people who just enjoy blogging about health and fitness” conference. Suggestions? Thoughts??

      Reply
      1. Karen@ La Chanson de Ma Vie

        Instead of a blogger conference, I think we should all meet up at a stage race and run pretty trails (like TransRockies). Stage races always sound like a fantastic running summer camp! 🙂

        I bet you’re a great spin instructor! I don’t think I could do that! I’d be more the “are you seriously that much of a wussie?” kind of instructor. Tough love, baby. Not everybody responds to that kind of support. hehe.

        Reply
        1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

          The hardest balance to find as an instructor is the best way to push those who really want to push – but also to include those who aren’t quite as strong, but still benefit from coming in and spinning on the bike for an hour. This is also tied to ‘reading’ a class – if I teach in a class regularly, I start to know the level. But walking into a cover, or a brand new class, can be a bit scary: I have just a few minutes to assess the level, the energy, and what they’ll respond to best.

          That being said, I’m lucky to work in/with a chain of gyms that have lots of locations on the island, and a variety of instructors with different styles. Thus, I’m free to be myself, and develop my own coaching personality – and folks can decide whether or not my coaching meshes with their cycling preferences. Not every instructor/patron match works well – and that’s OK.

          And YES – stage race, or Ragnar, or SOMETHING. And I’m actually pretty serious about this. I would make a trip back to the US for this. Truly!

          Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      So easy to get distracted by the call of the trails! Not every kind of cross-training is right for everyone – but I really do think that spinning helped take the place of interval running workouts in my most recent marathon training cycle.

      Reply
  7. Fifi

    Dear Holly, I’m from Singapore and wish to embark on the same journey to becoming a certified RPM instructor as well! Haven’t had any luck yet though! From your experience, what would be the best way to go about getting a gym’s endorsement? Appreciate any advice that you have to share 🙂

    Reply

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