And The Winners Are…

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.”

Posted on Jan 27, 2014

What’s Your Power Song?

Do you know what a “Power Song” is?

runner2In 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!

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

The Power Of Live Music

“The Power of Live Music…”

It’s interesting to follow the progression of how we access and consume music over the centuries.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a time when the only way to hear music was by being in the audience or playing it yourself. For many centuries, children were schooled in music partly so that they could then provide entertainment during the time between dinner and bedtime.

The first recordings must have seemed miraculous. Imagine listening to music, a symphony perhaps, in the privacy of your own home!

And although recordings allow the masses to access music previously reserved for the rich, they also place a distance between the musician and the listener.

I remember when cassette tapes became mainstream and then CDs were on the rise. There were some rather furious debates about the “soullessness” of those recordings. Many people felt that vinyl was the truest way to experience recordings and that, somehow, LPs captured a certain something that the clarify of audio files could not.

And now vinyl is making a comeback once again. Even the New York Times declared a resurgence earlier this year. And the Washington Post reported that vinyl record sales have hit their highest point since 1997.

Still if you really want to be a purist about music, nothing beats the R-E-A-L thing. And that means live music.

Here’s a demonstration of what I mean…

Listen to the original album version of “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2:

And then to this live version:

Which one stokes your fire? Which one give you goosebumps?

You might decide that, for you, the original version will always be the best. And that’s OK.

But consider mixing things up a bit every now and then.

We’re not living in the Victorian Age anymore. We have access to so much music which includes DJ remixes of songs and live concert bootleg videos shot all over the world and posted to YouTube. Be creative and inventive in your search for “new” music.

Here’s another example of an infectious first live performance of a current chart-topping hit, “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This is a great live version to pump you up…

And just one more live concert edition for you…

“Gangnam Style” by Psy (I love it when the audience sings along):

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Posted on Oct 23, 2013

Girls Just Want to Have Fun…

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun…”

zumbaOK, maybe guys do too!

Sometimes exercise can feel like such a chore. Plenty of people don’t enjoy exercise at all. And if you’re a fitness professional, of course there are days when you’re just not in the mood to teach…again.

The antidote to all of this is to inject some fun into that workout. Of course, everyone’s definition of “fun” is going to vary.

For some, FUN = working out so hard you feel like puking. (Seriously!) Check out this video from the Reebok Crossfit games to see what I mean:

For others, FUN = making exercise feel like it’s not really exercise. Zumba can be a great example of this. For many it’s not exercise so much as it’s going out dancing. I think this video captures the essence of the infectious joy of Zumba:

And then again, sometimes FUN = coming up with something  completely new to shake you up and keep you from getting bored. (Does anyone remember double step and quad step???)

Could this be the next great fitness trend? Get ready to synch choreography and treadmills…

Whatever motivates you to get up and get moving, remember to make it your mission to have fun with it and you’ll be more likely to keep coming back for more.

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Posted on Oct 18, 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

Shouts Outs…

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