If you’re anything like me, you have hundreds, if not thousands of songs on your iPod. What a great little invention, that iPod (or any MP3 player). I think about the technology every so often and try not to take it for granted. Problem is that I get sick of my songs all the time, especially when working out.
Some people like quiet and solitude while exercising, especially when running, and opt not to listen to music. Others find music a crucial complement to exercise and have a tough time exercising without it. I am of the latter camp. I love to listen to great tunes when I exercise. Anytime I’m in the gym, out on my bike, or out for a run, I make sure I have the iPod charged up and ready to last me through the workout. The only time I really don’t have the tunes is when I swim. Maybe one day I’ll have one of those waterproof iPod cases, but for now, focusing on breathing and proper form is enough for me in the pool! Also, every once in a while, I’ll go for a run sans iPod. Sometimes I just feel like I need to turn down the volume in my life, chill out, and just run.
All that being said, I’m constantly looking for new songs to download and put on the iPod for a good workout. I’m extremely motivated to work out and it’s part of my everyday life, but I love having good tunes for that extra motivation and to be extra energized. Everyone has his or her preference of workout music – some like hardcore rock or rap, some like instrumentals or classical music, and some people will just listen to anything as long as it’s music.
You’ll find many genres of music on my workout play list, but the one thing that most of the songs have in common is a rhythm. Whether it’s rap, hard rock, lighter rock, punk, or reggae, I like my songs to have a rhythm to move to, especially when running. I also tend to like songs that have a lot of ups and downs that can synchronize nicely with a run, bike, or even a weight training circuit. Ever take a spin class? Then you know what I’m talking about. The spin instructors at my former gym loved to play songs with a lot of ups and downs, and they designed their spin intervals around them. It was awesome. It’s been a year since I left that gym, and I still hear certain songs that remind me of 5:00 AM spin classes where everyone was firing on all cylinders.
Where do I find new music? By far, the best gift I’ve gotten in the past few years is my Sirius Satellite Radio. I’m in the car a decent amount and so I enjoy good music. Here in New Jersey, the New York and Philadelphia stations play pretty much the same songs over and over again, so listening to “terrestrial” radio gets very old very quickly. With Sirius, I have over 100 channels to choose from, and they’re always playing new and different tunes. I tend to listen to some of the more progressive stations because they play a lot of new alternative and Indie music that I’ve never heard before. If there’s a band or song I like, I’ll write it down when I get to a stop light. I keep a small pad and pen in my car just for this. Then, I’ll usually go look up the band at AllMusic.com and check them out and check out other, similar artists. AllMusic is a fun site that you can get lost on very easily if you like music.
Below is a small sampling of what I’ve been listening to lately on my iPod. I like the songs for various reasons. For working out, I’m not as concerned with lyrics as I am with rhythm and energy. Some of my songs are new and at least three are not so new, but they’re all pretty cool. Check them out.
“Kids” by MGMT
MGMT is a band that formed at a Connecticut university about five years ago and they produce a lot of catchy pop rock with a little alternative and electronic twist to most songs. “Kids” is a single from their album Oracular Spectacular, released in 2008. The hook in this song will stay in your head all day long (in a good way).
“Ready for the Floor” by Hot Chip
Hot Chip is a Brit band known for their groovy pop rock. This song is a little different and not just an exercise song, but great for driving too. “Ready for the Floor” is a single off of their 2008 album Made for the Dark. The opening is a little electronic, so stick it out and give it a chance.
“Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills” by Grinspoon
Grinspoon hail from Australia and have been making good music for over a decade now. Their music has been called heavy metal, punk, and grunge. To me, this jam is more for an intense weight training circuit or running interval circuit.
“Paris” by Friendly Fires
Friendly Fires are another British band that produce fun, upbeat music similar to Hot Chip. “Paris” is the single that put them on the map and got them their first big record deal. This band is new to me, so I look forward to checking out more of their music from their self-titled album from 2008.
“Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard
“Ocean Avenue” is one of those up-and-down songs you’ll hear in spin class. I still remember the spin instructor who used to play this all the time, and the song still gets me fired up to run or pedal a little faster. The Jacksonville, FL-born and SoCal-based band has gone through its own ups and downs in recent years and I haven’t heard any of their more recent songs, but this one has a permanent place on my iPod.
There you have it. Five songs that get me fired up at 5:30 in the morning.
What are your go-to songs for a workout boost?
Also, need an iPod? Amazon has slightly discounted ones and you don’t pay taxes or shipping. I just got a new 120 GB iPod Classic for 12% off to replace the one I shattered when I was running and fell on the ice and landed right on my iPod that was in my pocket! I’ll never even come close to filling it up, but I guess that extra space is great for movies for long flights. Note: I don’t make any money by linking to Amazon; I just like sharing a good deal when I find one!