Music is a huge part of my day. My long commute to and from work, my whole day at the gym and it defines each and every class I teach. It’s really easy to throw together top 40 playlists and call it a day, but it doesn’t give me the energy I want to bring to my classes. Selfishly, I need to really feel pushed to get the most out of my classes. It’s also what I need to get through my personal workouts. Without headphones and my own music, I would literally consider making it a “rest day”. After throwing an tantrum, of course.
Personally, I love hard rock, 90’s grunge, dance music and chill house/indie music. But, when I teach, I like to surf all across the board to tap into all different genres. Besides the energy that music delivers, it can actually make you work harder. How so? Do tell.
Music is created with beats per minute. For my rhythmically challenged friends (we love you nonetheless), this means if you clap to the beat, you will clap a specific amount of times through the duration of a song. What if you punched to that beat? Or kicked a bag to that beat? Or jumped rope to that beat? What that would ultimately do is give you something to keep up with and avoid slowing down. So, for the duration of a 4 minutes song, you could work that much harder just by keeping up with the music. The same could be said for finding the tempo to a heavy rock song and squat or lunge to it. It forces you down into a squat with a short, isolated hold. A lot of things get rushed in the gym (eh hm, bicep curls), and if you need something to slow you down, music is your magic. The increase of time under tension isn’t utilized enough. Great. You can do 25 quarter rep curls. [insert slow clap] Challenge yourself and let those guns blaze. Utilize concentric motion and eccentric motion to your advantage.
Below I’ve shared a recent spin playlist. I tend to teach a lot of my spin classes with the same understanding as written above. Crank the resistance up and hit the beat. That burn you’re feeling in your hammies? Well, that’s just their way of saying “thank you”. You’re quite welcome, hammies.