The Ultimate Workout Remix Playlist

napster_logoWhen 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.)

Posted on Feb 3, 2014

High Energy African Music From Angelique Kidjo

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.

Posted on Jan 29, 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

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: https://soundcloud.com/dj-javier/cardio-mix

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

Posted on Oct 7, 2013

Halloween Playlist

Do you love the holidays? Even if you don’t chances are that your students do!

Use the holidays for inspiration to pick out music that will both crack up your members and infuse some new life in your routines.

Halloween has long inspired singers and songwriters to compose songs that can be chilling, campy, fun, or just plain perverse.

The “Ultimate Halloween Playlist” on Spotify has an incredible selection:

And in my classes, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a must:

Have fun with it!

And start to anticipate the next great holiday. Christmas is just around the corner…

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Posted on Oct 4, 2013

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