I thought it was time for something a bit more personal. So here’s the top ten of albums that most often live in the CD player in the garage gym and which I have a fondness for when I’m working out.
You wouldn’t think this would necessarily work (no consistent heavy beat, for example) but somehow this comes up time and time again. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s so tuneful and it doesn’t make my ears bleed. Although usually it gets swapped for something louder when it comes to deadlifts.
I love old school rock. It cheers me up and I like being cheered up while fighting the metal. I used this CD for the same workout in the gym for so long that I now feel the urge to do front squats every time I hear “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. It’s getting a bit awkward at parties…
I know what you’re thinking. Morrissey? In the gym? Well, I’m a big Morrissey fan and I never thought it would work either until I was listening to a Radio 2 interview with Morrissey while doing a workout (I had to do the workout, I didn’t want to miss the interview, it was a very strange workout as a result). Interestingly there are some surprisingly good beats to workout to.
I like the melodies on this album. Like Evanescence, they manage to get enough tune to entertain during the rests between sets but they also get in enough beat to keep you moving the rest of the time.
5. Give ‘Em The Boot Volume I (compilation album by Hellcat Records):
I picked this up cheaply and have never regretted it. It’s probably best classified as punk rock or ska with some funky tracks, good beats, and loads of variety thanks to it’s nature as a showcase for lots of different bands from Hellcat Records.
A brilliant heavy beat for ploughing through the harder moments although missing some of the better tunefulness that comes with the Indestructible album.
The only drawback with this album is that I don’t like the live tracks towards the end since it’s all a bit out of tune. Unfortunately, I once found myself trapped under a bar on the floor doing weighted glute bridges when the live tracks came on and didn’t have time to extract myself, change the CD and get back under the bar between sets. I rarely do weighted glute bridges with this CD playing these days, just in case it happens again.
Most albums by these guys are good for workouts. You could try their “new” number one Christmas hit in the UK (amazing how old hits can come round again with the power of the internet).
Again, call me an old school rock fan, but any Meatloaf tracks can get me in the mood for a heavy workout.
My teenage years included a love of gothic rock music. In particular Sisters of Mercy and Nine Inch Nails. While I haven’t tried Nine Inch Nails in recent years (it mostly makes my head hurt these days – I must be getting old) Sisters of Mercy have some good quick tempo, heavy beat, heart-pumping stuff which comes with some good tunes for singing along and therefore making it great for both cardio and workouts with rest periods.
Temple of Rarities is my usual choice. It’s a compilation that doesn’t seem to be easily available anymore (it was an eighteenth birthday present from friends). However, since this doesn’t seem to be easily available I recommend A Slight Case of Overbombing, which is an alternative compilation and still has all the best workout tracks.
Now you know I’m crazy. Sometimes I’m happy to be going in the gym. So happy I feel the need to dance between tracks. If you want to dance, you want something you can dance to. You don’t need a heavy beat to keep you moving, because you’re already moving.
Just as I’m a fan of old school rock, I’m also a fan of rock’n’roll. It may be Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday this week, but Chuck Berry works better in the gym. Be warned though – you may end up with more of a cardio workout than you expected!