Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pick the Right Music

The other day, I had a conversation with a fellow fitness instructor during which we both confirmed this fact: The hardest part about teaching a class (any class) is picking the right music. Music, after all, truly sets the tone. When the going gets tough, it motivates like no other...encouraging movement and providing the necessary push to make one last repetition. But as the instructor, you must stand in front of a diverse group of people—and you can only hope that the music you've selected touches everyone involved in some way.

The same can somewhat be said about your own personal playlists, too. You have to like what you're listening to. Let's face it: Frank Sinatra is great, but his soothing voice and romantic notes don't really  make you want to sweat out that last set of Sumo squats. Odds are good that you prefer something high-energy. Something that makes you want to move like you've never moved before. Something, dare I say, you can even sing along to. At least in your head (although there is this one guy at my gym who sings out loud to whatever is buzzing through his ear buds).

Music is personal. And when it comes to working out, it has to be perfect.

So how does one pick the right music for a workout, whether one is picking for themselves or for a group? You could listen to the radio, pick from old favorites...or you could consult a number of online resources like iTunes and Amazon for big hits and favorite playlists. There's even a website that's totally devoted to music for workouts.

I recently received an email from the creator of RunHundred, "a free music database on which visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine." You obviously can't download free playlists, but you can hear snippits of every song and find links to websites on which you CAN make the download. You can even vote for your favorites. And whether you're looking at "The 10 Best-Rated Workout Songs," songs from "Top 40 Radio" or "The Top 10 Workout Songs for September"—you'll surely find some inspiration for your own playlists. Or if you're a group fitness instructor like me, for your classes.

And if you're wondering what The Top 10 Workout Songs for September are, according to RunHundred, the list includes:

1) Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
2) Alexandra Stan - Mr. Saxobeat
3) LMFAO, GoonRock & Lauren Bennett - Party Rock Anthem (Russ Chimes Remix)
4) Pitbull & Marc Anthony - Rain Over Me
5) Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer - Give Me Everything (Sidney Samson Remix)
6) Nadia Ali, Alex Kenji & Starkillers - Pressure (Alesso Radio Edit)
7) Gym Class Heroes & Adam Levine - Stereo Hearts
8) Lady GaGa - Edge Of Glory (Bare Noize Remix)
9) Switchfoot - Dark Horses
10) T.I. & B.o.B. - We Don't Get Down Like Y'all

Now go, head on over to RunHundred and get inspired to make your newest (and greatest) workouts. Just remember this one thing—always pay for your music.

Question: What kind of music are you currently putting on your playlist? Any songs always make the cut, no matter what?

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