Let the music play, whatever your style

Posted 2/16/10

Music is everything to me. It’s rare that I do anything without it. It’s my largest motivator, and apparently I’m not the only one. More …

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Let the music play, whatever your style


Music is everything to me. It’s rare that I do anything without it.

It’s my largest motivator, and apparently I’m not the only one. More athletes than not use music to amp themselves up before their games or matches.

It’s usually something I ask when I’m doing a feature on one of the athletes in the area. I like to ask anyone I’m writing about if he or she has any pre-game rituals, and most commonly, that person will say “listen to music to get pumped up.”

The types of music answered have varied, as I’ve asked over the years, “What kind of music?” Screamo, hip-hop and metal have all been answers. Although being a longtime metal-head, when a kid says he listens to metal and then uses Red Jumpsuit Apparatus as an example, I have to cringe. RJA is rock, not metal.

If you go to any high school wrestling dual or especially a big tournament, you won’t find a grappler without ear buds in and looking stoic. Probably cause the music their listening too is getting them ready for “battle.”

For myself, I’ve used music to motivate my own workouts greatly. So, since I consider myself such an aficionado of the art, I have a few suggestions of what music one could use given the appropriate event.

When I do weight training, I basically stick to the hard stuff. Not quite Black Dahlia Murder hard, but I’ve created a play list of Five Finger Death Punch and Otep. Driving guitars, double bass drums, great vocals, some screaming, but it only helps. The subject matter is also great from 5FDP. A lot of their lyrics are bitter and angry, obviously, some of which I tend to identify with heavily. Otep is more of a metal-rap mix with a gorgeous lead-singer who screams stronger than many guys.

When I go running, I like to keep it hard, but not brutal. Since when I run, I’m trying to focus on a rhythm, I use a lot of music that is a mix of rap and hip-hop. Rage Against the Machine is a perfect example. An older band Biohazard is a good one to use too. There’s actually a new band I was referred to recently, called Street Sweeper Social Club, with Tom Morello, from Rage Against the Machine, and rapper Boots Riley that is perfect for running.

Of course anything danceable is perfect for running or any rhythmic exercise. Flo Rida and Lady Gaga are a help for me if I feel like straying from my metal preferences. Sometimes, if I’m determined to go running outside and there’s a bunch of snow on the ground, I like playing any of the songs from the motion picture Rocky IV. It makes me think of that 1980s-cinema montage where we see Rocky training in the outdoor elements of Russia.

As I started to think about what artists get me going for workouts and such, I thought it’d be fun to extend my suggestions.

Cleaning. I think most contemporary blues is an awesome underscore for cleaning at home, particularly the kitchen. Jonny Lang, John Mayer — his blues stuff, not the pop stuff — and Blues Traveler are my personal favorites to spin when it’s time to clean behind the fridge or vacuum under the sofa. Let’s face it. Who doesn’t want to sing the blues when their cleaning?

Church. Most Sunday services are loaded with music. Why not get a head start in the car? Personally, I still like to stay in a rock frame of mind, so Creed, Flyleaf, Foolish Things, Thousand Foot Crutch would be on my pre-church play list. If you really want to be defiant, a little Slayer could slip in there.

How about when the kids have gone to bed? I bet almost everyone has a preference of music to put on the soundtrack to their bedrooms. I’ve got suggestions, but I’m not sharing them, cause someone may actually use it and accidentally think of me at an inappropriate moment.

Anyways, I’d love to hear what music people use to do what, particularly when working out or before competition. Maybe there’s a band or artist out there I don’t know about who would be perfect when its time to scrub the bathtub.


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