By Michael Howlett
January 22, 2014
Are you already worrying about swimsuit season? Do you feel that dropping a few pounds might be necessary before baring it all in front of strangers? When you put on your bikini or speedo, does it look as if you’re not wearing bottoms? Well, I have the workout for you.
Yes, Spotify, a leading music web site, and researchers at Brunel University in London have teamed up to create the ultimate workout. That’s right; this workout will make you the wunderkind of the beach, the phenomenon of the pool, the sensation of the Jacuzzi. And all you have to do is exercise to crappy music. It’s that simple.
Obviously, crappy music is in the ear of the listener, so to speak, but since I’m the one whose tendinitis is flaring up from all this typing, I get to decide which music is crappy. Besides, I’m an expert with a degree from the Zimmerman University Jagger-Richards School of Music. Okay, I made up that last part, but I’m still in charge of this mess so live with it.
Now, if it only took crappy music to make one lose weight, America and the world for that matter would be a much more svelte place. I, however, would still need to lose 20 pounds, because I don’t need no stinkin’ crappy music. Even for those who like or can put up with crappy music, there’s a catch. One can’t just listen to the music, one must also exercise. That’s just a double-dip of hell I can’t handle.
Brunel University’s Costas Karageorthis – that’s the guy’s real name, yes, really – found that synchronizing a workout to a beat can help increase its intensity, eventually getting one up to the magical 125-140 BPM (beats per minute) level. The idea is to keep raising the music tempo and thus the BPM.
Among the songs, and I use that term loosely, on the Spotify workout playlist are “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo, “Skip to the Good Bit” by Rizzle Kicks and “Feel My Rhythm” by Viralites. Okay, never heard any of these songs and don’t want to, although Rizzle Kicks is a pretty cool name.
Karageorghis points out that it’s not just about the BPM, however, saying that the exercising person should be uplifted by the music. Now, who doesn’t like to be uplifted, I know I sure do. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. So, with that in mind, I’ve been designing a quality play list that would also be good to exercise to, if a person was so inclined.
Now, anything by the Ramones will work because the boys from Queens believed in high BPMs. However, my suggestions for a playlist would definitely include “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
Some other BPM tunes that come to mind are “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Brown Sugar” by the Stones, “Suffragette City” by David Bowie, “Back in the USSR” by The Beatles, “Ballroom Blitz” by The Sweet and “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. There’s plenty other quality BPM songs, but those will get you started.
Now, Karageorghis says to start off with a song with a lower BPM and gradually increase it until you are one or two beats beyond your “comfort zone.” Since my comfort zone is not that hard to reach - nudge, nudge, wink, wink – I don’t think I’ll try to exercise to The Ramones. That would be folly.
Now, I’ve given this music-exercise idea a try. A few years ago, after apparently being hit on the head, I decided to walk on the treadmill every other day in hopes of getting svelte. I did this for three to fourth months, but never found svelte. Heck, I didn’t even get in the same area code.
I’m sure Karageorghis would blame my lack of success in becoming svelte on my playlist at that time, but if Old Crow Medicine Show, John Prine and Emmy Lou Harris can’t get you into shape, well it’s just not meant to be.