My Gym Playlist for Monday (Mixed Cardio Day)

dietOne of the many things I love about my new afternoon teaching schedule is that it gives me time to hit the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. This past Saturday I even paid for an entire month’s membership instead of my usual pay-by-the-day routine (in any language: shit just got real).  Now, because I’m a huge dork I’ve made a gym playlist for each day of the week. Monday is my day for mixed cardio exercises. Here’s the playlist in case you’re looking for new music to throw into your workout.


Treadmill (30 – 35 minutes)

Walking at a brisk pace

(1) “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. (It is my belief that any good treadmill walking song must have a nice blend of energy and groove. The Killer’s most famous track definitely fits the bill. Those first four chords let you know it’s time to get down to business.)

(2) “Space Truckin’” by Deep Purple. (In case you can’t tell from the title, this song is a pure 1970’s groove-rock extravaganza. Head-bobbing and shoulder swagging for days.)

Jogging or Running

(3) “Chick Habit” by April March. (The closing credits song from Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. This little adrenalin pumper sounds like a hybrid between a 1960’s pop song and a drive-in horror movie soundtrack. Fun and essential.)

Back to walking at a brisk pace

(4) “Twin Earth” by Monster Magnet. (This little trip through Psychedelic Stonerville is just what you need to bring you down from the rush of “Chick Habit.”)

(5) “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. (You can’t have a funky treadmill playlist without a Motown track. This song is so damn good it makes me wish I had a girl breaking my heart just so I could sing along and really mean it.)

Back to Running or Jogging

(6) “Running Free” by Iron Maiden. (I know metal is an acquired taste, but trust me you need this song – and you have to get the live version from A Real Dead One. It’s like Bruce Dickinson knows you’re running on the treadmill and wants to put words to it. When the audience chants “I’m running free” you’re like “Hey, what do you know? I’m running right now too!”)

Walking again, but slowing it down a bit

(7) “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. (Now I’d like to slow things down a little bit…This song…it’s just…well just listen to it. And then, once you know the words, just try not to sing along. This is one of the only songs that makes me miss Oxford.)  

(8) “Goin’ Down South” by R.L. Burnside. (Straight talk from a Mississippi blues legend. “More lies, more conversation, girl. It really don’t matter ’cause I’m not leaving you. / So you’re hanging with another man. You gotta get more creative, girl, I ain’t believin’ you…”)

(9) “1999” by Prince. (The energy starts to pick up again as you wrap up your time on the treadmill and head over to the elliptical machine.)

Elliptical Machine (15 minutes)

I Drove All Night” by Roy Orbison. (What I really love about this song is the way the music so perfectly matches the lyrics. Roy’s singing about driving all night to get to his woman and, fittingly, the music sounds like it’s moving right along with him. It never slows down or stops for gas. Just hurries right along with purpose. Perfect to kick off your elliptical workout.)

Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. (It’s the kind of song that was made for Karaoke Night – and nowhere near Seger’s best – but you have to admit, it’s got a lot of energy and it’s fun to listen to. Enjoy your workout. Get this song.)

20th Century Boy” by T.Rex. (It’s unfortunate that people sometimes confuse glam rock with 1980’s hair metal. The actual glam rock scene came out of the UK and featured legitimate artists like Marc Bolan and David Bowie. The first time I heard this little groove was in a coffee shop off of Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans. I hate coffee shops, but that was one trip I’ve never regretted.)

Gypsy” by Emperor. (Once again, I know metal is an acquired taste, but a good elliptical routine practically demands it. This is a cover of a Mercyful Fate song and the vocals are a little higher than I typically like, but it’ll help you find your second wind if you’re starting to slow down.)

Exercise Bike (15 Minutes) 

Mouths of Babes” by the Smashing Pumpkins. (I try to take things easy on the exercise bike and just enjoy a nice ride after the up-and-down of the treadmill and the grind of the elliptical machine. The bike is quite possibly the only piece of equipment at the gym that lets you close your eyes and get lost for a while, and no band helps me do that better than the Smashing Pumpkins. If you’re reading my blog, you should already know this song…or did you not own The Aeroplane Flies High box set back in the day?)

Dross” by the Smashing Pumpkins. (This is a solid rock track from Machina II – the “hidden” Smashing Pumpkins album that was released as an internet-only free download.)

My Love is Winter” by the Smashing Pumpkins. (From their newest album Oceania. The guitar work/solo at the end will take older Pumpkins fans back.)

Siva” by the Smashing Pumpkins. (You’ve gotta have at least one classic track in the mix. Might as well make it “Siva.”)

Starz” by the Smashing Pumpkins. (Here’s the big finish to your bike routine. This track, in my opinion, was one of the standouts from Zeitgeist. I know a lot of people like to pull the “I only like their early stuff with the original lineup” bit, but this song has the same kind of push-and-pull as “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”: that feeling of building tension where you know something’s about to happen. And then it does. Play it loud. Most of the Zeitgeist songs sound awesome when they’re played live btw.)

So there it is. My Monday playlist. If I get a decent reaction from this post, I’ll share my other playlists as well.

Closing question: what do you exercise to?

About J. Wiltz

"Well, you know, there really isn't very much to say about me." - Andy Warhol
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