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Best Music to Lift to?

What’s the best music to workout to? The short answer is something with loud drums, heavy bass, shredding guitar, and maybe some exciting vocals. Over the past year I’ve experimented with different genres and artists to find the right music to kill a workout. Music that makes you want to yell at the beginning of the set, bang the weights, or rip your shirt in half while air guitaring. I find a mix of self-loathing grunge, ear-piercing metal, longing rock, and truly gangster shit to be most effective. 

On your heaviest top sets, or PRs, you’re definitely gonna want something that builds. You want the outside world canceled out, noise control and full volume, to achieve maximum tunnel vision. Songs that begin with a slow, almost ambiguous and mysterious crawl, getting progressively louder and more filled in are perfect. There is no surer feeling that you’re about to absolutely smoke your set while listening to a song build, getting ready. The greatest song I’ve found for this is The Pretender by the Foo Fighters. The same song my dad played before my elementary soccer games is the same song I now hit records to.

As much as I hate to say it, angry music works. You don’t have to even be really angry at anything in particular. I would say generally, I’m not really an angry person. But it’s sometimes nice to find something to be mad about, or in the rare case I actually am, and then channel that into your exercise via music. As cliche/cringe as that may sound. 

Honestly, just rip some Deftones. Nowadays that’s what I’ve been doing. Maybe the best part of listening to Defones while you lift is that no matter where in the song you are in, it’ll probably do the trick. Say you get into the zone and you’re about ready to lift the dumbbells up and start your set, but the weird bridge comes on, or the song switches to some mellow ballad. You’re not gonna get psyched out and go on your phone to switch the song, especially if you’re holding dumbbells or your phone is in your bag. You just wanna be able to go. With Deftones you’re usually gonna get some kind of screaming, so it’s not really an issue. 

More on this I find myself listening to a lot of rap. Usually some East Coast 90s: Wu-Tang, Nas, Mobb Deep, etc. Every once in a while some shitty trap I would never listen to outside the gym. You want to get into a rhythm and rep it out. Hip Hop can be great for that.


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