Key To a Successful Workout, Music...

I sort of just chuckled when I wrote the title. I don't always write the title first, but today music is my inspiration so the title came first naturally. But what made me laugh was the title hinting at my in depth knowledge of working out. You know because I've been visiting a gym for two weeks now, of course I know the key to a successful work out. I have all the answers.

That's a joke, I definitely don't have all the answers or many answers at all. If I did, I wouldn't be scared of some lycra fashioned into something we refer to as a swimsuit.

The key to my motivation is music. I first connected the importance of selecting the right music when I started running last year. In the moment, I slip my headphones on, select the music to get me going, maybe midway I'd have to change up my music to push me through to the end. Listening to music through headphones creates an intimacy which doesn't compare to listening to music over speakers in my home or car. That intimacy is a time I cherish, deepens my connection with the artist. Hey lets admit it, lyrics are the most accessible poetry to us, especially if you are listening to the right music.

So when working out, what music am I listening to? This is funny to admit, but I have the widest range of music I listen to when working out. I downloaded some Missy Elliott, Black Eyed Peas, and N.W.A. to get me through my cardio on the elliptical machine. I even created a playlist that ended with some mellower Coldplay for when I would be doing the cool down portion.

Speaking of cool down, did you know it's an essential part of cardio? When you are aerobically exercising your veins expand pumping blood through your body. If you just hop off the treadmill or elliptical when your heart rate is up, without a cool down you may feel light headed. The cool down is essential to get your heart slowing down, your veins constrict backdown, and blood flows normally. Don't skip the cool down! *I learned that from my trainer, Adam.

Back to the music. If I'm feeling like a good happy upbeat song with lyrics I dig my first go to is Michael Franti & Spearhead. Hands down Franti puts a smile on my face when my mind is telling me to stop right now. Yes, my mind is the biggest obstacle to a workout, before I know it, I'm convincing myself to slowdown or cut it short. My 35 minutes on the elliptical is becoming less of a mental challenge because the music pushes me through, every single time.

This is my current Work It Out Playlist:

Get Ur Freak On (Missy Elliott)
My Humps (Black Eyed Peas)
Straight Outta Compton (N.W.A.)
We Don't Stop (Franti)
Rock Your Body (Justin Timberlake)
Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas)
Work It (Missy Elliott)
Like I Love You (Justin Timberlake)
Lost+ (Coldplay With Jay-Z)
Lost Ones (Lauryn Hill)
F**k tha Police (N.W.A.)
Hung Up (Madonna)
Postcards from Far Away (Coldplay)
Blower's Daughter (Damien Rice)

I know this list is, umm eclectic and interesting. But it's what works for me. Don't ask me why NWA from back in 1988 helps me work it out, but it does. Obviously we all have music to help us. I will admit when I am listening to this particular playlist I am smiling, sweating, and the majority of time catching Mama Bird Diaries hubby on the television. The combination of my smiling and grunting probably scares some people at the gym, but you know what it doesn't bother me one bit. It's a beautiful thing, a good sweat coupled with music that puts me in a happy place.

Now you can help me, Please, please, please, share some of your favorite music to work out to because I NEED the motivation. New music will be my motivation.

Until next Friday....


  1. I completely concur! Here are some of my favs;
    Starry Eyed Surprise-Paul Oakenfold
    Ms. Jackson-Outkast
    Hollaback Girl-Gwen Stefani
    Smack That-Akon
    I Kissed a Girl-Katy Perry

  2. First of all....I am totally loving the *mixed CD* you made for me and one song on it that is totally jazzing me up is Lollipop by Mika! Love it!

    My top 5....
    Hot N Cold by Katy Perry
    Stronger by Kanye West
    Rockstar by Nickelback
    Don't Cha by The Pussy Cat Dolls
    Lose Yourself by Eminem

  3. I've got some JT SexyBack on mine. Also Pink is great for getting pumped up. And def. Outkast. Hey Ya baby!

  4. I agree with all of those above they are all on my iPod as are yours. None of which I would sit around and listen. Well except for Coldplay. I also listen to Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys.

  5. When I'm at the gym with my music, I'm in my own little, happy world. Love it... Some of Beck's new stuff is fun too. I love that you have NWA, hahaha too funny. I actually have a song by Notorious BIG (hypnotize). Boy is that song ROUGH. But, I love the beat and uploaded it due to Julia Stiles rocking it out in that scene of 10 things I hate about you. It's always fun to have a mix of ecletic music, always makes the workouts more interesting. Keeps you young. Keep it up!

  6. Oh and I LOVE:

    The bad touch - Bloodhound Gang *childish giggle*
    In da Club - 50 Cent
    You get what you Give- New Radicals

  7. Wow, what a range of music! My favorites when I am doing cardio? Daughtry and Snow Patrol!

  8. I run to The Arcade Fire (although some of them are slightly too slow) also Snow Patrol and Mika. Needs to have a good beat to get me up the hills though!

  9. I agree--music helps those workout so much!
    I really like Foo Fighters, Pink Floyd and Tom Petty--not as fast but good for long distance running.

  10. Most of the songs on my MP3 player for workout are '90s industrial (Front 242, Prodigy, KMFDM, Ministry) or really angry (Rage Against the Machine, Linkin' Park, Limp Bizkit, Nine Inch Nails.) It gives me that shot of adrenaline I need to move. I also have (shh, don't tell) Britney Spears, "Toxic." Yikes, a little embarrassing, but it has a good beat. Ooh, and Beastie Boys...

  11. The Ramones do the trick for me. That, and Stronger by Christina Aguilera. When I'm running and I'm tired, it gets me fired up to tackle the hills in a good girl power sort of way!

  12. I could not agree with you more - There is something about the tone of the music that makes you want to work harder. I tend to listen to lots of 80's as well as the old rock and roll - Love it!

  13. tom waits. call me crazy, but try it first...

  14. I meant Fighter by Christina A. - pregnancy brain!

  15. Music is the key to a lot of things. :) (at least that's what I like to think)

    Heartbreaker and Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar are great adds. So is Everytime We Touch by Cascada. Little bit of techno mixed in there. :)


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