The Ultimate Workout Playlist

playlisyYou know what kind of people I don’t understand? Those people that can run or work out without listening to ANYTHING. More power to you if that’s your preference- but I. Don’t. Get. It.

I don’t know- listening to the hum of treadmills and raging football announcers on the gym TV just doesn’t cut it for me. Maybe it’s because I like to have mini dance parties between sets, or because I like to imagine I’m in some sort of motivational montage- but there’s just something about the *right* playlist that add SO much to my workouts!

Since workout music is so crucial for me, I tend to spend a lot of time and thought cultivating my epic play lists. Each song has to just have the right intensity, the right “feel.” It has to have something unique to offer- no generic pop song will do. And I get tired of music- FAST. So there has to be just the right variety and special something to keep me motivated and entertained.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always searching for new songs to add to your playlist, so I figured I’d share the love and share my playlist with you all so you could benefit from it as well! I HIGHLY recommend Spotify- the fact that you can  create playlists and then download them to your phone without using data is just such a great feature.

Without further ado, here’s The Ultimate Workout Playlist:

1.)Higher Ground- TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke x Lunice)
This song is like musical pre-workout. As soon as I listen to this- IT’S ONNNNN.
2.) Fancy (Yellow Claw Remix)- Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
This remix totally re-invents this tired song into something new entirely and I dig it.
3.) Summer- Diplo & Grandtheft Remix- Calvin Harris
4.)Flawless Remix- Beyonce, Nicki Minaj
Bey and Nicki won’t ever let you down. Though I also love the original.
5.) Heavy Crown- Iggy Azalea, Ellie Goulding
6.) Ayo Technology- 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake
7.)HeadBand- B.O.B., 2 Chainz
8.)Satisfaction-RL Grime Remix- Benny Benassi, The Biz
9.)I’m a Slave 4 U- Dave Aude Slave Driver Mix- Britney Spears
DUDEEE I love this remix and song so much. #notashamed
10.) Baby’s On Fire- Die Antwoord
Die Antwoord is crazy but I like it.
11.)GDFR – Flo Rida, Lookas, Sage the Gemini
12.) Take U There (feat. Kiesza)- Jack U, Kiesza
The drop in this song, though. Epic.
13.)Dum Dee Dum- Keys n Crates
14.)No Flex Zone (Remix) – Karmin, Watsky
I just love Karmin and some of her awkward rhymes. This remix is awesome, though.
15.) Higher- Just Blaze and Bauuer, Jay Z
16.)Bubble Butt[Radio Mix]- Major Lazer
Perfect for glute raises and hip thrusts.
17.)Boneless- Steve Aoki
18.)Singularity- Oliver Twizt Trap Music- Steve Aoki, Angger Dimas, My Name is Kay
19.)Booty- Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea
Your perfect squat song.
20.)Who Gon Stop Me- Jay Z, Kanye West
THE song for hitting PR’s.
21.)Wild for the Night-A$AP Rocky, Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam
Another favorite for hitting PRs for me.
22.) The Vulture- Pendulum
This song is so hype.
23.)Do or Die- feat. Childish Gambino- Flux Pavilion
24.)My World- Iggy Azalea
25.) Fatty Boom Boom- Die Antwoord
26.)Get Ya Freak On- Trap Mix- Koshii
27.)Tsunami-Dvbbs, Borgeous
28.) 23 feat Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, and Juicy J- Mike Will Made It
29.)Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs  (Trap Remix) – Kid Kamilion
30.)Rap God- Eminem
31.) Bonfire- Knife Party
32.) Swimming Pools (Bird Peterson Remix)- Kendrick Lamar
33.) Rage the Night Away (feat Wacka flocka flame)- Steve Aoki
34.) Meltdown- Stromae, Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip, Haim

Alright, so now your workout is done and it’s time to chill out and stretch/do some yoga. What are you going to play?! I GOT YOU. These are the songs I’m rotating through a lot during my cool down sessions.

Chill List
1.)Cold Sweat- Tinashe
Tinashe’s entire album, Aquarius,  is really just perfect. 
2.)Fall in Love- Phantogram
3.) Cruel World-Lana Del Rey
4.) Retrograde-James Blake
4.) Bet-Tinashe
5.) Gooey-Glass Animals
6.) Bill Murray- Phantogram
6.) Ultraviolence- Lana Del Rey
7.) Flicker (Kanye West Rework)- Lorde
8.) Genesis- Grimes
9.) Life Round Here- James Blake
10.) Waiting Game- Banks
11.) Two Weeks- FKA Twigs
12.) Rescue Him- Kimbra

Okay, so maybe the chill out list is also a list of the albums and my general favorite songs of late. I just happen to love chill alt. R&B but it works for this purpose, too. 😉

I hope you guys like these playlists! I’d love to hear your feedback. Also let me know- What are some of YOUR favorite workout songs?

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A Dirty Little Secret (That really shouldn’t be.)

I’m going to tell you guys a little secret.

It’s something that the fitness industry frustratingly fails to really explain or even address at all- especially to women starting a lifting program for the first time.

And it’s pretty understandable, because, you know- I get it. It can be sort of a turn-off.

Some women, after starting a lifting a program for the first time, experience swelling, “puffiness,” and an overall uncomfortable bloating phenomenon for the first few weeks/month or two going into a lifting program.

Yes, what I’m telling you is, at the very beginning, you may feel a little bigger. Your clothes may fit weird. You may get discouraged.

But I promise you- and this is the most important thing you need to take away from this– it goes away if you stick with it.

