Get pumped with these pump up jams

Soundtrack suggestions to help your workout

By Jacey Gibb, Assistant Editor

I’m going to level with you folks for a moment: I think working out is one of the most boring activities out there. As much as I love those feel-good endorphins that come with spending an hour sweating it up next to some strangers, a huge deterrent for me is the engagement factor—or rather the lack of one. I fall under the category of people who visit the gym and wish for the experience to be over as quickly as possible so I can continue on with my day, indulging myself in all of my other self-destructive habits.

So now that you’re a bit more familiar with my workout ethic, I’d like to share with you my key sponsor: music. While this may seem like a no-brainer, the right soundtrack can help you set the mood, maintain the momentum, and give you something to focus on besides your growing pit stains. Obviously different workouts will call for different genres, but here are a few of my own personal suggestions.

Not surprisingly, my go-to artist for when I’m at the gym is Matt & Kim. For those of you unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar with this duo, think a non-stop onslaught of positive pop mixed with catchy electronic beats. While I usually just put their discography on shuffle and let my iPod be, if I had to suggest a specific album, it would have to be either Grand or their self-titled released, Matt & Kim. You may also like: Red, Yellow, & Blue by Born Ruffians.

Sliding down the electronic scale, you’ll find more musically-driven tracks and fewer songs oriented around lyrics. Who needs words to relate to when you have infectious numbers like those found on Glistening Pleasure, from the now broken up Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, or Rich Aucoin’s We’re All Dying to Live. Both albums boast a healthy amount of dance tracks that can also act as music to run to. You may also like: Silent Alarm by Bloc Party.

Since the days are gradually getting longer and that sunny beacon known as summer is literally on the horizon, the demand for beach jams will soon be on the rise. The upside to working out to fuzz-rock bands is there’s usually less of a distinctive rhythm, meaning your pace avoids dictation from a beat that may be a bit faster than you’re comfortable with. Cold Warps’ Endless Bummer from 2010 is a prime example of an album that combines jolting dance tracks with enough senselessness to make for mindless enjoyment. You may also like: Guitar Romantic by The Exploding Hearts.

If my suggestions thus far aren’t enough of an indicator, I’m a touch evasive of the traditional top 40 playlists that usually occupy the speakers at the gym. However, even I’m a sucker for Calvin Harris’ musical smorgasbord 18 Months. Fifteen tracks, each with a varied approach towards what makes an ordinary song into a classic clubbanger. If you’re in the mood to bro things up, I’d also recommend having a bit of Andrew W.K. on standby. The infamous party guru’s first studio album, I Get Wet, may already be more than a decade old, but when a quarter of the songs have the word “party” in the title, the album is more than capable enough to thoroughly pump up even the slowest of athletes.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to recognize how big of an impact the proper music can have on the time you spend at the gym. Of course, what music you have coming out of your headphones should coincide with whatever mood you’re personally in at the time, but I can guarantee that any of the albums mentioned above can help you set the stage for any and all upcoming sweat sessions.