Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest Post: Workout Music

Here is a rare thing: a guest post from the Common Household Son.  When I dropped him off at college last weekend, my jaw dropped when I saw where the college was housing him.  I told him he would probably never again live in such a swanky place.  I’m glad he’s taking advantage of his situation.

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Having spent all summer at a desk job and eating wonderful food provided by my mother, I decided this semester to try out this hip new thing called “exercise”.  I am currently staying at a 4-star hotel until my dorm is finished being constructed, and since it has a fitness center free for guests, I resolved to avail myself of this opportunity.

One difficulty that presented itself was what music to listen to.  Music would be essential to my workout, since there is no way I could exercise continuously for more than 5 minutes without any sort of entertainment.  The problem is, I am as selective in my music choice as I am in my diet (as I’m sure my mom will attest), and I listen almost exclusively to classical music.  Slow lyrical music is nice, but it’s not very motivating, so I had to go through my playlists and pick out the pieces that had little to no slow section.  I came up with the following exercise playlist, reproduced here for anyone else who just can’t pump iron to the sound of Mozart:

Symphony #5 Mov. 1 (Beethoven)
Symphony #5 Mov. 4 (Beethoven)
Ride of the Valkyries (Wagner)
Festive Overture (Shostakovich)
First Suite for Military Band Mov. 3: March (Holst)
Pas Redoublé (Saint-Saëns)
Kingfishers Catch Fire Mov. 2 (John Mackey)
Jupiter (Holst)
Symphony #4 Mov. 4 (Tchaikovsky)
The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley (Koji Kondo)
Gerudo Valley (Koji Kondo)
Candide Overture (Bernstein)
Star Wars: Main Theme (John Williams)
Star Wars: Imperial March (John Williams)
Star Wars: Battle in the Forest (John Williams)
Star Wars: Throne Room and End Title (John Williams)
E.T. Flying Theme (John Williams)
Superman Theme (John Williams)
Raiders March (John Williams)
March from 1941 (John Williams)
Olympic Fanfare and Theme (John Williams)
Wine-Dark Sea Mov. 3 (John Mackey)
Symphony #7 Mov. 4 (Beethoven)
L'Arlésienne - Suite No. 2: Farandole (Bizet)
Children of Sanchez (marching band version)
Big Noise from Winnetka (marching band version)

I spent an hour on the treadmill, running 5 mph in 10-minute intervals, and didn’t even use up half of this playlist.  I realized too late that it might not have been a good idea to do this the night before the first day of school, when I had to bike all over campus.  I’m still sore, and I’ll probably do it again on Wednesday.  Still, I at least have some excellent exercise music to help me through.  If you have any suggestions for classical exercise music, feel free to post them in the comments.

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Bonus:  photo tour of his 4-star hotel room:

We'll start with the bathroom, which is twice the size of the
usual college dorm room.

The bed is twice the size and has twice the mattress thickness
of the usual college dorm bed. 

When he first went to college, we forbade him a TV.
For the next few weeks, he's got the use of this one. Plus cable!

This is the hotel lobby.  Mahogany pillars.

Hotel lobby with non-ratty furniture.
Doesn't being in college *require* the presence of ratty
 furniture as part of the experience?



smalltownme said...

OMG. My son's college just sends them to another country if there is not enough space.

smalltownme said...

Ok you know I am saying that in a humorous way. Some students get a semester abroad, if it works for their major.

Susan Jones said...

Wow. Congrats on your resolve to exercise, and your selfless pursuit of workout music. Might I suggest any of the fast movements from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and some of the more complicated (fast) sections of the Goldberg Variations? Extra points for using Glen Gould's 50s recording!) Enjoy your dorm room (ha ha) and have a good semester! PS Say hello to your mom and dad for me!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That's a nice place to stay until the dorm is done.
VERY cool to create a classical workout jam. I'd totally listen to that.
It seems like Bach would be good for doing reps, so rhythmic.

The Crislers said...

This post did not go to the places I thought it would after reading the title "Workout Music." I can run to just about any music except something with a beat that's slightly slower than my target stride rate, so these pieces should work!

I can't help but think back to my own dorm rooms and feel major pangs of jealousy after seeing those photos.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blob, now let me look around yours!

Cassi said...

I grew up listening only to classical and opera --it may be in reaction that I don't regularly listen to either (well, I hate opera, so there's that). My favorite instrumental music is piano, I believe because my dad played (classical pieces) and it became the soundtrack of my childhood. I am hooked by almost any music that includes piano.

I don't know, however, that I could exercise to classical music. I usually need the motivation of some driving lyrics :-)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

That is an amazing place to put yet-to-be-housed college students! Your mom is correct: you may never call in such a swanky place "home" again, nor will you ever have such expensive chips. My son's college in Seattle just puts up partitions in sitting areas of old dorms* where the overflow students wait for a regular dorm room (or go "Greek" after the first semester), so you should consider yourself very, very lucky.
We were just listening to CLASSIC YO-YO. THere are several moving pieces on it, including several pieces by Piazzolla. You might check it out. Another favorite is anything by Aaron Copeland (my marching band kids have been hooked ever since they did a show with his music done by YES).
Have a great year!

*And by "old dorms" I refer to dorms I lived in 30 years ago when they were very much not new.