For the last few weeks I’ve been working my ass off to, well, work my ass off, and I’m in that good place where you can see the progress happening in your body and your clothes fit better and you’re like yeah, I can DO this. Except if you’re me, what you’re really thinking is, I can DO this … maybe. Or I could lie on the couch and inhale an entire pizza with a Haagen-Dazs chaser. Self-sabotage can just be so DELICIOUS.

Motivation has never come come easy for me, but here’s what’s helping me lately:

This shirt:

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 3.08.24 PM

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to buy a loose-fit workout tank. If you’re like me and you tend to get all self-conscious about your midsection in those tight racerback shirts, these things are game-changers. I bought a black one at Old Navy and I plan to go back and stock up on every single other color they have.

This MP3 player:

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 12.59.13 PM

I got Sony’s updated MP3-playing Walkman as a Klout perk and I figured it would be like every other Klout perk I’ve ever received: a nice mailbox distraction from the usual flotsam of bills and junk flyers, but nothing I would have bought on my own. As it turns out, I can’t stop raving about it. It’s all in one piece, and it stays put — no more fiddling with cords or adjusting earbuds during a run. The downside is that it doesn’t play nice with iTunes on my Mac, so I have to manually drag individual songs to it instead of importing playlists. Aside from that small headache, though, I absolutely love how it eliminates gear-related distractions during a workout.

These songs:

“Daybreak” by OVERWERK.
Heard it on this (gorgeous, watch it fullscreen) GoPro video, love love love it.

“Monday Morning” by Melanie Fiona. I can listen to this over and over. (The AV quality on this video totally sucks, sorry about that. This version sounds a little better.)

“I Get Around” by Dragonette.
Makes me feel snarly and badass.

“Don’t Leave Me (ne Me Quitte Pas)” by Regina Spektor. Boppy and happy. I probably sound SUPER awesome when I try and sing along with the French part.

“All Alone” by Fun. Best Fun song. According to me.

“Must Be the Moon” by !!! She said “love is love but a fuck is what it is.” Ah, this song is great.

Okay, your turn, if you feel like playing: what are your current workout must-haves?


66 Responses to “A shirt, a music player, some songs: small things that make a difference”

  1. Katharine on May 10th, 2013 5:20 pm

    “Titanium”, Sia & David Guetta


    “Radioactive”, either the Imagine Dragons version or the version with Pentatonix/Lindsey Stirling.

    And “Sabotage” by the Beasties on repeat can get me through pretty much anything on the treadmill.

  2. Elaine on May 10th, 2013 5:40 pm

    This is timely because I’m finally back to lifting in a real gym so I’ve got some must haves right now.

    I use Spotify Premium for music so Platronics Bluetooth headphones and my smartphone are a badass combination for gym music.

    Song wise I’m kind of a heavy EMD listener so I’m feeling:

    “Turn it Up” by DimitriVegas, GTA, Wolfpack and Like Mike
    “Hit it” by GTA, Henrix, & Digital Lab
    and a throwback
    “The Force of Gravity” by BT

    I’ve got a bunch of other tracks but those three can get me through a whole workout on repeat.

  3. Gertie on May 10th, 2013 6:04 pm

    Dreaming Of You by The Coral and Here It Goes Again by OK Go, if I’m looking for something peppy.

  4. Meredith on May 10th, 2013 6:07 pm

    This is so true. I finally succumbed to lululemon (hanging head), but have decided that it is WORTH IT to spend a ridiculous amount of $$ for clothes I will get all sweaty and nasty in IF – and this is the key – it will get me out the door and on my run.

  5. Anonymous on May 10th, 2013 7:34 pm


  6. deanna on May 10th, 2013 8:11 pm

    im training for a half at the end of the month and i didnt get really motivated until i started logging miles with my nikeplus. i LOVE that thing. my sister and i are training together and challenging eachother, even though we live 4 hours apart. it’s actually….fun. my music go to has been kinda old school. some radiohead, some foo fighters, ra ra riot and some old kanye west. a mish mash, but it works for me. ive been a lululemon fan for years and honestly….i wont run in anything else. (such a snot….i know….)

  7. Erin Baebler on May 10th, 2013 9:21 pm

    For me, it’s wireless headphones that sync up with our receiver–is it even still called a receiver or am I totally dating myself–so I can run on the treadmill while watching ridiculous TV that I would never want my kids to overhear.

    Those, and a really fun pair of running shoes.

  8. Lissie on May 10th, 2013 10:59 pm

    Just got loaded up with a bunch of really good crap from my hipster music snob brother:
    “Generals” by The Mynabirds, “Mallrats (La La La)” by The Orwells, “Harmonica Song” by The Helio Sequence, “Underdog” by Kasabian, “Holy Roller” by Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

    Aaand, some songs that I love but he would never approve of:
    “Who Dat Girl” by Flo Rida, “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled, “Alive” by Krewella, “Silly Ho” by TLC, “Naked Eye” by Luscious Jackson, “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Kudi (or the cover by Lissie)

    I’ve been getting back at it for the last month or two and am super in love with my playlist. It’s the only thing that keeps me going some days. Totally going to try that loose fit top though!

