Here we are, already at the end of August. For a lot us, that means summer is winding down and our ‘summer bodies’ are beginning to take a backseat to other priorities. It can be difficult to stay dedicated to working out when the temperature begins to drop (especially for us near the Northeast), but I’ve found one thing that helps keep me on track: music. For anyone who knows me, that comes as no surprise. However, I strongly believe that the right mix of songs (which varies for each person, obviously) can give you that extra kick of motivation you might need to get yourself started.
After all, we all know that getting started is the hardest part. So, here’s a small sample of some of the songs I like to listen to that help get me started and get me through my workouts. These are almost always on my playlist, but, depending on the day and my mood, I will sometimes throw in some totally off the wall workout choices like slow r&b or acoustic songs. Adjust your playlist to what you’re feeling each day, but try to keep some constants that you know will give you a boost.
1. Lust A Prima Vista by The Spill Canvas
The Spill Canvas will always have a special place in my heart. Without a doubt, they will always be one of my favorite bands. I have a special connection with Lust A Prima Vista in particular because it was actually the first song I ever heard from them. I bought their “One Fell Swoop” CD without ever hearing a song from them, simply because a friend told me they were good. This was the first song on the CD; it gave me chills then, and it still does now. This isn’t your typical heavy, fast-paced pump up song, but it always gets me going because of the connection I have to it.
2. Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail by A Day To Remember
There are many A Day To Remember songs I could’ve picked for this playlist, but I chose this one because I’ve been into it even more than usual lately. Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail does a great job of combining heavy guitar riffs with a gritty, catchy chorus. The verses are the heaviest parts of the song, with chugging guitars and screaming vocals. The aggressive nature of the song is perfect for giving me a boost when I’m near the middle of a workout and beginning to wear down.
3. Devotion and Desire by Bayside
Another one of my favorite bands, possibly my top favorite, is Bayside. For an unknown reason to myself, I slept on this band for a very long time. I had some sort of preconceived notion about them and I had never even listened to a song of theirs. Finally, an ex-girlfriend got me to listen to them, and I absolutely fell in love. Devotion and Desire was one of the first, if not the first song I ever heard from them. As is the case with most Bayside songs, the guitar is fantastic, and Anthony Raneri’s lyrics, vocals, and melodies compliment the music to perfection. The combination of my connection to this song along with the nature of the song makes this a perfect choice for my workout playlist.
4. Pick Up the Pieces by Jason Derulo
I’m sure a lot of you are looking at this choice with confusion, and possibly even disgust. But hear me out! First of all, I love Jason Derulo, especially his first two albums. He has some really awesome songs, and I just generally enjoy his vocals. Pick Up the Pieces is a lesser-known song off the “Future History” album, but it’s one of my favorite Jason Derulo songs. The chorus of the song is one of my favorites. It’s relatively simple, but the way Jason delivers the lyrics just makes it for me. The song is uptempo, but not extremely fast. For this song, I think it’s more the emotion behind it rather than the music that pumps me up.
5. If You Wanted A Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask by Mayday Parade
I’ll never forget the first time I heard this song. I was driving to Virginia Beach with my friend Tommy, and he introduced me to Mayday Parade. More specifically, the entire “A Lesson In Romantics” album. I fell in love with every song within the first ten seconds. I chose If You Wanted A Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask for this playlist because it’s one of the faster, more uptempo songs on the album. Similar to the last selection, the emotion in this song really helps motivate me. However, the music does a lot for me, as well. From the very beginning of the song, the simple drum beat and bouncy bass guitar makes me want to get moving. Once you layer the electric guitar and passionate vocals on top of it, it gives me a great shot of energy to finish my workouts.
6. Stutter by Marianas Trench
I was only introduced to Marianas Trench about a year ago, but they quickly rose to the top of my list of favorite bands. Josh Ramsay, the lead vocalist (among many other things) for the band, is an absolutely incredible musician, songwriter, singer… pretty much anything you can think of, he’s amazing at. From the second I heard the first word he sang, I fell in love with his voice. Then, as I continued listening to the songs, I became increasingly impressed. Their music is brilliant, the melodies are beautiful, and the lyrics are a unique blend of both fun and heart-wrenching. I could probably use just about any of their songs to get me through a workout, but I chose Stutter because of its upbeat, fun nature. The song starts with a bouncy, poppy drum beat that sets the tone for what’s to come. The pace never really slows down, so this is a good one to keep you going from beginning to end.
7. Scream by Michael & Janet Jackson
I’m a huge fan of Michael Jackson’s music. I always have been. I can remember being a little kid and watching his music videos with pure amazement. One particular song and video always stood out in a different way than all the rest, however. That was for the song Scream. It was probably a combination of the unique style of the video and the uncommon, aggressive nature of Michael’s vocals in the song. I don’t feel like this is one of Michael Jackson’s most popular or recognized songs, but I still consider it one of his best. It gives me an adrenaline boost in a different way than most other Michael Jackson songs do, and that’s why it’s a great fit on my workout playlist.
8. Dig by Mudvayne
If you’ve never seen it, I strongly recommend checking out the music video for this song… unless you scare easily or have nightmares often. My introduction to Mudvayne was through the music video for the song Dig. It was certainly an interesting experience. Covered in makeup, crazy outfits, and even an occasional horn or two, the band definitely stood out and made a unique first impression. For some reason, the song also grabbed my attention, which was unusual at that time because I really wasn’t into this style of music at all. Everything about the band and song felt fresh to me, and I developed an interesting connection to the song. The fast, aggressive style of the song has always made me want to move, so it was an easy choice for this playlist.
9. King For A Day (feat. Kellin Quinn) by Pierce The Veil
So, I was a little bit behind when it came to jumping on the Pierce the Veil bandwagon, but I finally gave them a chance and didn’t regret it at all. They are truly incredible musicians, and I absolutely love the Spanish influence you can hear in some of their songs. King For A Day shows small glimpses of that influence, but that’s not why this is on the playlist. The song is uptempo for the majority of its duration, and even has a bit of a dance vibe. The screaming vocals in the verses pump me up even more, and when you add Kellin Quinn (one of my favorite vocalists) to the mix, it creates a fantastic song to listen and workout to.
10. Elevated by State Champs
State Champs are an up-and-coming pop punk band that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Their album “The Finer Things” is amazing from beginning to end. They also released an acoustic EP called “The Acoustic Things” that is just as good and shows their ability to excel in different situations. Elevated is the opening track on “The Finer Things”, and really sets a fun, uptempo tone for the entire album. The guitar riff that opens the song prepares you for the pace of the song, and the vocals carry you through to the end flawlessly. I particularly enjoy running to this song because it helps me keep a nice pace and distracts my mind from thinking about the fact that I actually hate running unless I’m playing sports.
So, there you have it. This is just a very small sample of some songs that I commonly include on my workout playlist, but I think these are all good choices to include in different situations. What are some of your favorite songs to workout to?