Epic 80s Rock

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’ But A Good Time by Poison
  • Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC


Check out the playlist and grab it here: https://soundcloud.com/djepic-910/01-dj-epic-80s-rock-mixtape

Length: 43:10
Format: Continuous
Tempo: varies

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

What’s Your Definition of “Good Music”?

martialartsIf there is one thing that I’ve learned in all my years of teaching fitness classes, it’s that you can’t please everybody when it comes to music.

I was in the hallway before a class one time and a member walked up to me and asked, “Are you going to play some good music today?”

My response? “Define Good.”

Gather a group of 20 people together and you will have 20 different notions of what “good music” is.

Some people love rap and hip-hop. Others can’t stand it.

I love this comment from a reader:


Like I said, you can’t please everybody all the time!

If you are selecting music for a group of people, the best you can hope for is to please most people some of the time.

As an instructor, in addition to picking music I think my students will like, I have to play music that inspires me so I can pass along that inspiration and motivation to my students.

If you are choosing music for your own personal workout, then it’s exactly that…a matter of discovering what inspires you personally.

Here are some tips on picking inspiring music for yourself or others:

  1. Consider the type of workout: If you are teaching a kickboxing class or doing some hard core weight training, you’re probably going to want music that’s different from the music you want to hear if you are doing yoga or Pilates. When I’m working out, I might listen to techno, pop, and rap, but when I’m taking yoga, I like it when the instructor plays more instrumental music.
  2. Consider the mood: I remember when I was going through a tough transition (just left a long-term relationship, moved, got a new job), I really enjoyed listening to music that had some pretty defiant lyrics. Years later, when I was more settled, I found those some songs no longer inspired me. So what mood are you in today? Do you need a boost or do you need to feel more grounded? What time of day is it? Evening workouts might be be inspired by different tunes like club-inspired dance music than 9am workouts where classic songs you can sing along to rule.
  3. Mix it up: You don’t always have to go for what’s “expected.” Fill your playlist with a variety of music with different tempos, tones, and genres. Sometimes just the shock of something unexpected can motivate.

If you want a hard-hitting mix complete with explicit lyrics,  check out this Playlist on Spotify (click here to sign up for a free account):

Or click here to check out this Playlist on Soundcloud. I particularly love these songs (if I’m in the right mood):

  • Remember the Name by Fort Minor
  • Not Afraid by Eminem
  • Ready for War by 50 Cent

If you’re in the mood for some really upbeat music, browse through the tunes in this Spotify Playlist (click here to sign up for a free account):

Posted on Oct 10, 2013

Remixes Breathe New Life Into Old Songs

“Remixes Breathe New Life Into Old Songs…”

Whether you teach indoor cycling, bootcamp, circuit training, Crossfit, kickboxing, yoga, Zumba or any other kind of fitness class, it can be challenging to keep your music fresh and engaging so your class members (and you) don’t get bored by the same old, same old.

One easy way to inject a little bit of spice into your workout is to incorporate remixes of popular tunes.

Remixes are alternative versions of an original song by the original artist that a DJ has “edited” by either adding new beats or changing the tempo so that the end result is a new “composition.”

This is not to be confused with a mashup which mixes two or more songs together to create a new blend. (Read more about mashups here.)

In a remix, it’s just one song that’s been “enhanced.”

Remixes can quickly change a slow ballad into a heart-pumping power song.

Check out the various remixes of Beyonce’s “Check On It” and you’ll see all the different takes different DJs can have on one song:

In cases like this, these remixes are done with the consent of the original artist. In others, DJs do some “unauthorized” freestyle remixing as in this remix of “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman:

How do you find remixes?

Simply do a search in whatever music app you use such as Spotify, Pandora, or Soundcloud for the name of an artist or a song and the word “remix.”

Do you have a favorite remix tune you’d like to share? Add it in the comments below.

Posted on Oct 4, 2013

Totally Radical 80s Rock Playlist

“Totally Radical 80s Rock Playlist…”

cherry-pieIt’s true that studies have shown that music has the power to stir emotions and that your emotions can help you power through a workout or any other challenge in life.

If you want to read more about how music impacts your emotions, check out “How Music Can Fuel Your Emotions.”

I’ve had more than one class member tell me that they love it when I play songs that he/she recognizes and that those songs really inspire them to work harder. It’s common to hear someone say, “Wow, time really flew by” when I play the oldies or what I like to call “classics.”

The challenge, however, can lie in making everyone happy when you have a wide range of participants who come from very different generations. That’s why I tend to mix up my music so that each person is sure to recognize at least a song or two during the course of the class.

The decade that probably puts me in my “happy place” the most in definitely the 80s. That’s the decade I went to high school and college and so many of those songs trigger a ton of memories. Some good, some bad.

If you’re also a fan of the 80s, check out this 80s Rock Workout playlist on Spotify:

Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free one here.

Posted on Oct 3, 2013

The Need for Speed…

“The Need for Speed…”

topspeedI received a lot of comments from readers on a recent post about the definition of “good workout music” saying that when it comes to exercising, they love upbeat, fast-paced music.

I have to say that, although I am a big fan of mixing things up, I love my music fast and I love it loud!

I was participating in an indoor cycling instructor training earlier this year and the main gimmick of this training centered around using videos projected onto a large screen which simulate cycling on the highways of Italy or through the forest of Yosemite.

Because the training company really wanted to emphasize the importance of the visual props, the Master Instructor leading us through the training advised us to keep the volume of our music lower, more like background music than anything else.

He said that the verbal cues you give in conjunction with what’s going on in the videos will be the more motivating factor and that music would only be a distraction.

However, as he led us through a Master Class, I felt less than inspired. And from where I was sitting, I was able to observe that the other instructors and gym members were putting out an average effort at best, until…

This song came on:

Suddenly, all of the instructors started hooting and hollering and everyone instantly started spinning a lot faster and sweating a whole lot more.

That just confirmed for me that, in this instance, the music was by far the more motivating factor.

On that note, check out there two great, F-A-S-T continuous mixes.

#1: Top Speed, Classics Edition (180 bpm)

Length: 53 minutes
Format: Continuous and square
Tempo: 180 bpm

#2: Cardio Mix by DJ Javier 

Length: 33:34
Format: Continuous
Tempo: 152 – variable

Posted on Oct 2, 2013

Shouts Outs…

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