If you're looking to drop ten pounds for summer, now seems like a great time to start hitting the gym. If you're one of the many that don't do well left to their own devices, then you'll probably want to be part of a workout group.
If you've never been before, though, you're about to learn one of the unfortunate truths of working out: 90 percent of the time, the music sucks.
Unless you're one of the rare people who end up in a hip gym, you'll probably find yourself sweating to bad remixes of '70s tracks or burned copies of the Biggest Loser Workout Mix.
It shouldn't have to be this way. Music is supposed to motivate us to work harder, not make an already difficult task worse. We deserve a better class of workout mix.
Most artists are open to new monetary streams, and aren't above licensing their works for profit. If most workout music is already dance-based and we live in an age where DJs and producers are the new rock stars, isn't it time we combine the two? Rocks Off hit the gym to shed some pounds and do some brainstorming.
Workout Type: Zumba Artist: Girl Talk
Billed as "The Original Fitness Party," Zumba is a Latin-infused combination of dances including samba, salsa and hip-hop, with a dash of belly-dancing and karate. It's become the go-to workout for those who want to get healthy while having a bit of fun at the same time.
With its combination of different styles and the fact that Zumba Fitness doesn't charge licensing fees, Zumba seems like a natural fit for hip-hop/rock/dance mash-up maker Girl Talk, who releases his albums essentially for free (although you can pay if you'd like).
Because of the wide variety of styles his mixes pull from, each section of the mix could be geared toward enhancing the type of exercise taking place at that point in the workout. Plus, there'd be a little something for every type of popular music fan to enjoy.
Workout Type: Crossfit Artist: Noisia
Crossfit workouts are fast and intense. The goal is to give everything you can for a short period of time, keeping track of how well you do and how much better you're doing than your neighbor.
When it comes to fast and intense electronic music, the first thing that comes to mind is drum and bass. The tempo regularly pushes past 160 beats per minute, the perfect background for full-body exertion over a limited amount of time.
Noisia are a solid pick for this type of work. They've made a name for themselves doing solid remixes for acts like Moby and having good working relationships with non-DnB artists like Deadmau5. Even more impressive is the fact that they're a member of the Roc Nation family and a Jay-Z cosign is a Jay-Z cosign, no matter the genre.
Workout Type: Water Aerobics Artist: David Guetta
We get older, our bodies change and we just can't hit the gym the way we used to. For those looking to lose weight without all the risks that come with typical workout routines, water aerobics has become a popular alternative.
The movements are slower and you don't burn as many calories, but being in the water means floating, which means less strain on the body and a better range of motion. Added bonus: You don't end up a sweaty mess.
Whether you love his work or hate what he's done to popular music (he did produce "I Gotta Feeling," after all), there's no denying that Guetta has a knack for making catchy tunes. House music is upbeat without being too fast, which works when the body has water resistance to contend with.
Workout Type: Indoor Cycling Artist: Armin van Buuren
Whether you call it indoor cycling or spinning, the combination of human body, stationary bike and interval training is a weird one. Different from just riding a real bike outside, it involves sprints, climbs, jumps and your feet moving in circles very fast. It's very good for the legs.
For years Van Buuren was the king of the DJs, and it's only in the last year that he's had any real challengers for the throne. He'd have no problem pumping out new mixes regularly given that he already does a weekly radio show titled A State of Trance.
More than most styles of workout, indoor cycling relies on having instructors that are not only mechanically sound but are excellent motivators. Trance music is known for its positive attitude. Working together, the two could take the rider to new (simulated) heights.
Workout Type: Stretching Artist: Tycho
There comes a time at the end of every class where things slow down. You've been working hard, but you need to ease your heart rate back down to its regular speed. This is usually done with light cardio and stretching, which is good, to the sounds of monks chanting and New Age music, which is less good.
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Nothing against the monks and Yannis of the world, but just because the workout is coming to a close doesn't mean the music has to be cheesy. Still, you want to avoid things with lyrics so as to not inadvertently end things on a down note. You don't want to give your all and then get hit by Portishead's "Sour Times."
Tycho produces a combination of ambient and down-tempo music that avoids the horror and sadness clichés that other producers in the genre are known for. His light and uplifting tracks are the perfect sound to leave you refreshed and upbeat as you hit the showers.