Music while exercising.
It doesn’t matter if I’m lifting weights, performing a little laid back LISS cardio, killing myself with insane interval work in my Bike Torture Chamber, ripping up the mountain bike trails (solo) or out on my road bike (solo, and when safety permits)–I have to have my music! Not only does music make training more enjoyable, when I’ve got the tunes cranked I feel better, stronger, faster… I think almost everyone who lifts can relate to that awesome feeling when you’re under the bar with the plates loaded up and a great song comes on. It really makes a difference.
I listen to lots of different styles of music, but some genres sort of lend themselves to certain fitness activities more than others. About the only genres I don’t care for at all are pop (pretty much all mainstream music these days I can’t stand), country and rap. I actually went through a very brief period about 5 or 6 years ago when I listened to some rap while I was lifting (I must have dropped a dumbbell on my head or something), but I got over that quickly.
When I’m lifting heavy I like my music heavy. My lifting playlist, for the most part, doesn’t much resemble the music I listen to outside the gym. Examples: Dry Kill Logic, Chimaira, Fear Factory, Diecast, Shadows Fall, Unearth, Stampin’ Ground, God Forbid, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed…
When I’m riding I like all kinds of music, it really just depends on my mood. I really enjoy highly technical progressive rock, and my favorite band by a large margin is Dream Theater. I’ve been listening to DT since the mid-1990s, and I liked them for a long time before I really fell in love with their music. The musicians in this band are, without exception, prodigies. Their music is extremely technical and complex, but they also have awesome songwriting skills. I’ll be the first to admit that they are not an easy band to digest. They are like that movie that you have to watch over and over to truly appreciate. Anyway, Dream Theater has such an extensive catalog of music (I own every one of their albums), that I can put them on random and not hear the same song twice in a week.
Back in the day, when I was first losing weight in 2003, I listened to The Crystal Method a lot when I was doing cardio. I can’t even begin to tell you how many calories I burned with Vegas shaking my walls! It’d been years since I queued that album up in my playlist, but yesterday I was feeling nostalgic and so on my ride I listened to Vegas the entire time. Man, that brought back some fond memories from my initial transformation. Great album.
Back in 2003 I listened to music through my stereo speakers while I was training, but these days it’s all about little MP3 players and earbuds. I absolutely love my SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip, and highly recommend it. I bought mine nearly a year ago and it’s still going strong. For earbuds while exercising, I can’t say enough good things about the MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 Earbuds. They sound great, are comfortable and–most importantly–they do not fall out while exercising. Even when cycling in high winds they stay put. I put these earbuds on on my Favorite Things list back in October (my full review is here), and they still have not let me down. Check ’em out!