If there is one thing I have learned from living and working in a gym, it is how integral music is to training. Music is a part of gym culture. There is a symbiotic relationship between moving your body and music…it’s like PB&J…it just goes together. Level of ability is insignificant, as I have seen people of all levels train harder to music they love. This holds true for the novice or the professional athlete.
Music is integrated into almost every facet of my life, I have playlists for hanging out, making dinner, cleaning, dancing but no other playlist is as critical and carefully managed as my training playlist. I am my own personal favorite dj, I always play my requests and I always know just the song that will turn things up a notch. Music has the ability to incite passion and drive in people that is otherwise hard to muster up when you have physically pushed yourself to your limit. Who hasn’t been on a run or in the middle of a grueling workset and had “their” song come on and push them just a little bit harder? Who didn’t hear the Rocky theme music and become entirely convinced he was about to do something epic? This is what we all do…we create our own little Rocky theme music.
Not only am I motivated by the music I select, I just enjoy my training more when I have a soundtrack. I live in headphones right before I hit the platform powerlifting or any other competition. There is nothing random about the songs I have complied to get me psyched up, inspired or even calmed down before I compete. This is not when you mess around with Pandora, even Pandora One. Who wants to get stuck on bad Pandora streak and run out of skips right when you need the ultimate song? Not this girl…I have crafted a list that is guaranteed to make me feel invincible and even remind me of the 100 times I’ve practiced the thing I’m there to do. Sometimes the music just makes me feel like a badass plain and simple, which is just the way you want to feel when you are about to lift very heavy weights or sprint as fast as you can.
So here are my ProTips for the perfect playlist:
1. Keep it up tempo with a few calmer songs peppered in. You can’t remain at a 10 all the time. Simply put, it’s just not good for your Central Nervous System and you don’t want to waste all your resources in the warm up room.
2. Don’t let anyone tell you what kind of music you should listen to for motivation, intensity or focus. Only you know this. I’m not here to judge you if you feel epic to “She’s a Maniac”, cool…go crazy! The beautiful thing about music is how subjective it is from one person to the next. I have seen clients/ teammates train to classical, country, death metal, rap and everything in between on the spectrum. There is no standard, just do what works for you.
3. Keep your playlist fresh. Just like anything, the effectiveness of the music wears off if you haven’t updated your mix in forever. It just becomes background noise. Keeping things current also gives you a good reason to find out about new music so you can sound knowledgeable during SXSW. It’s a win-win.
Bottom line…we all want to be the most inspired, hard training, joyful versions of ourselves. Why not enhance your training to the fullest? Who doesn’t want to feel like Rocky the top of those stairs?
About Krista: Krista is co-owner and a personal trainer at Austin Simply Fit. She draws her training style from many elements of sports and fitness, but the foundation of her training is built on strength and conditioning. Click here to read more about Krista.