It’s a widely held opinion that music goes well with sports: beats to bring out the beast in us and melodies to calm us. I’m sharing here what I listen to when I work out, and why I find different genres suitable for different types of exercise.
First Things First: Cardio
I would love to love running, but I don’t. Being a person who’s never been a true sports junkie, but also one who’s always been depressed when not active, I’ve started and quit running several times in my life. The price of this lack of dedication shows itself most in the fact that fitness leaves you when you don’t work hard to keep it. Unless you’re a paragon of perfect physical genes, you’ll lose endurance when you live a motionless lifestyle. Anyone who’s recovered from that state will agree that the process is painful and beautiful at the same time, and that’s the time when I believe music helps the most. If I’m at the gym and on a treadmill, I want the music in my ears to pump the “I-Must-Keep-Going” in me. For me, that happens with a playlist including metal, punk, some dubstep and hip-hop. Starting slow with “Back in Black” by AC/DC and going steady with “Bang Bang” by Green Day. Keeping the tempo up with “Felt This Good” by Kap Slap feat. M. BRONX and finishing with “Nocturnal Rainbows” by Hopsin. If I’m out in the fresh air, nothing goes better with running than tropical house and chillstep. My latest favorites include “Emojis” by Daniel Liebt and “Only in the West” by Yeek.
Moving On: Weightlifting/Body-Weight Workouts
Either at the gym, amid all the grunting and sweat, getting nasty and being okay with it; or outside experimenting with bars; or even at home, using nothing but your own weight to push the limit. Sets and reps for hours, and what do we need? Tempo. Getting under heavier weights may, for some, require harder sounds, like trap or heavy electronic music. Maintaining a weekly routine, on the other hand, means a more repetitive workout, and I go for the likes of “Runaways” by Sam Feldt or “Book of Love” by Felix Jaehn ft. Polina.
And voilà. You’ve managed to taste the sweetness of well-deserved relaxation. You breathe in and out, enjoy the burning of your sore muscles, and ease away the built-up lactic acid. Gather around, people, and lie down on the grass/your mat; we’re listening to ambient music. You won’t think of anything but your body; every bone in your spine will touch the floor, and you’ll thank yourself for taking good care of your system. To do that, I recommend “Awake” by Tycho, “Lost In Thought” by Jon Hopkins and “Boredom” by G-Voz.
Bonus: Balance Workouts
Focusing on how to use your body and relaxing at the same time may sound difficult, but a wide range of music, like “Mojave” by Antoine Malye and “Killer Queen” by Fil Bo Riva, helps me on the slackline*. The beauty of having an alternative activity is that it grants you the opportunity to step away from the usual, from a program that may feel monotonous after a while. Not to mention the socializing going on around the slackline, making it possible to literally “hang out with friends” without getting all sweated up like in competitive team sports. Find a good speaker, and you’ll discover new music, too.
* First developed by rock climbers, slacklining is an activity – usually done outdoors – where you walk, do handstands or jump on a line set up between two anchors, ideally a couple of trees. On nice days, a slackline is available on campus, near the Marmara Restaurant.