Saturday, May 5, 2012

Turn Up The Music! (from Hip Hop to Hardcore) It helps us power through the day

My headphones used to be a staple for me in the gym or the track. Not so much anymore because I find myself getting tangled in my cord while doing Clean and Jerks  more often than not. Somehow I muster the strength to power through intense workouts without my personal music player nowadays- it's gotta be done. BUT IT IS WAY BETTER WITH MUSIC!

No matter what you listen to, your favorite tunes will undoubtedly get you to perform better during exercise. Whether it makes you forget about the pain and just think about the beautiful sounds that you love (my little sister, Anna Prusinowski's method) or helps you focus on what you're doing and CRUSH THAT IRON (my method).

I have the privilege of running four weekly group fitness classes where I get to decide on the music. Now I think just as carefully about what we're listening to as what we're doing. Does that sound strange? Well it's the difference between having this kind of energy in a class:

                                                             versus this kind:

Come to any of my classes at Acadia Fitness or Santa Cruz Power Fitness to find out what I'm talking about! If you hate the workout (promise you won't!) you will at least love the music you get to listen to for the hour (promise you will!). 

"Dude, I was dying at the end of your class, I was about to quit then my favorite new song, International Love, came on and I just kept right on jamming until the end of class"
 -Anna Prusinowski, on her most recent visit to Santa Cruz Power Fitness

Now to let everybody in on what really drives me (and a lot of other intense music fans) to get fit, stay fit, and work out/crush weights on those days where you really just don't think you can move your butt. This is a YouTube video link to a song by a band that I want to talk a little bit about-- if you can read and listen at the same time, maybe that will put you in the mood to SMASH THINGS and really understand a little of what I am trying to express when I talk about hardcore music down below. Or if you want to read first then give a listen, do it that way. Either way, this is a local band to Upstate New York that I know personally and support not just because I know, but because the art they create helps me to stay motivated in a fast-paced life and get into the gym to do what I truly and passionately love doing on those days that it's tough to convince yourself to do so.

This is my friend (weightlifter friend, at that!) Brian Magee’s band from Syracuse, New York. That city is where I grew up and began my obsession with hardcore music. Hardcore is not heavy metal, it is not punk, and it is not “screamo.” Hardcore is the wild stepchild of punk rock, formed in the early 80’s with bands in New York and Washington DC playing a more in-your-face version of punk rock and playing it so intensely and with such speed that the lyrics just had to be yelled. Again, this is not heavy metal. Some hardcore bands have gone the “metally” route and play a crossover variation which some would call “Metal Core.” I call Brian’s band “Metal Core” and say that this genre of music is what motivates me to be serious and ferocious in the gym.
Some people prefer hip hop or dance music over hardcore to listen to while they workout, and I have all the respect for ya'll. I would never force this kind of listening on anyone- only sharing that which I myself find motivating. At “Billy’s Boot Camp” last evening, Dana (the one doing the tire throw) chose our music and decided to include A Day To Remember, New Found Glory and Hawthorne Heights. Here is a clip of some of these tough gals in action, fiercely finishing this workout with some “Metal Core” in the background. 

If Brian's band, Thoughts In Reverse, ever sends one of their releases my way, I will certainly include their music in my Cardio Kickboxing "Amped Abs" section. I like to stray away from the dance beats while we do our final ten minutes of abs and core strengthening. After 30+ minutes of fast-paced Cardio Kickboxing, it's better to slow it down a little bit and just concentrate on that MUSCLE CRUNCHING. Sometimes I like to think about the lyrics in the songs that are playing. I often see people mouthing the lyrics as they do their situps and planks- I guess it helps to either again, distract from the pain, or focus on it.

Another reason why I respect Thoughts In Reverse is because of their lyrical skills. I think the genre of "hardcore" has, for the most part, insightful and poetic lyrics about subjects which matter more than just girls and breaking up with girls and getting back together with girls and kissing girls. Tell us what you think, here are the lyrics to that song above, Mentality:

We never stood a chance, it never stopped us before. You're running from yourself and all that you are. I've never had respect, for those who don't live and love like us.. Feeling like the world owes you. fake it all you want, we are not impressed.

Don't mistake your enemy's failure, for your success. We live life with a shark's mentality.
I could never ask for more for more than what's in front of me.
We will die with more passion than you live.

Maybe we're all lost, but we still have each other, while you bask in misery all alone.
The ones that hold up my head are the ones holding bricks, in alleys ready to fight in my name. Ready to fight.

We will die with more passion than you live.

Thoughts In Reverse, Live Show, Check out the energy!

So if you want THIS KIND OF ENERGY... (Thank you, Distasteful Dave from New Jersey, for taking these amazing photos of Billy Bad Ass Group Exercise this week, and adding your own graphic-enhancing to them!)
It's ELECTRIC! Woogie Woogie Woogie!
...choose some good music. Here is how to get more of Thoughts In Reverse:
Come to Billy Bad Ass Boot Camps (every Friday, 6:15pm @Acadia Fitness)
Santa Cruz Cardio Kickboxing (every Monday and Wednesday, 6:00pm @Santa Cruz Power Fitness)
Billy Bad Ass Flat Belly Formula (every Saturday, 3:00pm @Santa Cruz Power Fitness) I said, maybe some Thoughts In Reverse to come in those classes- otherwise expect more amazing mixes that I work on every week for your listening and aerobic enjoyment. Whatever it is that really moves you keep it rocking. One more video to leave you with- here is the kind of jams that motivate some serious squatting:

Please follow Herbivore Athletics on Twitter @HerbivoreAthlet
 for more motivation and plant-based fitness nutrition tips. 
Yours in excellence, Billy Bad Ass

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