Themed Thursday: Cardio Workout Playlist (2014)
It’s that time of year where (some) people make their New Year’s resolutions (about a month ago, anyway). Personally, I opted out of the resolution business because they make me feel like an ass. Like, if I said I was going to love my wife more, does that mean I didn’t love her much in the previous year? If I said I was going to lose weight and didn’t, does that make me a failure? So, I pretty much stopped making resolutions because why “start” something on 1 Jan when I can make decisions any day of the week? Nevertheless, my personal feelings on New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t stop you from making them. And, if you decide to exercise a little more in 2014, I would like to help you out by making a rootin’ tootin’ helluva cardio playlist that “should” keep you motivated for at least 30-40 minutes. I road-tested this playlist myself, so if you need something hard-hitting to keep you motivated, check out this set of songs. This list works best for cardio workouts. So, if you are a power-lifter it may not help much.
I am sure there is a scientific method to keeping a person motivated to work out. I can’t explain it with complicated formulas, but this list is my breakdown and justification that works for me. I tend to prefer to hit the road with something a little on the more rhythmic side of metal to help me get my heart rate regulated. Then, for the majority of the list it’s all about speed, cadence, and fervor; I need to listen to songs I want to hear that meet those three factors. I also gravitate toward shorter-length songs to keep things moving. This is in contrast to other times I like to run specifically to progressive metal…but, that’s another list all together. I avoid lengthy intros that can break my concentration and stick mostly to thrash and death metal. Toward the end I tend to want to wind down; perhaps throw a prog song in there and then cool down with a song-length walk…something more mid-tempo or something that let’s my mind continue to wander and not think about what I just did and why I did it. Also, keep in mind this not my first time doing this theme, so I won’t be using any songs I previously used on another list. You can read those lists here if you would like to see other song options that may suit you. Lastly, these are all songs from 2013. So, it’s a nice recap of the year and here as well. Without further delay, here is my list.
Insomnium – Ephemeral 3:51
Insomnium has a knack for melody and rhythm and lucky for my workout playlist, they just released an EP which should be followed up with a full-length album in 2014. This song has a nice cadence throughout the song that allows me to establish a pace.
Carcass – Captive Bolt Pistol 3:16
Carcass sets the pace to where I need it to hold steady for most of my run. This is a good song to kick things into overdrive after a short warm up. After a short intro, the song itself elevates my heart rate and at this point I am ready to tackle the rest of this run.
Amon Amarth – Shape Shifter 4:02
This is my favorite song on this album. I like the tempo and how the song holds quite steady from beginning to end. At this point things start to regulate and I can start to feel comfortable with my run while I fantasize about a Viking battle where I am victorious.
Exhumed – Dysmorphic 4:36
Death metal in general makes for good cardio music playlists and this hard-hitting Exhumed song does the trick. There is a short break in this song, but when it comes back to full-speed it’s heavy as hell and gets rhythmic with a cool guitar solo…a nice point in the workout for something more melodic. As you can tell I am grouping most of my growling songs together to keep the playlist from changing radically…so, three songs of this level before the next band changes things fairly seamlessly.
Havok – Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death 4:44
This is a very consistently rhythmic Havok song that I like quite a bit…made for the circle pit, or in this case maintaining a level of motivation to keep my run going; just over the halfway point now.
Death Angel – Caster of Shame 3:37
This is a short and sweet Death Angel song off their most recent album. I almost preferred Left For Dead, but felt it was too long since I do have one song topping 5+ minutes on this list. This song, again, holds a nice cadence.
Toxic Holocaust – Acid Fuzz 2:31
Short and sweet is sometimes what the doctor ordered. This short song lets me know I am almost there and I chose it for two reasons, A – it is a ferocious song and hopefully helps me regain any steam I may have lost and B – this is my marker to let me know that the longest song is next which means I am close to being done. I like to contrast any real short songs with ones a bit longer.
Revocation – Dyers Eve (Bonus Track) 5:15
I actually didn’t know this song existed until just recently. This is probably one of my top 5 favorite Metallica songs and to hear Revocation record it sounds great. I like the more upbeat nature of this song among Metallica’s song library.
Dream Theater – Along For The Ride 4:45
I always like to cool down to something a bit mellower as my run turns into a brisk walk. It’s nice to have a Dream Theater song that isn’t over 10 minutes for just this reason. Easily my favorite song on their new album.
Now, get your ass on the road or the treadmill!