In my time, I’ve trained at many, many gyms in several countries and, besides selection of equipment which is very important; I believe the atmosphere of a gym to be the most important thing. Some I walk in to, and just feel ‘it’ and I’m ready to pump iron hard, and others, I don’t.
It actually took me quite a while to figure out that it wasn’t necessarily the layout of the gym, nor how many grunting, hardcore trainees it housed, but, the music they played. Some would blare out rock and roll, while others would have on – God help us – pop music.
When I train, I want to feel pumped up and ready for it. I need a song which hits the spot in my brain, makes my hairs stand up on the back of my neck, gets my adrenaline flowing and makes me want to release a controlled rage on the heaviest iron I can lift. And, no matter how much Christina Aguilera irritates me – her music is not going to have that effect on me.
Also, when working out at home I find listening to my iPod helps to block out all of the usual distractions that are going on. It helps me to focus. It helps me to forget there may be people outside of my garage who can hear my grunts and cusses, and it makes me feel far less self-conscious. As I say – with music, I’m focussed and in the zone.
At home, or when I find myself training somewhere the music sucks, I wear my iPod and make sure it’s loaded and placed on repeat to blast out hard tracks – think Eye of the Tiger. This is a song which once you’ve seen Rocky only amplifies your experience of training to such music.