“Songs From Your Formative Years…” I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from readers that the 80s is hands down one of the favorite decades for purely fun workout music. I have to agree that, for me personally, the 80s were definitely a fun time. I graduated from high school i...
I get a lot of comments from readers who say they don’t always time to fit in a “formal” workout, meaning they can’t make it to the gym to jump into a step class or even head for a run outdoors. Instead, they burn calories doing housework…in the kitchen, in the backyard...
This mix definitely doesn’t hold to a square 32-count beat, but has some fun classic tunes for a bootcamp, Crossfit, or spinning class. Some of my favorite tunes include: Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘N Roses I Love Rock N’ Roll by Joan Jett We Will Rock You by Queen Nothin’ B...
OK, I just scrolled down through my most recent posts and realize that I have been slightly obsessed lately with the past…the 80s and 90s primarily.
I suppose you could call those decades my “formative years” as far as music is concerned. Why?
Regarding the 80s, I began my freshman year in high school in 1980 and graduated from college in 1988. So those songs bring back a flood of memories for me. Some good, some great, and some pretty awful. For better or for worse, 80s tunes tend to stir up some very powerful emotions.
And that’s where music’s influence is at its best!
For the 90s, I “discovered” aerobics when I was living above an aerobics studio in Oakland, California and I trained in that small studio to be an instructor in 1992. All the mix tapes I played were filled with some energizing songs like:
I’ve been a workout music junkie ever since!
Relive these songs (remixed with a modern day flair) and much more in this mix:
Grad the free download of this workout mix via Soundcloud here.
When putting together a new playlist, I generally like to mix it up regarding the length of tracks as well as original singles interspersed with remixes or mash-ups to keep things interesting.
When I first began downloading music from the internet back when Napster was the only game in town, that’s when I first discovered Thunderpuss remixes. I loved them because they took current hits (mostly ballads) from artists such as Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, and Deborah Cox and injected a major dose of energy with uplifting beats and rhythms.
Plus, remixes often took a 3-minute single and stretched it out as long as 8 or 10 minutes, giving you a chance to really settle into a nice workout zone.
Ten to twelve years later, some of these mixes might feel a bit dated, but I still love ’em.
Check out some Thunderpuss remixes for free along with some other high energy remixes from Offer Nissim, Hex Hector, and Chris Cox on Spotify. (Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free account here.)
If you have never experienced the dynamic music of Angelique Kidjo, a woman dubbed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time magazine, then you are in for an uplifting treat.
She blends tribal rhythms with pop, Latin, jazz, and zouk influences. The result is often pure, unbridled joy.
Check out her album, “Spirit Rising” on Spotify. (Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free account here.)
Check out her cover version of the Rolling Stones classic, “Gimme Shelter” for an injection of high energy followed by nice cool down tunes, “Malaika” and a haunting cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime.”
Another reason to become a Kidjo fan is she is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and campaigns for improvements for women’s health and girls’ education in Africa.
The beauty in her spirit and soul definitely shines through in her music.
Good times with this new mash-up that mixes favorite disco tunes with current hits.
The transitions between songs aren’t always the smoothest, but all-in-all it’s a fun mix.
Grab it here.
If you are looking for some new inspiration for your workouts, a great source is the 2014 Grammy Award nominees.
Check out this playlist that Spotify put together that includes every single nominated song…from pop to hip-hop, country to jazz:
The awards were handed out last night. Whether you agree with the final decisions or not, here are some favorite moments from this year’s show…
“Same Love” performed by Macklemore, Mary Lambert, and Ryan Lewis with Queen Latifah officiating over the marriage of 33 diverse couples on stage.
Ultimate “power couple” Beyonce and Jay-Z opening the show with their performance of “Drunk In Love.” Um…H-O-T!
17-year old Lorde picking up the win in her first year as Grammy nominee for her single, “Royals.”
Back in the early 90s, I lived in a studio apartment in Oakland, California above an aerobics studio called Studio 6000. I was working my first “real job” out of college in San Francisco during the day and taking step aerobics classes at night.
When I decided that I wanted to learn how to teach aerobics classes the year was 1992 and although some instructors still spun LPs, the rest of us bought cassette tapes mixed by DJs who generally charged $20-25/tape.
I threw out a lot of those old tapes a few years ago as I struggled to make room in my adult life but sometimes I wish I still had them so I could load them into my boom box and take a walk down Memory Lane.
This mix here is the next best thing, “90s Bash, Volume 1” from SteadyMixes:
Format: Continuous & square
Tempo: 130 bpm
Favorite songs include:
- I Like to Move It by Reel 2 Real
- Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
- Push It by Salt-n-Pepa
- C’Mon Ride It (The Train) by Quad City DJs
Another fun flashback mix comes from DJ Tiesto, “Club Life 388 – 90s Mix, Hour 1”:
Top hits include:
- Rhythm Is A Dancer by Snap!
- Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic
- Everybody’s Free by Rozalla
And of course, if you like that, check out “Hour 2”
Top hits include:
- Mr. Vain by Culture Beat
- What Is Love by Haddaway
- Finally by CC Peniston
Where does this music take you? Do you remember where you were living, what job you were working, who your friends were at the time?
Some of these songs might be more than 20 years old, but they still have the power to inspire you to work up a sweat!
Do you know what a “Power Song” is?
In 2006, Nike and Apple collaborated to release the Nike+ iPod kit which included a sensor that you inserted in your running shoes which would then track various things like your pace, distance covered and calories burned.
All nifty bits of data to help enhance your training and make workouts more interesting.
The sensor paired up with your iPod so you could hear updates via your headphones.
One of the most amazing features of Nike+ was the option to set your personal preference for your “Power Song.”
That’s your “go to” song when you need an energy boost. You know what I mean…the song that never fails to get you moving a little quicker.
One of my readers commented that she used to take an instructor’s aerobics class solely because he would always play THE SONG that never failed to get her moving and “made the entire workout worthwhile.”
That, my friend, is a Power Song.
In Nike+ you can program your system so that, if your pace drops below a certain level, the music automatically shifts to your Power Song to kick your butt into gear.
How cool is that?
I bought my first mp3 player back in 2001 and I remember it could only hold 74 minutes worth of music! I was running my first half marathon in San Francisco, and the song that pumped me up when I started to flag was…
One of my long time spinners recently revealed to me that his Power Song is another classic from the 80s, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. Check out the hairdos in this slightly corny music video:
And another die hard gym member loves this song:
So what’s your Power Song? Make sure you have it handy to don’t hesitate to flip it on as needed!