Training and music. In my world, they go hand in hand. Lately, I’ve had to readjust my gym schedule for the holidays because the gym I train at, closes early on the days before all of the major holidays (the joys of small town living). I’m usually taking time away from work to hit up the gym those days and I always forget my iPod or headphones for my phone. What ends up happening? I always have the worst workouts EVER on those days. Why? Because soft pop is not conducive to lifting just like the Cooking Channel is not good for those days where you’re tearing up the treadmill.
At night time, when I can get my regular workout in, or when I’m zooming up and down the avenues at the cemetery by my house for HIIT, is when I really come alive. It’s when I really feel the progress that my training is making. I’m not working harder to tune out the crappy music than I am my workout at that moment.
HIIT has taken on the form of whatever heavy beats I can get pumping into my ears. It’s typically the likes of David Guetta, DEV, Christina, Britney, Kanye. It seems to work perfectly with the slow down, then the speed up before the next slow down. I can push myself, but not so much that I’m doing damage.
But running? That’s typically a place where I rock out to the classic rock. The long winding songs from Led Zeppelin have carried me across many long distance runs through my town. The timed guitar riffs from a lot of ’70s music has helped me keep the pace on the snowy winter nights when I’m tied to the treadmill.
I found that when I started putting my favorite metalcore, hardcore and even a few deathcore bands on my iPod, I saw an improvement in my results when I was lifting. I’ve always been able to build, tone, shape, etc, when weight lifting because I just have a good genetic makeup like that. However, I didn’t start to see big gains until about seven months into my training when I switched up my tunes for heavy lifting. Something about those chugging guitars, the racing of the double bass pedal, the beating heart of the bass, keeps me focused. Keeps me timing the ups and downs of each rep. Blocks out the garbage of the gym. Not just that, but it’s almost like when I have something like Most Precious Blood or Bury Your Dead beating down my ear drums, it unlocks that door inside that helps me push or lift more.
The best is when you get to the breakdown… then it’s as though your eyes just zero in on that prize and you’re brain is flashing “for the win”.