This month’s Mixtape Wars is dedicated to all those folks who resolved to lose weight in the new year. Forget those fad diets and expensive workout machines—all you need to do is eat smarter and move more, and sometimes all it takes to get those calories burning is the right soundtrack.
Where fitness and music meet, you will find local songstress Heather Heyn. This vivacious ball of energy most recently graced the stage under a blonde beehive as “Cindy” in The B-53s, but she has also performed with The HEAP, Dark Meat, the ESG cover band and various solo projects. And if there’s anything she loves as much as belting it out, it’s working out. She’s a part-time personal trainer, and she conquered the Athens, GA Half Marathon in two hours and six minutes. She also maintains a food blog (foodnfeelings.blogspot.com) dedicated to healthy eating and training tips. Her Mixtape Wars challenger is Team Clermont publicist and Slaw & Order drummer Steve Hendriksen. Hendriksen has been an avid runner for several years, and he says music is his main source of motivation.
“I don’t think I would have been able to stick with running had it not been for my iPod,” he says. “I definitely feed off every song I listen to whenever I’m going out for a run, so song choice is key for me. I’m always looking for what I’d call ‘big drums’: songs that have a high BPM count and keep rolling. The bigger a song gets, the better for me!”
Steve Hendriksen’s Workout Mixtape
1. “Repeat After Me” by Bambara
Why Steve Hendriksen picked this track: These guys were definitely my favorite Athens band before they relocated to Brooklyn. This track explodes within the first minute, which is just enough time to get your body used to the run and to start setting yourself a comfortable pace. [Ed note: for more on Bambara, see Calendar Pick]
Heather Heyn’s reaction: I really liked this song as a starter. Good choice!
2. “Hooting and Howling” by Wild Beasts
SH: At this point, you’ll be at about the five- or six-minute mark of your workout. It’s at that point I’ll be reassuring myself, “You made it through the first five minutes, and you’re still going”… Sometimes this simple internal statement can be enough to prove to yourself how indestructible you really are!
HH: You’re right, this one does keep your energy up.
3. “Watershed” by Twin Tigers
SH: I put some effort in trying to discover Athens bands that would be “up my alley” when I moved here a few years back, and Twin Tigers are definitely that! More rolling drums on this one, which help to keep up your pace.
HH: I like this one. I have yet to see or hear anything from Twin Tigers. I like that they sound a bit like Smashing Pumpkins… It’s a good running or power-walking song!
4. “Crying Lightning” by Arctic Monkeys
SH: Another great rock song. This one doesn’t go too crazy in terms of build-up or drumming in comparison, but it’s another track with good energy that’s still going to give you a good pace. You should be between the 15–20 minute mark here, so a song with a slightly slower tempo isn’t so bad as you keep going…
HH: This song did allow me to keep a good pace.
5. “One Armed Scissor” by At the Drive-In
SH: Everyone needs a “throwback” track… this song was probably one of the earliest songs I ever ran to, so it also carries a sort of nostalgia there. Lots of tempo changes, too, which keep me engaged as my legs might start to tire.
HH: Not music I would normally listen to, and I liked it. I like for my workout music to be different than my “real life” music. I don’t want my favorite Neil Young song to come on and think about sit-ups. Nope.
6. “Four Word Letter (Pt. 2)” by mewithoutYou
SH: I was a big fan of mewithoutYou in college, so I wanted to include one of their earlier tracks. This is another track where the thumping of the kick pedal keeps me on pace.
HH: Interesting. It kept me moving.
7. “Like a Vibration” by The Whigs
SH: More local flavor! More rolling drums and a picked up tempo here. I’ll find myself getting tired around this point, so I always want something here that kicks a little harder. You are nearing the home stretch, so picking up the pace once more is best.
HH: Lots of rolling drums, and I liked the tempo.
8. “Midnight City” by M83
SH: My musical tastes are constantly evolving, and it wasn’t until this year that I realized I can run to music that isn’t 100 percent “aggressive.” This song is actually my favorite song to come out in 2011.
