Soooo today I had a near miss. Not a brush with death or anything. Even worse. I almost had to suffer through a WOD with the worst possible soundtrack.
I had just coached our 9am class, and wanted to get the metcon done before I left the box for the day, so as everyone filtered out, I got ready for a massive dose of rowing, and wall-balls.
I cued up my favorite "tear your face off / uber-intense / drown out the pain" music, and got ready to do work.
Here is my go-to song for this type of situation if you're interested...
The beauty of this song is that it starts off a little quiet, so it gives you time to get into position, but when it kicks in, you immediately feel like you could PR Fran while simultaneously fighting off a pack of rabid wolves.
Unfortunately, I was on a rower with a vantage point that wouldn't allow me to start the clock with the remote...so I switched to another one...which was still at the wrong angle...so I switched to another one...and then I noticed that the batteries were jacked up in the remote...All while my favorite workout song blasted further along.
I messed around with the remote for a couple more minutes, and then...at the moment I FINALLY got the clock figured out...the worst possible audio situation happened.
Instead of playing my CrossFit playlist, my phone was just shuffling randomly through my songs...and that's when this came on...
To save you a click, this is a satirical track from a spoken word album by Neal Pollack which makes fun of NPR style radio reporting (don't judge my sense of humor). Just imagine the driest radio program you've ever heard, and then imagine someone making fun of that broadcast by being even drier.
If this track would have come on during the workout, I probably would have just scrapped the WOD altogether. There's no way I could have stayed focused during a soundtrack that was equal parts boring/hilarious.
However, it got me thinking. What is some of the worst music to workout to?
Here is a workout music list of types of songs people should avoid when picking out music for WODs.
1. Anything 80s...
I know I'm going to get some backlash over this one, but the whole silly decade just makes me giggle. I can't do heavy power-cleans to the sound of the band Poison telling me that I... "Don't need nuuuthin'...but a gooood time..." When that song comes on, I'm reminded that I am NOT having a good time. It makes me want to say..."You know what Poison?...You're right...I don't need this...I'm going to go drink a Bud Light with Spuds MacKenzie, and all my super attractive friends at a pool party like they did in the 80s..."
P.S. If you don't know who Spuds MacKenzie is, Wikipedia will explain the whole thing here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spuds_MacKenzie
2. Anything Country...
Are you serious right now? I literally can’t think of ANY reason someone would pick country music to workout to. I don't even think I could go for a run while listening to Country. At it's best, Country MIGHT get you through a tough batch of yard-work, but that's about it. I probably feel this way because most country songs tell stories, and I just want to sit down for story time when they come on. Don't get me wrong, I like quite a few Country songs, but I don’t think they should be on any workout music list.
3. Songs That Objectify Women...
Am I the only one who thinks this is weird? In CrossFit we have a ton of REALLY strong, independent women, but for some reason a few of them seem completely fine with songs that reduce them to nothing more than a collection of body parts, and/or sexual playthings. I don't want to be around when songs like this are on because it makes me feel sad for the ladies who like this music, and embarrassed/awkward around the ladies who don't.
I know, I know, we all have our guilty pleasures, and it's hard to find hip-hop songs that don't break this rule, but we need to stop playing stuff like this.
4. Songs with weird breaks in them...
Some songs are cool and tough for a while, but then in the middle they'll have some weird extended instrumental break that causes the ever dreaded awkward silence. Trainers begin nervously cheering for people in an effort to fill the white space. Self-conscious lifters take a break from the intensity to avoid any un-camouflaged grunting and panting. The energy in the room just sort of deflates.
This is a really easy mistake to make, so if it happens, no harm, no foul, just make sure it gets taken off your playlist to avoid future mid-WOD letdowns.
5. Anything that isn't played loud...
It's important to be able to hear your trainer during the WOD, but we really do need to ride the line between elevator music, and "tear your face off" levels of volume. I don't want to workout to the sounds of involuntary gasping, wheezing, and moaning. Please bump the volume up enough to drown out the sound of my pain.
If possible, turn it up loud enough that the sound waves wick the tears and sweat away from my body through the sheer force of amplified audio. I'm totally fine with a little hearing loss as long as I don't have to listen to any more barbaric yawps, and gagging.
So there you have it. My thoughts on picking a playlist. You can ignore my advice, or you can make sure your playlist is on point before your next WOD, and become the honorary DJ at your box.
If you're not in control of the playlist, but one of these points is speaking your language, feel free to forward it on to someone who can do something about it.
If you're saying to yourself that worrying about the music choice at your box is silly...I agree with you a little bit. On the other hand, I think we'd all notice if there wasn't any music, so we might as well make it awesome...Right?
- - -
P.S. Speaking of choices...We have those :)
"CrossFit" is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. This website is independently created and maintained by its owners, without any affiliation, connection, or association with CrossFit, Inc., nor the sponsorship, endorsement or approval of CrossFit, Inc. or any of its parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates.