gym playlist ipod

I tend to come up with the lamest “I can’t work out” excuses EVER!

  • I forgot my runners
  • I forgot my pass card
  • I don’t have time
  • My workout clothes are in the wash
  • My iPod isn’t charged

This last one is the mac daddy of my excuses and probably the biggest deal breaker — I cannot work out without my music.

If you take a moment to really break down a piece of music you will see why it’s so integral to movement, from dancing to jogging to pumping iron. The four basic parts of a song — Intro, Verse, Chorus, and Bridge — generally follow the same pattern in popular music:

Intro – Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus

The different parts of the song are at different tempos and I use that to time the length and intensity of my work outs. A soft mellow song will not make me work very intently — they are better suited to cooling down and stretching. A high-energy stadium rock song will get me moving faster and reaching farther, so they are great for running on the treadmill or using the elliptical or stair climber. And happy white girl pop music is perfect for lifting weights and adjusting my tempo. The weight program I’m doing right now is based on the Jari Love Get Ripped videos (which I love!). I don’t count my reps  I just pick an exercise (say shoulder presses) and repeat the movements for at least half a song, changing up how quickly I raise and lower the weights based on the part of the song. It’s an awesome motivator for me because I can really encourage myself to keep going when I start to get tired by pushing through until the end of the chorus.

Tips for making a killer work out mix

  • If it’s a song that makes your head bop, include it in your gym mix. If you like to dance to it, you will like to work out to it
  • Listen to the beats in each song and put ones that are slower at the beginning of the mix, fast-paced songs in the middle, and slowest at the end for the cool down.
  • Fitness classes all use mostly dance music for a reason; they have steady beats of 8 and varying tempos so incorporate your favorite dance songs into your mix.
  • Include those songs that you can’t let your kids hear! This is your time when you can listen to those verboten songs guilt-free: the gangsta rap, songs with multiple  four-letter words, and pretty much anything from LMFAO. I won’t let my kids listen to “I’m Sexy and I Know It,” but damn it’s a great song to run to!
  • Throw in a few motivational songs right in the middle of your mix: songs like “Raise Your Glass,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “I Will Survive,” just to name a few.
  • Change your mix up from time to time to keep the music (and work out) fresh