  9. Elaine on May 11th, 2013 3:19 pm


    All of Krewella’s stuff is awesome to work out to. Check out “Come and Get It” Super funky Drum and Bass track that has tons of energy.

  10. Books on May 11th, 2013 5:31 pm

    Recently rediscovered “I’m the man” by Anthrax. Equal parts ridiculous and hard ass. And I love that tank…don’t see it online, how long ago did you buy it?

  11. Kelly on May 11th, 2013 8:45 pm

    I’ve been so missing getting to listen to my own choice of music while I work out. I’ve been trying to work out with my toddler in the gym’s child care center but she’s in the crazy-mommy-clingy phase and begins freaking the f)@k right out. So I can’t really wear headphones/earbuds since I know I’m likely to get that page to come rescue the kidlet when I’m five minutes into my routine.

    Just worked out a plan this week with a friend to try swapping some childsitting in my house so we can each get gym time. I got one workout so far, so if this continues to work, I can finally get a good workout playlist together again!

    And I absolutely want to find that tank. I go in giant boxy tees I won’t let myself wear anywhere but to bed or the gym because they are so unflattering.

  12. Shannon C. on May 12th, 2013 11:04 am

    My Garmin watch. I used to log my runs into a spreadsheet to keep track of them but would have to guesstimate my distance, and often I’d forget to do it entirely. Then I got this and it completely re-energized me into wanting to run, as it shows me every stat I could ever want. (I’ve become vigilant at keeping my pace at 11 min/mile or under, for instance.) I’ve also used it on hikes and biking. This guy’s review is what sold me on it.

  13. Kim on May 12th, 2013 11:34 pm

    Songs that keep me moving:
    “Stutter” or “Desperate Measures” by Marianas Trench, also “Curiosity” by Carly Rae Jepsen.

  14. Heather on May 13th, 2013 8:20 am

    Two awesome apps:

    Zombies, Run (need I say more?)

    You are Your Own Gym – a whole program of body weight exercises, set up in 36 minute workouts. Each workout has pictures and text descriptions of the exercises, and the app keeps track of time and reps on each one. Brilliant and so worth the 1.99.

  15. Sian on May 13th, 2013 8:49 am

    I’m currently still recovering from a Fall of not taking care of myself. What’s getting me out the door are:

    For Strength Training
    Nike Training Club app – AMAZING and motivating
    Training shoes that aren’t my running shoes (Nike Free TR Fit 3)
    Luna Bars – once I’ve eaten one of those suckers, I’ve committed to working out

    For Running
    Nike Running app
    Loose fitting tank tops (mostly from Target, although I want that Old Navy one now)
    Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’ and Serena Ryder’s ‘What I Wouldn’t Do’

  16. Amber on May 13th, 2013 11:25 am

    I can only recommend songs, because I continue to fiddle with earbuds and run in old pajama shirts. (No, really. I do.)

    Old, consistent favorite – “Houdini (RAC Remix)” by Foster the People.

    And: I KNOW people have opinions about Kanye West, but “Power” is such a great workout song. Especially the part near the end where he raps, “At the end of the day/Goddammit I’m killing this sh*t/I know damn well y’all feelin’ this sh*t” and so on and so forth. It’s a fist-pumping HELL YEAH part of the song when you’re in the midst of a run.

    OK, also, Iggy Azalea’s “Work” is good.

    Clean Bandit’s A&E is real good, too.

  17. Amy M. on May 13th, 2013 1:43 pm

    For running, I like:
    “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    “Anything Can Happen” – Ellie Goulding

    I must find that tank!

  18. Megan on May 13th, 2013 9:36 pm

    I am enjoying Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” so, so much! It’s upbeat and sexy and also, it’s fun to be like, “Well, this is Alan Thicke’s son, that’s weird.” My favorite part of the song is obviously when he shouts, “YOU DA HOTTEST BITCH IN DIS PLACE.”

  19. rozie on May 14th, 2013 6:37 pm

    Running? Podcasts. These days I’ve been plowing through the Nerdist archives and sometimes I’ll throw down a SModcast. I find the talking is enough to distract the part of my brain that likes to ask why I’m doing this to myself and lets my body take care of the running part. I started running by zoning out and chugging along to the Nike+ tracks (LCD Soundsystem, Crystal Method and Aesop Rock) and then moved to podcasts. I try music sometimes but I find that the changing of songs makes me too acutely aware of time passing in 3.5 minute chunks.

    At the gym? These days it’s typically Deadmau5 and Skrillex or some 90’s rock iTunes genius mixes.

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