Some days, I want to stay in bed.
I don't want to get up and deal with life.
I'd rather sulk to the kitchen, get a tub of ice cream, and crawl back under my blankets and throw myself a damn pity party while watching old Friends reruns.
I have known the classical music industry much better than the pop music scene. I barely listen to pop music, but for Christmas songs, I make a huge exception.
Growing up, I admired music by multiple Black artists and music groups from various genres and eras such as the 1970's and 1980's. At first, my brother was the one who got me interested in genres like hip-hop and rap, because he would constantly play songs by T-Pain, Kanye West, and Rihanna in the car and at home in his bedroom. He and I would dance and sing along to some of their tunes, which created very special childhood memories. Over time, I have also branched out into other music genres, groups and artists like Billie Holiday, Percy Sledge, Sister Sledge, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Technotronic. I would download these songs and listen to them repetitively on YouTube or Apple Music during any time of the day or night. Watching several television sitcoms such as The Cosby Show (one of my favourites!), The Jeffersons, Good Times, That's So Raven, Smart Guy and Sister, Sister during my elementary school years definitely gave me some extra inspiration to explore music made by Black artists.
I don't really do any special workouts other than walking. I don't usually listen to music while walking because I'm usually walking with someone or for safety reasons. My other minimal workout activities [dance tutorials or ab area exercises], I will likely listen to music.
Like everyone else hitting the gym whether it be at home or the limited training at what little gyms that are open. I keep tabs on the latest developing science that would unearth my superhero abilities. This is in preparation when I'm bitten by that special radioactive spider with my name on it. Huh? What? I know I’m not the only one making sure I’m in tip top shape to welcome their new powers…….ummm ok, (clears throat) moving on. From every fitness beginner to the nuttiest of fitness nuts, we need that motivational movie soundtrack we call our workout playlist. In the Multi-Verse of Madness realm of crazy, when you’re working out in your head it’s a movie bent on defeating the antagonist called the bulge. My playlist is kind of a like the Avengers, many different styles, abilities, and strengths joining together to serve one goal. And that is to save the world or universe. This world or universe happens to be that layer of fat that keeps taunting you like you’re in the front row of a stand-up comedians’ set. The music is primarily Hip-Hop with pop, rock, alternative metal, dancehall, and house sprinkled here and there.
As we go to work out in the gym, people wonder how they need to move forward and plan not be distracted by other things outside of their physical activities. For me, I usually work out at the gym with my iPod when I get out of the house and listen to various artists from iTunes. But when I do work out at home, I switch from an iPod to my phone, an iPad, or a preference of both devices. Not only I use iTunes from both my iPod and iPad, but I also use Spotify or YouTube where I have access to listen to a wide arrangement of songs, various genres, and different singers, groups, or orchestras from the past or present that keeps me moving forward. So, here is a selected list of artists, groups, or musicals that I usually listen when going out in the gym or work out at or around home.
A workout Playlist is a story composed of different kinds of notes. Each genre is used to inspire a special kind of feeling or mentality. The end to each album is a cliffhanger until the next is released, just like a book series by a popular author. Working out has it’s genres too. Weight lifting, running, dancing, sit- ups, and resistance training are all forms of workout genres. The best companion to a workout is a good playlist. Music to match and intensify the mood of each routine. It sets the tempo for each rep and routine as a whole. Working out does not have to be hard to get the job done, nor does it only result in a toned body. If you think it over, every time you workout you’re entering a different state of mind that allows for emotional release and clarity. I workout to release emotions and energies I cannot express or release consistently in my day-to-day, but I also do it for the fun of it.When I workout I settle into a mentality geared towards what I am trying to accomplish.For every mood there is music to match it. Your mind clears under the pressure of the weights, and while keeping track of the number of reps left to complete. With the right song that focus intensifies. On the perfect day, I search for the songs that tell the story of my day and my present energy.First, there is the warm up song that makes you feel strong and energized. A high volume beat with lyrics that push you to push yourself. I start with Lose yourself by eminem and follow it with DMX X Gon Give It to ya. To bring out my hype beast. That mentality that says, “ I can handle more”. Then, there is the coasting song that transitions your internal energy from a building light to a bursting energy. The song that tells you the burn is just starting, but you but you like it. That is where you enter that mentality that pain is good because pain means progress. So, I play some saucey songs like Pelt by skinny fabulous and mix it up with Fire by Jack garratt.Next, is the reliever that lets you know you pushed yourself to your limits, now the cool off is coming and you can slow your pace. The mood changes to a song that ebbs and flows, like your muscle strength in your limbs when your endurance is beginning to fail. So, I play Fight Song by Rachel Platten next. It's a little sappy and sentimental, but also reassuring to me that a goal was accomplished, and that I will accomplish another. The energy slows down a bit more with Surprise yourself by Jack Garratt. Last, is the light round that comes along when your reps slow down and you replace the machines with free weight routines. I play something like “Like That” by Bea Miller because a true gym rat will try one last time to push themselves with that little bit of energy left in their reserve tank. The finale is the closer, a smooth, or peaceful, song that ends your session while you are wiping down the equipment before you walk out, like “This is What you came for” by Calvin Harris ft. Rhianna. That is my ideal playlist for a hard day in the gym when I want to see real progress the next day or week. In the middle of a pandemic when you’re alone, or social distancing we all need a good playlist to set the mood so we don’t get lost in the boredom and silence.
When it comes to working out I like to move to an upbeat vibe to get the energy flowing. Like putting on “Fuck up some commas” by Future. This song is a great motivator and drives me to get moving while thinking about fu$&ing up some commas,lol.
You’ve got everything you need for a perfect gym sesh: comfortable, supportive floor mat or shoes (and possibly bra), weather- and sweat-appropriate clothing, hydration preparation, and — arguably the most important component of all — a killer playlist of motivating music.
Music is my lifeblood, my solace and my drive, and one of the few things that can unequivocally energize my body and mind. Throughout life I’ve had a playlist for just about everything – from the lively, bass-heavy songs I blared to get hyped up for drumline competitions, to the brooding, melancholy vibes that carried me through my first heartbreak (and several since). As for my workout playlist, it wasn’t until I finally hung up my cymbals and kicked off my white Dinkles for the last time that I actually created one.
I've never been a hardcore gym monkey, but I definitely make sure I try my best to stay in shape especially with the increased temptation to stay in bed while being at home more often than usual. Nothing is a better motivator in my opinion than some good tunes. Not sure if I'm the only one who does this, but I often try to match my movements with the music so that's why my playlist can't consist of music with an out-of-control fast tempo. However, it does have to be enough to get me moving. It's easy to adjust your speed to jump along with the music too.
Musicals are not just about soaring ballads and long legato tones; the musical theatre catalogue has some of the most energetic, driven and kickass songs to ever exist. Tap into the unbridled enthusiasm and power of these songs, and smash your workout!