Gyms and their awful music

By Matt Perryman

I was in the gym the other week finishing up with a few sets of ab work when a vaguely familiar country-like drawl hammered its way through my ear-phones.

Gym music is uniformly awful and always has been as long as I’ve been in them. Minus a few rare exceptions, like back at Gold’s in Fort Lauderdale when we could cajole the owner the occasional hour of the Classic Rock or Hair Metal station before the afternoon rush.

Otherwise, it’s generic Top 40 junk, generic clubbing/dance junk, or generic auto-tuned hip-hop junk. Which is all the same junk as far as my ears care. No thanks, I’ll listen to an audiobook or something.

This new gym I’m at is doing things different. I need to check out who is doing the DJing, as I’m hearing songs that I like or at least don’t hate on the regular.

Imagine my shock while finishing up some crunches on the decline bench when I’m regaled with “Elvira” by the Oak Ridge Boys. Nothing better to put some giddy-up, oom-boppa-mow-mow in your workout. Wouldn’t be my first choice — my kids were requesting Dio before they turned two — but given the alternatives I’ll take it.

Maybe you don’t care about my weird music tastes. Though you might ought to consider what it does to your morale to lift in a gym that is actively punishing you for being there.

I guess some people “like that music”, which explains why maybe 1 in 20 is there without headphones.

Your environment is everything. What goes into your ears is as important as what goes into your mouth.

Music from the 70s and 80s is on the whole more upbeat, uplifting, optimistic, and nourishing for the spirit than the machine-made hurf-garble making the circuit since the depressive and angry sounds of the 90s.

Between whiny front-men crying into the microphone and rap songs sounding like a list of charges read out in a courtroom, the vibe is L-O-W. If you think you’re getting charged up from that kind of music, beware the false gift of surface-level motivation.

Energy freely given is energy that has to be paid back, with interest.

Your workout is a place for a higher being that comes from good spirits with good intentions. As are most other parts of your day, to tell the truth.

That’s the kind of good energy and high spirits you’ll get from my almost-daily emails.

Get ’em here:

Matt Perryman

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