December 05, 2007

... and Rock & Roll

[Written by Mary]

You’ve had posts about sex and drugs, so you knew this one was coming soon.

For the past week I've been feeling: I’m totally cool. I’ve got an iPod. (A “mid-value” one in the words of some electronics review site, which I suppose makes me about as cool as a Volvo driver.) It's a nifty device and changes how I view my workouts.

Exercise is far more fun when you’ve got music playing, but I’m going to go out on a heretical limb here and suggest that it doesn’t have to be rock’n’roll:

  • Katharine at Editing My Body exercises on her treadmill to Souza marches, which makes sense.
  • I myself went jogging the other night accompanied by the St. Martins in the Fields orchestra playing a Brandenburg concerto. (Did you just get a visual of an entire orchestra jogging along behind me playing violins?)
  • I know a woman who loves downhill skiing, and practices her turns to the beat of “tea for two, and two for tea…”
  • A certain crustacean, who shall remain nameless, has confessed to working out to cheesy disco tunes.
  • This is going to sound equally cheesy, but some of the big band/ boogie woogie style tunes of the 40s have a great beat and are fun to move to. I feel a bit awkward listening to music that my parents enjoyed, but it's still got a great beat. (Knew a man once whose son used to listen to the man's Beatles records, but he never wanted to play them when Dad was around, because that was too embarrassing. The parent might try to 'relate' to him or something hideous like that.)

The music doesn’t have to be Bruce Springsteen's latest.

One thing is certain, there's no lack of people out there on the Internet willing to help you find music. Even a casual search brings up:

and some product called iTunes.

The womanagement at Cranky Fitness wish to stress that none of the above is to be taken as either endorsing or anathematizing the above links and companies. The minions offered to test the workout music on these sites, but the offer was declined due to actually requiring someone to shell out clams the custom being against the Cranky Fitness policy.

What music do you work out to? Or do you listen to different music based on different workouts? (It's okay if you work out to really strange music and don't want to say so out loud. Just whisper it in my ear. You can trust us.)


  1. I love the idea of exercising to Souza marches!

    Back in the Very Old Days, when they taught typing classes on manual typewriters (yes, I'm that old) the typing instructor always used to play marches to get us to type to the beat. (I'm not sure why, now, since wouldn't it be more efficient to just type as fast as you could?)

    But anyway, I LOVED those marches, they really got my blood pumping. I'll have to see if I can download some for the dreaded treadmill!

  2. Okay - have to 'fess up to working out to disco tunes. They definitely get you moving! When you are not laughing yourself silly remembered how we dressed and "danced" back then..

  3. I've been a ridiculous slacker the last few months and haven't done the software fixing my ipod needs to work, so I've been working out to whatever's on the TV at the gym. But before that I loved working out to things like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, good fast punky rock. Well, that and showtunes. Not nearly as cool as I seem.

  4. While I like to paint myself as a hipper-than-thou indie rocker.... My shuffle, which is used for workouts, is LOADED with top 40 pop and hip-hop.

  5. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company D...
    In the Mood
    (Does this make the Bag Lady look old?)
    Those old '40's swing tunes are great for moving to.
    '50's rock & roll, too...

  6. I exercise in the morning and prefer it to be quiet. But if housework, a generous term in my home, counts, I listen to ABBA, or Peggy Lee, or The Andrews Sisters.
    I was previewing when the Bag Lady posted. I totally agree with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Glenn Miller is good for getting it done, too.

  7. PS I think that Boy was in Company B, but I'm too lazy to root around for the answer. I could also be wrong.

  8. Two tunes that are always on my running playlist are Jimmy Buffett's "Elvis Presley Blues" and Bob Dylan's "Thunder on the Mountain." They're the perfect beat for my short legs and slow pace.

  9. Weird workout music:

    Benny Goodman's swing music (hey, it's got a good beat)

    For walking and enjoying nature:

    Andrea Bocelli's Ave Verum Corpus K.618

    Kraze Wo Atsumete (can't understand a damn word of it!)

    Mozart's Violin Concerto No.5

    Brahm's Symphony No.3 in F major (my VERY favorite!)

  10. My favorite workout song ever is Saturday Night's Alright for Fightin' by Sir Elton John. I'm not even a huge fan, but for some reason, this song just works on the treadmill or elliptical. I am to the point where, even when I am working out without music, I can still hear "Saturday! Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!" in my head while I am running. It's like a weird 70's-era mantra that just fits with my internal rhythm. Very disco-zen.

