Swellin’ to the Jammiez: Don’t Lose That Inertia!


Right now. Hey. It’s your tomorrow.
Right now. C’mon. It’s everything.

The Great Prophet Hagar’s wise words are ones we can apply to the amount of initiative we may (or may not have) when it comes to going to the gym. Let me rephrase that: get to the motherf**king gym! There’s a certain amount of inertia required by the gym-goer to do his or her thing, and it’s easy to lose. For casual gym-goers like myself, I need to make a habit out of it (and form a solid plan), or else I slip right out of the groove. Using the power of black metal and a few of my own exercise tips, you can achieve a body that’ll make you eligible to join Manowar.

There were portions of 2017 in which I was feeling more down than usual. Coincidentally I was also skipping my typical gym attendance. These two events are absolutely related, my friends: exercise and a positive state of mind. Work was getting me down, home life was slipping into the mundane, coincidentally I didn’t feel like leaving the house to go pick up heavy weights, and put them back down again. Lifting weights isn’t the funnest activity in the world, but it can be made bearable of course. You will need to pick some intense music to get you through the mundane, so load your Microsoft Zune up with The High Heat Licks Against Heaven, by Nidingir:

Really, lifting weights is amazingly boring. Unless you’re a competitive body-builder or one of them proud Crossfitters, you’ll agree that there are at least 666 more entertaining ways to spend your time. The Toilet ov Hell podcast makes a fantastic tool at the gym, but there’s only one of them a week. What are we going to do when that hour is up? Nidingir knows. This album contains the kind of upbeat intensity that helps motivate me to break down the muscles in my body, so that I can build them back up larger. “Black metal” is a tag listed on its Bandcamp profile, but I declare that it’s only partly black metal. This is uptempo stuff, with crystal clear production, AND a bass guitar… but it’s still quite evil. Cpt. Estrella Grasa’s gravely voice is unlike anything I’ve heard in extreme music before, and it sets a new bar for “pissed-off sounding”. These mid-paced, black metal-esque riffs features a hint of Ulcerate influence, just not enough to include them into the dissonant death metal sub-genre me thinks.

If my work shift ends and I set foot into my house, there will be no visit to the gym. That is why it is absolutely necessary for folks like me to pack gym clothes and take them to work. Here’s another instance of inertia, something I have to maintain upon leaving my workplace. When my shift is up, I change into gym attire (you know, camo shorts and a death metal band shirt), hop in my car, and head straight to the Palace of Swole (name of corporate chain redacted to protect my cool-ness). Would you all like to hear a band who’s just spectacular at maintaining a sense of inertia through its 7+ minute songs of spooky black metal? Then check out Inferno‘s latest album Gnosis Kardias (Of Transcension and Involution):

Evil by completely different standards, songs like  “Ω > 1 (Oscillation in Timelessness)” start out with some brutal and fast-paced black metal but twist and turn into mystical mini-journeys that end up being rather melodic and progressive, in a move that serves bands like Enslaved quite well. Grindcore doesn’t always cut it for me at the gym, because I can easily become aware of how much time is passing when the songs are shorter and more succinct. But when songs contort and evolve over a longer running time, it’s both gratifying and helpful when performing repetitive tasks. Try not to get lost in the psychedelic, head-banging second half of “The Innermost Dilusion” (starting at around the 4:00 mark). It’s easy to spend an hour at the gym when songs of this beauty can transform you to another place, an albeit spooky one.

Inertia is something that’s inversely easy to lose as it is difficult to gain. One of the things that can prevent me from getting my butt to the gym is setting too high of goals. There is a reason that some folks require a person traineral to get moving, and that reason is because we might think it’ll take forever to get into shape. But this goal of getting into our desired shape is easier to attain if one employs a smaller time-frame when setting goals. For instance, if I ever lose my inertia and go for a long stretch of time without visiting the gym (say a month or more), the thought of getting back to my ideal weight is too intimidating and I might go back to playing video games on the couch. The best way to combat this train of thought is to set a less lofty goal, like: after a week of consistent exercising, I want to be able to start each set with 10 more pounds than I did the week prior. This short term goal, when repeated each week, leads to long-term results; it’s a good way of tricking the brain into becoming motivated.

I really don’t know how to relate this particular concept to any music, so here’s just a random recommendation. Remember when the Toilet ov Hell premiered “Dark Thunder Sky” from Lava Invocator‘s 2017 album Mörk? Turns out this album not only satisfies the trend of sort-of black metal I’ve been employing in this article, it’s also excellent. Let’s agree that somehow listening to songs like “Dark Thunder Sky”, with its cool orchestrations and beautiful guitar solo, improves our drive to lift weights:

Pick your exercise-related goals wisely. Plan them in a way that makes them easy to accomplish, as those little victories are much more important than what you accomplish over longer stretches of time. Bring some great music to the gym with you, like Nidingir, Inferno, and Lava Invocator: it’ll keep you pushing through the boring routine. Go to the gym RIGHT NOW, because the longer you stave it off the greater chance you have at being distracted by something else. And finally, always be mindful that it’s easier for a body in motion to stay moving, than it is for a resting body to start moving… that’s a concept we know as inertia.

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