HH: This was my favorite song out of the bunch. This song is now in rotation when I work out, and I really love it. I really like that I got introduced to a new group out of this!
9. “Jump” by Van Halen
SH: Closing out with a classic! This signifies the final push for me, so I’m always smiling throughout this one. If you can finish out strong here, you are golden!
HH: Thumbs up! When this song came on I laughed out loud. I probably looked like a freak in the gym. I now want a whole “classic” workout playlist. I can already hear it… “Chariots of Fire,” the Rocky theme song, etc… This makes me smile.
I have to say, I was totally excited to see what a guy works out to! The music that Steve picked was not at all what I am used to, and I loved that. It really opened me up to some new music, and I got to meet a super nice guy, too! All in all a fantastic experience!
Heather Heyn’s Workout Mixtape
1. “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor featuring Styles of Beyond
HH: This song is easy on the ears, I think. I like to start my workouts with something that says “Come on, gal, you’re strong; let’s do this!” In my opinion, a playlist has got to start and stay strong so that it pushes you through the duration of your workout. This one gets me excited for what’s to come. I like the bootcamp feel to it.
SH: This track was awesome! It’s a good starter… great beat, and it’s loud!
2. “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn
HH: This song puts me in a great mood. Sometimes I even want to stop what I’m doing to bust a move and… sometimes I do.
SH: This is definitely a track I would not have discovered on my own. It’s a little slower, but the beat is strong and it keeps a good pace.
3. “Bamboo Banga” by M.I.A.
HH: What can I say? M.I.A.’s album, Kala, is awesome. I love to work out to this album, and this song in particular rocks!
SH: I’m a little more familiar with M.I.A., but had never heard this song before.
4. “That’s All She Wrote” by T.I.
HH: After a couple of fun songs to put me in a good mood, it’s time to kick ass. I’m warmed up and I don’t want to play. This is usually when I shift gears and get pissed off. It may sound weird, but I use anger to really push myself. You get out what you put into your workouts, so I give it my all. I couldn’t care less if I make noise, breathe hard or sweat—bring it on!
SH: This track was definitely… smoother. It didn’t get too loud or large, but the intensity is still up there.
5. “Forever” by Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem
HH: This one is one of the first songs I started working out to a few years ago. I always go back to this one, and it never lets me down.
SH: Wheelchair Jimmy! This is another one that keeps up a good energy without having to be loud or fast.
6. “Drop the World” by Lil Wayne
HH: I love to lift weights to this song. It makes me feel strong, and that’s what I want. Weights are my friends (especially my OWN body weight), and NO, it will not make you look like a man or “make you look bigger.” I feel sorry for gals who think that. Muscle burns fat. Do you want a smaller, flabby version of yourself, or do you want to be a smaller, toned version of yourself? If you want the latter, get some weights. TODAY.
SH: There’s definitely some rock tendencies to this one, which was a great transition to the home stretch…
7. “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine
HH: Yep, I’m usually totally zoned out, focused and feel in control by this point.
SH: I’m familiar with these tunes, which is definitely helpful for me. Something loud, gritty and aggressive. This is the best way to wrap up my workout!
8. “Freedom” by Rage Against the Machine
HH: Yes, another song from these guys. I couldn’t help it; they go together. I can’t play one without the other. Again, strong music for me equals strong mind, which equals strong body. Your body follows your thoughts. If you think you can do it, you can.
SH: A second Rage song… You might see me head-banging or air-drumming while running at this point!
9. “March of the Pigs” by Nine Inch Nails
HH: Oldie but goodie.
SH: MORE DRUMS!! This starts with a crazy beat right off the bat… and then Trent Reznor becomes your personal trainer.
10. “Sappy” by Nirvana
HH: I could have easily made up an entire Workout Nirvana playlist, and for a moment thought it would be great if my 10 songs were all Nirvana. I loved this band when I was 13, and I still do. There you have it, folks. I hope you broke a sweat, and I hope you reach your New Year goals!
SH: Closing out with a classic. This is a good one to wind down your workout, too. At this point in a run or workout, I’m always looking back on how I’ve done.
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