Trapped In the 80s & 90s

90sOK, 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.

Length: 1:00:11
Format: Continuous
Tempo: Mixed

Hot & Kool Disco Mash-Up

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.

Posted on Jan 28, 2014

90s Flashback

90s-bashBack 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:

Length: 51:02
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”:

Length: 56:59
Format: Continuous
Tempo: various

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”

Length: 55:09
Format: Continuous
Tempo: various

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!

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

Is Indie Rock Becoming Mainstream?

indie“Is Indie Rock Becoming Mainstream?”

OK, I admit it, although I like a lot of Indie music, it’s not generally my “go to” genre when I’m searching for motivating workout music.

However, I know that what motivates me might not necessarily motivate you. And what motivates you might be…indie music. LOL

I was pleased to find this continuous workout music mix dedicated to highlighting indie bands such as:

  • Capital Cities
  • Passion Pit
  • Ladyhawke

I’m not sure if calling indie music mainstream is an oxymoron, but a lot of independent bands are rising to the top of the charts these days.

I’m sure that indie rockers will balk at the very idea of one of their beloved band’s music being played in a Jazzercise class, but such is the peril of simply playing songs with a catchy tune.

If you love indie music, give this mix a whirl and let me know your verdict.

Duration: 55:46
Format: Continuous and square
Tempo: 135 bpm


Posted on Oct 18, 2013

Putting Your Workout Into High Gear

“Putting Your Workout Into High Gear”

topspeed7I’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of exercising to music that you know. That can mean playing current hits from the radio or taking it “old school” and playing classic songs from your past.

But besides activating your emotions, another motivating factor of music can be tempo or the speed of a song, measured in beats per minute (BPM).

Sometimes simply because the beat of a song is at a higher BPM, you’ll begin moving faster.

To read another article about the benefits of speed, check out “The Need for Speed”.

Not only can the music motivate you to move faster, but a study cited in Scientific American states that athletes who worked out to the rhythmic beat of music were able to endure a lot longer and used 7% less oxygen than the athletes who didn’t workout to music.

So when you’re just not feeling quite as motivated or maybe when you’re pumped up and want to get a huge adrenaline rush, try playing music that’s 150 BPM or faster.

For instance, I took my dog to the beach the other day and was feeling a little bit lazy. So although I don’t usually run with headphones on at the beach, I got out my iPod, played the following cardio mix called, “Top Speed 7” which runs at 170 BPM and suddenly I was flying down the beach.

I think even my dog was surprised!

And I only recognized one or two songs, so that wasn’t the motivating factor. It was the fast beat that periodically faded and then ramped up again that kept me feeling great. Sample this mix here:

Length: 46:03
Format: Continuous and square
Tempo: 170 bpm

Posted on Oct 18, 2013

“How to Save Time & Money On Your Playlists”

“How to Save Time & Money On Your Playlists”

OK, this article is for you if you teach any of the following:

  • Indoor Cycling
  • Bootcamp
  • Treadmill classes
  • Circuit Training…

spinning-editIn short, if you have the freedom to select your own single-tracks to play in class, then I have a most AWESOME resource for you…

As an instructor, it’s up to you to put together your playlists for class. However it can be challenging to constantly come up with new, fresh soundtracks to motivate your class. Why?

  1. It can be EXTREMELY time consuming to comb through millions of songs in order to find just the right ones that fit together to create the mood you’re looking for and fit the profile of the workout you have designed.
  2. It can get costly if you are paying per track. At $.99-$1.29 each, a single class playlist can cost you $15-20 each time.
  3. Music that motivates you might not motivate others. Sad but true. Sometimes you put a song out there that you love but it completely flops in class. You can literally see people tuning out during the workout and that’s not good.

The solution? Check out the playlist of other instructors.

Sneaking a peek at what other instructors are playing can save you tons of time.

And if you use a service like Spotify to download and play your music, you’ll pay only a monthly flat rate for virtually unlimited music vs. paying per song. Click here to sign up for a free account, but if you want to download commercial free music to your mobile device to play during class, you’ll want a Premium account.

And to save you even more time, here’s that awesome resource I mentioned earlier… offers their “Weekly Playlist.” These playlists are designed specifically for instructors to use in indoor cycling classes.

You can use these playlists as is or edit them as you see fit, replacing a tune you don’t like with something that works better for you. These archives go back all the way to 2009, so this can keep you busy for at least a couple of weeks!

Are you going to take any of these playlists for a spin in your classes or even your own personal workout? If you do, come back here and give me your feedback. Was that playlist Hot or Not?

Posted on Oct 18, 2013

Don’t Put Your Workout On Auto-Pilot

“Don’t Put Your Workout On Auto-Pilot”

One of the biggest challenges (and expenses) for fitness instructors is keeping your music library from getting stale.

Professionally mixed music usually starts at $20 per mix or CD and goes up from there.

Because of this, I’ve known instructors who relentlessly play the same music over and over and over again. Back in the mid-90s I knew a guy who ALWAYS without fail played “When A Man Loves A Woman” for his cool-down. I guess you could say it was a signature song for him!

But if you continually play the same music, it’s like putting the workout on auto-pilot. Over time, the tendency will be to “phone it in” by decreasing how much effort you’re really putting into it.

Now there’s a large selection of music out there available for free download so there’s not excuse to let your music become a “signature song” by default.

Here’s a 42-mimute cardio mix that includes a free download so you can upload it to your mobile device and play during your workout.

This continuous track features an interesting mix of genres from Techno to Latin to House to Pop and includes original songs and remixes such as:

  • The theme from Mortal Kombat
  • The Funk Phenomena by Armand van Helden
  • Sandstorm by Darude
  • Up & Down by Vengaboys
  • Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye

There’s even a hilarious “cameo appearance” by Jane Fonda around minute 28! Check it out…

Grab the free music download here:

Length: 42:33
Format: Continuous
Tempo: 146 bpm

Posted on Oct 7, 2013

Shouts Outs…

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