Saturday, May 23, 2009
Bad music begets jamming workouts
It's Saturday morning. I did not sleep well last night, tossing and turning from 4 AM on. My head hurts, I'm unmotivated, and I'm generally crabby. Not a pretty sight. I need a fix.
In years past, a gargantuan breakfast burrito (chorizo, much cheese, many eggs, lots of grease) served with a side of home fries and an english muffin (slathered with butter and jam) would have fixed me up quickly. The medicinal effects of fat should never be underestimated. This is exactly the remedy that the completely understanding devil perched on my left should was whispering in my ear.
However, the miserable, sanctimonious, preachy angel standing proudly on my right shoulder was exhorting me to take the hard but rewarding turn at the fork in the road. "Workout!", he said. "You will feel much better after a good sweat!" Idiocy, I tell you. Nonetheless, I steeled myself to take the righteous path.
I went down to my basement and stared at my stationary bike with dread. I needed a good 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise induced pain, and this bike was the only way to get there. I was really questioning whether I had it in my to go through with this. However, I knew that I had a secret weapon: an enormous mix of horribly cheesy, big, loud music. In fact, I named it the "Giant Bowl of Cheese."
Working out to music is hardly a new concept. Richard Simmons broke historic ground with "Sweatin' to the Oldies", and the Earth hasn't been the same since. It's hard to see anyone in the gym not wearing earphones, and Richard deserves full credit for this.
My personal trick is to employ a battery of music that I might be a tad bashful about listening to without headphones. Today's sampling included:
Rush, GNR, Asia, Journey, Steve Miller, and the massively motivating Bee-Gees. This stuff works magic on me. Never had a bad 4 minute exercise stretch with Staying Alive blaring. The other trick is to have enough on the mix so I can shuffle it and never get bored. iTunes has been a wonderful friend in this endeavor.
For those who have not embraced the cult of loud, cheesy workout soundtracks, I strongly encourage giving it a go. However, if you do, please consider two important safety tips:
1) Excessively loud music played for extended periods of time on earphones can damage your ears. I have no doubt I will be wearing a hearing aid within the next 10 years.
2) Public air guitaring is not a socially acceptable practice. Certainly not on a stationary bike. You could hurt someone that way.
BTW, it was a good workout, and I'm glad (and self righteous) about doing it.