  11. I'm going off topic on my own topic, but when I took a refresher CPR class last year, they told us to do the CPR on the chest to the beat of "Stayin' Alive." Disco is useful in more ways than one :)

  12. I'll listen to whatever comes up on the iPod, but if it's too laggy, I'll just move on to the next song.

  13. Um...the loud, screamy, angry music that when my mother hears, she immediately whips out her prayer book and rosary and begins ensuring that I do make my way past the pearly gates some day, as listening to that "schtupid nonsense" (she pronounces it that way - really) is most certainly not putting me in His good books.

  14. Wow, exercising to Sousa might cause high school marching band flashbacks. For the full effect, I may have to wear a hat with a feather plume on it.

    I always watch TV when I use the treadmill, but sometimes (and not again for a while, she says, looking at the six inches of snow out the window) I take a walk outside and bring my Non-Apple Non-iPod Portable Media Player, which is crammed to the gills with Random Crap. Anything and everything from Disney music to Tom Lehrer to Wham! to Aqua. (oh noes, maybe I should have saved that for Embarrassing Confessional Time? Nope, I have no shame!)

    re: typing to a beat, I've used "learn to type" programs that tried to get me to do that, but... no. Who in their right mind does that, anyway? My typing habits are way too ingrained even for Mavis Beacon. :p The only way I could kick some of my more egregious RSI-causing habits was to switch to Dvorak and re-learn to type completely from scratch.

  15. I'm shameless when it comes to workout music. Even if I loathe the person producing the music, ie Britney, as long as I can shake my ass to it, it's fair game!

    Also, it depends on what kind of mood I'm in - rock for grumpy, ass-kicking hardcore workouts or techno, pop music for those energy-filled, booty shakin' sessions!

    I'm soooo trying Souza. Sounds fun!

  16. Bag Lady! You should know better, the boy is from Company "B"! Yes, Leah, you got it right!
    Swing tunes from the 40's always make me want to move - I guess I need to listen more often!

  17. And I thought I was the only one listening to Abba and showtunes!
    Also, themes from various James Bond movies (I can picture myself kicking some serious butt), 80's stuff ('cause who doesn't love a rockin' keytar riff?), along with disco, hip-hop, and Keith Urban (just because I love him so).

  18. I have to say the Go Go's. Pun totally intended. We got the beat, our lips our sealed, they all make me want to punch my fist in the air Belinda Carlisle style.

  19. I'll spin to almost anything (I can't handle hip-hop even on a spin bike), but when it's me and the elliptical and some weights, give me my metal every time: Metallica, Disturbed, Godsmack, Flyleaf, Mudvayne... you get the idea.

  20. Yeah, yeah, the Bag Lady was in a Big Hurry and didn't preview her comment. It IS Company B - what was she thinking?!
    And thanks to Mary (who really does need a cooler name!), I know have HA HA HA HA STAYIN' ALIVE stuck in my head...dammit.

  21. I love running when it's cold outside, and nothing feels more appropriate than running to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. It's actually extremely energetic, and I like to pretend that I could keep up with the ballerinas.

  22. I need music to keep my sanity on my spin workouts. I have rock, punk/new wave and cheesy disco CDs to suit my mood du jour!

  23. Since it falls into the category of "work", I, obviously, do not exercise. Karen however, has a folder titled "cardio" in her iPod. It includes a myriad of things including Metallica, Foo Fighters, Barry Manilow, ABBA, U2, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.

    -- P

  24. No comment on the music, other than to say I really don't think I could handle the Souza marches. Although I do like drumline stuff for running, I've noticed my running playlist is a little different than the rest of the generic workout stuff. I think I'm somewhere between Jaime and Glam with taste...

    Actually, I was just laughing at the manual typewriter comment. My typing class was on a manual typewriter too. (So maybe Crabby's not such an old fogy after all ?lol)

  25. No music for me. I used to hate that about the gym--the beat kept changing, and I would have to fight to keep my own rhythm. When I walk (or used to use the elliptical) all I want is the beat of the feet.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  26. oooh lucky you! I have an ipod on my xmas list and hoping Santa gets me one. I'll be sure to check out those links for music if one shows up in my stocking.

  27. I like all kinds of music when I run. But I have also been known to run to NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me", a news quiz show. Doesn't really pump you up but you do end up laughing out loud.

    My traditional race-ending run is "Jump for Joy" from Duke Ellington's "New Mood Indigo".

  28. Watch out, Lady Rose! You get an iPod and you'll find yourself listening to a lot of cool stuff... it's a distracting little toy.

    And Reluctant Runner, you made me laugh. The last time I went out running I was listening to Wait Wait. It does make the time go by faster!


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