Let me explain what’s happening here:

  • When you begin a lifting program for the first time, it’s a huge stressor on the body and it causes mild inflammation. Your body is simply reacting to something new! And that causes some unusual swelling/water retention.
  • When you first build muscle, it’s going to build underneath whatever fat layer you may have on your body. Of course- this is all dependent on where you body naturally stores fat/builds muscle first, so it may appear more prevalent in different areas, but a lot of the time this is what makes women think they’re getting “bulky,” when in fact it isn’t the muscle that’s making them that way, it’s just the fact that the muscle hasn’t burned off the fat…YET.

Now, let’s think of the process of building muscle and how it burns fat for a second. 

When your body builds muscle, that muscle that you develop turns into a fat burning furnace for you. Basically, when you build muscle, it will need to be fed to maintain itself. And if you’re eating enough calories (but not overdoing it!) then your muscle will feed itself from the fat stored on your body. This is a good thing. This is what you want to happen.

But unfortunately, sometimes this process takes time.  And before the muscle starts doing it’s thang, you have to just be patient and endure a little bit of swelling.

I know that it can be hard. I know it doesn’t make much sense in our society that pushes things like “LOSE 10 LBS. IN DAYS” miracle diets at us. It seems like a counter-intuitive thing to do. I get it.

“WHAT?! LIFT WEIGHTS SO I CAN GET SWOLLEN AND GROSS!? EWWWW I’M JUST GOING TO DO A JUICE CLEANSE AND RUN 10 MILES A DAY LOL”

But guys. Trust me on this. 

There will come a time that seemingly overnight, if you are lifting heavy and consistently, and placing an emphasis on eating a high protein, whole foods based diet-  that swollen weirdness WILL go away.

The difference between the women who “tried lifting once” and didn’t like it because they felt “weird,” and the women that get lean and “toned,” is that the latter didn’t give up.

This is so important, guys.

You know how in life, it seems like things get worse before they get better? That life seems to test you before things start going your way?

Lifting is the same way.

So I don’t care if you feel like the freakin’ Michelin Man. DON’T GIVE UP.

You know, I really wish more people wrote on this topic, because I think it’s rather common and I understand how it can be very discouraging. This issue alone probable prevents women without a knowledgeable support system behind her to continue lifting whenever this happens.

I know I was discouraged when it happened to me. Thankfully I had my boyfriend  (now husband!) get me through it and remind me I needed to stick with it because it WOULD go away. And it did!

And I’m not sure if EVERY SINGLE person experiences this really- it’s all dependent on your system/body. I didn’t do an extensive research study on this, this is based on my personal experience as well as other women that have told me they’ve experienced the same thing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking- “Why don’t you just reduce your calories while you’re lifting so that doesn’t happen?” or, “Why don’t you just do lots of cardio at the same time?”

Well, we want to build muscle right? Don’t you want to burn calories ALL THE TIME, even when you’re not working out? Do you really want to be limited by the stupid calorie counter on the treadmill and input every morsel into My Fitness Pal? (I know I don’t!)

If you really want to build that muscle that will do work FOR you at rest, you have to make sure you are eating enough to fuel your training. That means eating enough so you can lift heavy. If you’re eating 1,200 calories a day, you’re simply not getting the fuel you need and you won’t progress on your lifts, aka you WON’T build muscle. Also, if you’re doing too much cardio, it will eat away at that precious muscle you are trying to build! Let alone possibly seriously injure yourself in the process. (Too few calories + exercise = injury central. Check out this article on that topic. It’s amazing.)

So don’t overdo it. Trust the process.

Here are some things you can do, however, to reduce the effect a little bit:

  • Add a few HIIT sessions- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Uses type 2, explosive muscle fibers in your body. These short bursts won’t eat away at your muscle like long distance running does, so incorporate a little sprinting into your routines. But again- don’t overdo this. No more than 2 or 3 fifteen-minute sessions a week are really necessary to get the effect.
  • Reduce foods that cause bloating, such as super salty foods.
  • Drink tons of water!

I have to emphasize this again:
If you’re on the fence of whether a lifting program is for you, don’t let this deter you.

Because here’s the thing-  you have a choice:

1.) Possibly endure just a little bit of bloating and uncomfortableness for a short amount of time, then go on to lose fat, build muscle, get toned, and not have to “diet” for the rest of your life while helping to develop functional strength and cultivate feelings of empowerment

– or-

2.) Give up on lifting weights and keep going on the merry-go-round of fad diet after fad diet, slaving away on the treadmill for hours and still not losing the weight all the while hating yourself and your body from here until eternity.

I know what I’d rather pick.

Don’t give up. Stick it out. Eat enough healthy, whole, high protein food. Focus on your lifts getting better and on getting stronger and I promise you that your body will catch up with you.

I’d love to hear feedback on others on this topic. Did this happen to you too? How did you deal with it? Comment below and let me know!


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My Starting Strength Journey Recap Video!

Hey all! I was asked to write a blog post about my Starting Strength journey, and then I thought- hey- why not make a video about it? Because Lord knows I can talk your ear off 😉

I hope this helps you guys who are considering doing a heavy lifting/strength based workout regiment. I found that for me, it gave me an excellent basis before I started delving in to more bodybuilding styled workouts, because it allows me to lift HEAVY and really maximize my results.

Plus, it feels pretty awesome to be able to squat/deadlift over your body weight!

I’m not a powerlifter or an “elite” athlete by any means, I’m just a regular girl who got strong on this program and you can too! I know there are many programs out there similar, but for the past 2 years I’ve really dedicated myself to exploring Starting Strength and all that it has to offer and it really paid off for me.

Comment if you have any specific questions to ask me, I would love to answer!