Sometimes, when I slog through the health club in the ungodly hours of the morning, I'll see those people with their "Blue Steel" faces, bopping around the gym floor and hitting the equipment with unbridled gusto. It's as if there's no place on earth they'd rather be.
Uh, yeah, that ain't me.
I hate going to the gym. To me, there's nothing appealing about manual labor. If I was at home and someone said to me, "Hey, pick up this cinderblock and move it to the other side of the room," I'd probably ignore them. If they asked me to do it 10 times, then run up and down the stairs for no particular reason, I'd likely kick them in the nads.
Yet here I am paying a bunch of strangers for the right to do it somewhere else.
In the end, the idea of not dying at age 40 from heart disease wins out, and I give up that hour I would have spent watching The Adventures of Keyboard Kitty to get my sweat on. Even when I get there, it's still an internal struggle to make the most of my time.
It's hard to stay motivated.
I'm not going to shotgun a 72-ounce Red Bull in the gym parking lot just to get through my sets, so I have no choice but to rely on the only ally I have once I've dragged my ass to the gym, and that's my iPod. Music is the beacon that guides hordes of unmotivated souls, like mine, to the fitness finish line.
But dammit, you gotta have the right set of tunes.
I never bothered with playlists until the day I was going heavy on the bench, trying to power through my sticking point while Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" echoed throughout my skull. I was lucky enough to survive, but in doing so, knew it was finally time to finally do it right.
Having the right music, the kind that gets your head to do that parakeet-thingy, is what transforms a trip to the gym into a killer workout. If you can't differentiate between the two, then you need to re-evaluate your playlist. Or, at the very least, upgrade from those shitty ear buds they gave you when you bought your new phone.
That's where I come in.
I have a pretty intense workout, so if I'm going to get through it and get home in time to put my kid on the bus, I have to get in the gym and kick some ass. I don't have time to be dicking around with the equalizer. Therefore, I make sure my music reflects my purpose.
Lots of hard rock, heavy metal and yes, even some gangster rap. Take a look at the first five songs of this week's playlist, in order, on my trusty iPod.
1. Thunderstruck (AC/DC)
2. No Leaf Clover (Metallica)
3. Deep Cover (Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg)
4. Graveyard Chamber (Gravediggaz)
5. Get to the Gone (Static-X)
Heavy bass, killer guitar riffs, screaming metal heads ... I need a pair of headphones that can handle the load. If you're thinking, "Hey, that sounds great, but I don't make that kind of coin and if I did, I would spend it on bills, not the baddest headphones on the market."
Trust me, I feel you.
But I have friends in high places, so when I called the boys over at ViSalus and told them to hook us up, they didn't even bat an eyelash. In fact, they've already signed over a pair of Beats by Dre headphones for me to give away to one lucky guy (or gal) who's been participating in the Fitness Friday columns.
But that's not good enough for me.
We've been at this for a month now and I've been talking a lot about the ViSalus "Fit Kit" and how it can help everyone from performance athletes, to just regular folks who want to lose weight and not die of misery in the process. No more talking.
It's time for action.
In addition to the badass Beats by Dre headphones, I'm also giving away a ViSalus "Fit Kit," comprised of the Vi-shape shakes, the ViSalus Nutra-cookie snack, ViSalus GO energy drinks and even little flavor mix-ins to add to your bottled water.
See the complete breakdown of the "Fit Kit" by clicking here.
No excuses. I'm giving you the music and the muscle, all for free. And maybe I'll even throw in a few prizes for second place. Not bad, right? And here's the best part: I'm not going to make you jump through hoops to get your hands on this swag, because the idea is to be motivated.
How do you get motivated?
If you go to the gym, chances are you listen to some tunes while you're there. You saw the first five songs in my playlist, now I want to see yours. Leave them in the comments section below, then tweet them out, tagging your artists, as well as ViSalus and MMAmaniaNews.
Here's an example:
The person with the most re-tweets between now and next Friday's fitness column is the winner. If we have a tie, no worries, a contingency plan is in place. Like I stressed in this fitness column, always have a plan. My plan is to get you motivated.
Then we have to work on keeping you there. More on that next week, when we get back into the thick of things.
See you then!
Fitness Friday is sponsored by ViSalus. Opinions expressed are solely of the author. For more information on the ViSalus line of products click here.