I recently decided to do more things that scared the shit out of me, instead of spending the rest of my years regretting why I did not take those steps that could have changed my life.
One of the ‘scary things’ I decided to do was to join a gym. This coming from a guy whose greatest past times are reading and more sedentary pursuits, was interesting, to say the least.
Many times previously, friends and family had advised me to go to the gym or take up sports such as swimming or badminton, but I had graciously (or not so graciously) declined, claiming other commitments.
But rising health costs, coupled with the desire to achieve a six-pack pushed me to take up a gym membership, complete with a personal trainer too.
After six weeks of torture (well, it seemed like that to me), I thought of having more muscle on my bod. But I still look like a sweaty mess when I wobble out after each hour-long gym session.
My first session ended with me being almost unable to move my upper limbs as the exercises had stretched the muscles into ‘a state of shock’. Well, after the personal trainer finished our first session, I learnt about a lot of muscles I had never even heard of before.
Every session is a case of mind over matter — I couldn’t say I didn’t mind and it really mattered to the trainer.
“Just remember your aim to get a six — pack around November and that will be your motivation,” said the personal trainer.
Well, after six weeks, I feel some muscles appearing in my abdominal regions, but not much more. Well, I am told that results start to show after about 12 weeks, so I am waiting to see what happens next.
Lately, I have been doing lots of cardio exercises, including treadmill work, and I have come across the power of music to get me flying through those minutes as I adjust the treadmill’s speed and incline to ensure that I get the maximum workout.
Here is my personal playlist that has helped me tackle those treadmill blues.
1 Theme tune from Chariots of Fire — The movie came out in 1981 but I still cannot get over the trumpet entrance and electric rhythm that pulsates through this wonderful Vangelis piece. Call me biased but very very few tunes have ever matched the deep inspirational call that this tune brings. Just the right tune to start the legs moving and blood flowing!
2. Fight Song by Rachel Platten — The punchy lyrics and catchy rhythm are just the medicine to get the legs and arms and heart into a steady rhythm to fit the treadmill’s pace. Tune to this song when you increase your incline or speed or both.
3. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson — This song from the American Idol winner gives the same effect as Fight Song.
4. Stand By You by Rachel Platten — Turn to this song if you are on a treadmill workout where you have several minutes of intense activity, followed by a shorter rest phase, after which the intense activity resumes.
5. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself by Jess Glynne — The British crooner has a raw intensity that puts her on a comparable stage to fellow Briton Adele. But Jess has always liked intense and punchy lyrics and this powerful piece plays to her talents. This will definitely get the blood moving and the sweat flowing!
6. Hold My Hand by Jess Glynne — The song from Bridget Jones’ Baby is the right piece to keep the intensity and momentum going on its paces.
7. Rather Be by Clean Bandit — The lovely mix of cellos and Jess Glynne’s vocals make this a great song to relax to before the next high-intensity phase of your workout.
8. Not Letting Go by Tine Tempah and featuring Jess Glynne — The rhythm of the British rapper’s duet with Jess makes this a catchy piece to pick up the pace again and get the blood circulating again.
9. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey — Who can forget the dramatic entrance and powerful vocals from the theme song for Glee? This is a great piece to keep your rhythm going as your workout continues.
10. A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay — The catchy lyrics and rhythm will help you continue along your workout and can also help maintain your heart rate.
11. Gold by Spandau Ballet — As you settle in towards the final run of your workout, the classic beat and lyrics of this iconic song will guide you along the way.
12. You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift — End your workout with Taylor Swift’s 2009 hit and let the music fill your soul.
What is your favourite workout playlist? I would love to hear from you and maybe we could share notes.
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