Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mastering Your Playlist: The Sensai's Guide to Greatness

Image courtesy of

It's easy to lose motivation while you run, bike, lift or do whatever you do at the gym. I find that keeping a fresh playlist in my iPod is the best way to get over the hump. As a cycling instructor, I find myself looking around the internet for inspiration beyond the regular mash-up blogs and SoundCloud users I stalk. If you do the same, you'll find a common trend in workout mixes. There is the (1) all metal, angry workout (generally reserved for the weight room), (2) the Lady Gaga, trendy pop charts workout (reserved for those who can't get enough of the radio already) and (3) the 'I wish I could go back to the 70's, 80's, 90's' workout (reserved for those who wish N'Sync would get back together already).

Well, as one who loves music and must please the masses every day, I try to stay away from the too angry, too trendy and too old. As you probably already know, I am partial to the mash-ups. They provide a little bit of everything for everyone.

Here are a few guidelines for impressing your friends with your mix...

Image courtesy of
First, never play anything currently on the radio - NEVER! We already hear too much of it. As a matter of fact, try to stay away from artists who get too much playtime, even if they have an undiscovered, little-known track. You Lady Gaga fanatics, go away! She is trendy to the point of irrelevance for my classes AND she tries too hard. Moving on...

Image courtesy of
Second, take the anger out of the music. Motivate yourself throughout your workout with music that inspires you, not yells at you! C'mon, Metallica-head, try a little Foo Fighters instead because all those guitar solos are sure to offend the yoga geeks in your workout crew.

Image courtesy of
Third, in an effort to avoid being too trendy, make sure that you don't get too obscure. You still want a song that people will be able to recognize and relate to. Find something that you and your group haven't heard in awhile but still remember (ie. 867-5309).

Courtesy of
Lastly, have a good beat that flows through the playlist and doesn't change too much. Although I love Girl Talk, the guy can rarely keep the same song for longer than 30 seconds and is constantly changing the beats per minute (BPM) every chance he can get. It starts to get schizophrenic. Although you want variation in a song, no one wants to start with Fleetwood Mac and end with 2Pac. Oh yeah... and ALWAYS finish strong. A Whitney Houston remix is sure to whip you into shape for that last stretch. So much passion! And if that doesn't motivate you, then a new pair of running shoes and socks ALWAYS do the trick!

Check out my latest playlist below, created especially for you!


David Prado is a cycling instructor at Flywheel Atlanta, personal trainer and general fitness enthusiast. On his days off, he can be found on his road bike, biking more miles than you've ever thought possible in one day. He also makes a mean mojito and dances salsa like a pro, thereby making him one of the most fascinating men in the greater Atlanta area. To check out one of David's classes at Flywheel Atlanta, click here: David's Schedule.

No comments:

Post a Comment