Swellin’ to the Jammiez: It Has to Move You
There is no ego in a good gym playlist.
Kevin Garnett may listen to Aloe Blacc while shilling overpriced headphones, but when he really needs an edge I guarantee he’s jamming something that is actually inspiring.
Fitness, much like music, is all about what drives you. Our goals and jams may vary but we are all here to better ourselves. And jam.
There are folks out there that claim they don’t need music to work out. Somehow, they can get their adrenaline pumping without a jam. Those people are serial killers. Do not trust them. For the rest of us, music is essential to getting in a good workout.
There is no pretension in a good gym playlist.
No one cares what you’re listening to when you push yourself, whether it be Necrophagist or Load-era Metallica. Unless, of course, you don’t use headphones and instead blast music from your phone speaker; in which case, nice jeans asshole.
There are only two things that matter when you get to the gym:
1) Your game plan
2) Your playlist
If you don’t have a game plan, you need to get one. If you don’t have a playlist, let me offer mine. The tunes below hit some kind of primal nerve in my skull, but it’s cool if you don’t jam on these jams. Ultimately, you must jam your own jam. It has to move you.
ROUND ONE: Light Cardio
I hate showing up to the gym and I really hate cardio. At this point in the day, I hate just about everything. I need something that can make me feel energized immediately. Bleed American has been pumping me up for the better part of 13 years now. If it ain’t broke…
ROUND TWO: Warmup Lifts
Like showing up to your job every Monday, this part is annoying but necessary. Use this time to build up a little (but not too much!) aggression. I like to start with the party with tunes heavy on the weedly-weedlies.
ROUND THREE: The Heavy Lifts
Things are starting to suck now. They suck a lot, actually. You need to focus and you need something mean to motivate you. I recommend these tunes:
ROUND FOUR: The Heaviest Lift
This is the hardest part of the day. Get absurdly angry at something and channel it all into making this one lift. Pull out something particularly nasty from your library and get at it. I prefer to wait until 1:26 of this track before going bananas.
ROUND FIVE: Assistance Work
Congratulations! You’ve worked your ass off! Now you have to do even more shit. Take deep breaths and work through the rest of the sets.
ROUND SIX: Stretch and Cool Down.
Your vision is blurry. You want to puke. Your left ear is screaming a high-pitched beeeeeeeeep. Now is the time to treat yourself. Put on a song that hits your maximum happy levels while you stretch out your aching muscles. For this selection, I choose “Ain’t it Fun” by Paramore. I’m not sure when they went full-on SherylCrowCore but I dig it.
Remember to drink water. We’ll see you next Sunday. Or tomorrow for regularly scheduled programming. Whatever. I’m done.
Swellin’ to the Jammiez is a weekly feature in which we share the music that matters when it really matters: your workout.