I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a bit of a fitness guru. Last week, I went to the gym several times and I even thought about getting on the treadmill at one point. As such, I’m practically an expert when it comes to all things related to working out, including what to listen to at the gym. There are a lot of genres out there, and each one will affect your workout in different ways. Here’s what the music you listen to says about your routine.
Top 40 Pop
You’re aged 18 to 30, and you’re at the gym to do the bare minimum cardio required to cancel out the calories you ate during Sunday brunch. You’re dripped in Lulu and Nike gear, and you’re about to make the treadmill/elliptical/Stairmaster your bitch for the next 45 minutes. With Ariana, Selena, and Taylor blasting through your white iPhone ear buds, you’re ready to get this workout done and spend 15 minutes stretching (read: texting on a yoga mat) before going to Trader Joe’s to buy a bunch of fruit and veggies that will go bad before you end up eating all of them. You’ve probably done Whole30 or a comparable fad diet, and you likely have good enough genes to sustain your half-assed workout. You run a couple of 5Ks a year and humble-brag about the one marathon you ran in 2015.
You’re either a terrifying psycho who can curl my body weight or you’re the way too intense guy screaming as he benches one plate. If you’re the former, you’re probably a big dude with a big beard throwing around big weights, just intimidating all of us average-sized people out here. You’ve never set foot on a treadmill and pretty much just live within ten feet of the squat rack. The whole gym shakes when you drop your deadlifts, and others fear for your life when we see your bench bar curving. Despite all appearances, however, you’re one of the nicest guys in the gym. You’re always happy to spot others and will gladly share lifting tips if asked. Also, you’re one of the few people that rerack your fucking weights so you’re good in my book.
You’re the matching partner to Top 40 Girl. A guy, aged 18-30, who’s out here just blasting glamour muscles and running off the 17 Miller Lites you consumed last weekend. Arms, chest, and shoulders are your big three muscle groups, and despite all the shit you talk about “never skipping leg day,” you’ve been known to bitch out on squats. You talk a lot about “bulking season” and “cutting season,” but your diet never really changes too much. You work out to get laid. Nothing more, nothing less. As long as some muscle definition is visible and your face doesn’t get too fat, you consider your workout a success. You’re me. Congratulations.
You don’t care about looking good, bulking up, or lifting shit. You’re here to be the most physically fit human in existence, or possible to train for American Ninja Warrior. You do a bunch of exercises no one has ever heard of, and frankly, some that I’m sure you just made up. You spend more time on the pullup bars than anyone who’s not a professional rock climber should, and you can be seen doing wind sprints on the treadmill while everyone around you braces themselves for your inevitable fall. People are wary around you and hate you because your unpredictable, fast-moving workouts take up half the gym and make the risk of catching an errant shoe to the face much higher. You’re the embodiment of doing too much but it seems to be working for you. I hope you take gold at the parkour tournament or whatever you’re training for.
You’re just here for the sauna, baby. You’ve been a subscriber of The Executive Workout™ since the 80s, and you’re not changing that routine anytime soon. Pop your headphones in, put on some Tom Petty, and get your chill on. You sport a tan that says, “I have a house in Barbados. No, not a timeshare, a house. No, I don’t rent it out when I’m not there, why would I want someone else living in my house?” You can be found staying nude for uncomfortable periods of time in the locker room, wearing nothing but the gold Rolex you never take off. I want to be you. We all want to be you.
I have no clue who you are. I love country music, but I can’t fathom ever listening to it while working out, and I can’t imagine anyone who would. Maybe you got lost on your way to a tailgate or a day party? .