We've all been there. Workload got a little too heavy. You had to stay at the office longer than anticipated. You missed the last CrossFit class of the day. Begrudgingly, you know that you will have to run this evening. Maybe it will be hill sprints in the brisk fall air. Or maybe its a longer jog with the wind at your back. You can't seem to find the motivation to lace up those well worn New Balance sneakers. You don't have the "benefit" of Coaches yelling in your ears or the steady thump and rattle of barbells dropping around you. What do you do? You grab your iPhone and ear buds to hopefully find that perfect song to fit your mood and with any luck, it might just push you to find that "pain zone" where you push your body and mind to the brink of breaking down. When you push play, what song is selected? With music being such an important part of life, how do we sort through the garbage and find the gem?
Music is like fashion. What works for some, may not work for others. I like to wear Jordan sneakers but judging by some of the looks I get, it may not be the best fashion choice for a grown ass man. I don't care, because it's what I like and its what I am comfortable with.
The below list is my (current) top 5 best songs to workout to. You'll see that there is a lot of hip-hop influence as well as some throwbacks and timeless hits.
5. Nas-Made You Look
Released in 2002 by the east coast giant, this is one of the songs of the first ever uncensored albums that I bought. I was 15 years old and this track was LIT! Bravado, swag and any other word you can use to describe "badassery" Opening with the lyrics, "now let's get it all in perspective, for all ya'll enjoyment a song ya'll can step with", it immediately puts an extra pep in my step when heading out on a jog.
Picture this: twenty five testosterone-filled high school boys crammed in a dingy, poorly lit locker room. They are about to take on their rival team. Through the musty air, a dull chant of "thunder.....thunder....thunder...." fills the room. Pulses quicken, eyes widen and fists clench tightly. With goosebump riddled skin, the team stands and starts banging helmets into lockers, already dented by teams before them. In some cases, the same lockers that their own fathers dented years ago. This was my high school football anthem. It came on before every game, without exception. To this day it still gives me chills and has helped me to more than a few PRs.
3. Kanye West-Stronger
Say whatever you want about his personal affairs and wild antics. This man is one of the best hip hop producers out there. He dedication to his craft and the way he constructs tracks is amazing.
This Grammy-winning track is a bit slow, but the steady rhythm makes it perfect for the final push in that 5k run. Charting on Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 1, “Stronger” samples heavily from Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” which is why it rings familiar and gets people going!
2. Survivor- Eye Of The Tiger
An obvious choice. Even decades after its release, this track is still getting people inspired the world over. Originally released in 1982, this was actually the second choice for the Rocky III theme, as Sylvester Stallone couldn't convince Queen to let him use their hit, "Another One Bites the Dust". And I ain't mad at that.
1. Kendrick Lamar-DNA
This song is the reason I added the caveat of "current" favorite workout songs. It was released on K-Dot's in April of this year and its been on repeat for me since that time. Little known fact: On the days where I have an early morning class, I will drive into work with this song blaring. So if you see a white Ford Taurus with a man in a backwards hat waving his arms frantically, don't worry. It's just me and I'm trying to pump myself up for work.
Ive sung the lyrics, "I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA. I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA. I was born like this, since one like this, Immaculate conceptionI transform like this, perform like this..." to many other drivers on Virginia roadways.
The above is my very subjective and totally eclectic, sometimes predictable list of top 5 favorite workout songs. Think of it as a little glimpse into what makes your coaches tick. Hope you've enjoyed!
Now it's your turn. Tell us your top 5 favorite songs that get you fired up.