Group exercise instructor extraordinaire David Garza, who shared his wisdom on the podcast episode Parenting Ate My Fitness, is also a professional DJ. It’s a deadly combo; great music and great workouts go together like cheese and crackers.
We asked David to compile his ultimate workout mix. The mix is designed to get you motivated to move, and to move like you are possessed once in motion. Hip hop till you don’t stop, on and on till the break of dawn, etc.
Below are his selections, hand picked for you. As a fellow music lover and parent, I’ve added my own two cents (and one extra song).
Meet your new workout mix, in no particular order:
I was caught in the middle of a railroad track. I looked round and knew there was no turning back.
The railroad track represents the decision that you made to become a parent. There’s no turning back. Embrace all that it is, and be the person you want your kids to become. Doing so involves some level of fitness. The opening of this song, with the classic guitar riff and background chanting, has started revolutions. Add one more to the list, your fitness rebirth.
Macklemore, Can’t Hold Us
Can we go back, this is the moment. Tonight is the night, we’ll fight til it’s over. So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us.
Macklemore is a genius. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. Brilliant lyrics, clever hooks, and a phenomenal rapper, Macklemore will have you grooving and laughing at the same time, which burns extra calories. You haven’t had this much fun since Home Alone Dad.
DJ Snake and Lil Jon, Turn Down for What
Fire up that loud. Another round of shots. Turn down for what?
Believe it or not, that is every word of this song. Rumor has it that Bernie Taupin was hired to write the lyrics, but that DJ Snake forgot to tell him as much. Lil Jon did the best he could in relief. Regardless, this song works because it makes you feel like a savage. Savages can bench press school buses. Plus, if the video for this song is accurate, your body will be auto twerking its way to physical fitness.
I know what it feels like. Come on make me feel alive.
Didn’t know this song before, but I get why it’s on the list. It starts out sweet and sucks you in, then takes an unexpected direction and has you at a dance party. It’s a lot like when you hear your adorable child calling for help, only to realize that the cry is coming from the bathroom. You can’t believe that you have to wipe ANOTHER butt today, but when you get to the bathroom you discover that your child has self wiped for the first time. This is what it’s like to feel alive! In other news, this is clearly a great song for spinning.
Calvin Harris (ft. Rihanna), This Is What You Came For
Baby this is what you came for. Lightning strikes every time she moves.
When Rihanna sings the opening line, she’s singing to you. The coffee hasn’t fully coursed through your veins, but you hauled yourself out of bed, and this workout is what you came for. Ignore the fact that she’s actually singing about a one night stand. Focus on the infectious groove, and imagine that you are starting an affair with fitness.
Pitbull (ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer), Give Me Everything
Me not working hard? Yeah right, picture that with a Kodak. Or better yet, go to Times Square. Take a picture of me with a Kodak. Took my life from negative to positive. I just want ya’ll to know that.
As President of the Pitch Perfect fan club, I knew this ditty from the greatest film of our generation. I didn’t realize that it was actually Pitbull and 17 of his closest rapper friends. This composition is like one of those Willy Wonka candies that presents a variety of different flavors over the course of consumption, which makes it ideal for working out. Pec, pec, squat, tris, lats, calves. Again, ignore that there may be some allusion to having a one night stand. A regular exercise program shows your kids that you work hard. Explain to them what a “Kodak” is.
Afrojack, Do or Die
You and I will never die. It’s a dark embrace. In the beginning was life, a dawning age. Time to be alive.
The opening of this song gives me chills. It’s of a similar ilk to the Krewalla song, sweet then sweaty then sweet then sweaty. Kind of like Sea World San Antonio in June, except far more affordable.
Bush, Machine Head
Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out. Breath in.
Why did Gwen Stefani dump this guy? He seems cool, and this song is heavy (in a good way). Maybe the drone of his machine head became annoying over the years? Whatever the case, breath and breath out. Breathing is critical to exercise. It’s also one of our best parenting tools. Most situations could be diffused if we all just took a breath. Thanks for the reminder, Gavin. Namaste.
Deorro, Bootie in Your Face
Are you ready? I do it big. Are you ready?
Definitely the least family friendly song title on the list, ironically as parents we have certainly had our share of bootie in the face. Guessing Deorro had other ideas when he penned this one. Good workout song though, and in some of the more crowded group fitness classes the song title could well become your reality. Embrace it.
Flo Rida, Good Feelin
Giving ups not an option, gotta get it in. Witness I got the heart of twenty men.
This song is the total package; great music, inspiring lyrics and a formidable rap performance. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that “Flo Rida” was actually a play on words with “Florida”. Kind of like how “Arby’s” is “RB’s” or “Roast Beef” spelled out phonetically. You just learned something, didn’t you. If this song doesn’t learn your bottom to exercise…well, listen to the next song on the list.
Eminem, Lose Yourself
Look. If you had one shot. One opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment. Would you capture it? Or let it slip?
I added this song without permission from DJ David. Add it, or don’t add it, at your own peril. We all know Eminem is an amazing rapper, but his message speaks truth.
We have one race around this track. Life gives us a myriad of opportunities, but it’s our responsibility to grab them. We can’t grab them all, we only have two hands. We have to grab what matters. We all know what matters; family, friends, community. And our own health.
If you’re not minding your health, find a small way to start today. It will make you into an even better version of you.
If you are already fit or on a path to fitness, bring someone you love along for the ride. Listen to fun music together in the process. While you’re at it, consider giving the gift of David Garza. Share his workout mix, let’s get everyone moving!