Surprise Workout CD of the Week!

Like most people I know, I love working out to music. When I was teaching spinning (more on that in a later post) I would spend days putting together the perfect play lists.

Sometimes, however, I’ll stumble across a perfect album – that is, one that’s just made for working out.

The first one I found (not a week ago mind you, as suggested by the title of this post, but rather a couple of months ago), was Stop Making Sense, by the Talking Heads. There are actually two versions of this album, which, technically, is a soundtrack. I prefer the first release, which (it’s only fault) is only 50 minutes.

The general gist of the film is that then lead vocalist David Byrne comes out solo with only a boom box and is joined by another member of the band with each song. Thus, the music gets more intense, more driving, with each successive phase. This is a great workout CD precisely because it was such a great dance album! In fact, Stop Making Sense was often considered in the ’80s as the dance album. It starts slow, builds to a crescendo and brings you back down again.

Because I usually do an hour of cardio (which includes a warm up and a cool down) I actually loop the album to start again. Because the first song, Psycho Killer, makes as good of a cool down as it did a warm up!

But my find this week is even weirder than that. Get ready: Disc 1 of the Grateful Dead’s Nightfall of Diamonds. Unlike the preceding mention, this puppy is 64 minutes with a convenient tuning break 42 minutes in which gives you plenty of opportunity to catch your breath and hydrate! Unlike Stop Making Sense which is a soundtrack of a concert, Nightfall of Diamonds is actually a live album. I’m beginning to appreciate live music as a way to work out, because if the recording is good (that is, there are no artificial pauses between the songs put it in my helpful music industry suits who seem to have no appreciation for the music itself) there is an energy that is inherent to live performance that can pull you along in terms of your workout.

Interestingly enough, I did not grow up listening to Talking Heads or Grateful Dead. I grew up on Duran Duran. And, just in case there’s any question, my current workout iPod contains, given my age, an embarrassingly large collection of P!nk, Britney Spears, the Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida, Linkin Park, etc. However, no one would be that surprised if I showed people what is on my standard workout play lists, because lot of people work out to that stuff.

But I thought it was worth sharing the stuff that doesn’t necessarily seem that intuitively obvious. And to encourage you to approach your record collection (or in my case, someone else’s record collection) with new ears, as well as for new motivation.

Regardless, I’d love to hear what you’re working out to these days. There’s nothing worse than getting bored with your music. So send it on! I’ll be happy to check it out!

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