Written by Chelsea Nkwodimmah
Music is as important of an accessory to my workout as are my SBD knee sleeves and Inzer lever belt. We all have that one song that hypes us up right before a top set or new PR attempt. Kendrick Lamar, Dave East, and Apple’s hip-hop workout radio station rule my sessions when I’m lifting heavy weight…and while I’m struggling through my 30 minutes of cardio I’m usually on Netflix or YouTube watching Afrobeats videos.
Natalie Terrana has been known to jam out to Whitney Houston.
And Sarah Brenner? Does “Yall ‘gon make me lose my mind! Up in here! Up in here!” sound familiar? Yep. She has DMX in her ears before she hits the platform.
Most of my time between sets is spent trying to find the perfect song. I’m usually hitting the skip button five seconds into the intro if it doesn’t immediately induce foot tapping or head bopping. Whether it gets us hype or calms our nerves, music is the legal drug that certainly holds a special place in our training.
As powerlifters, we often record our sets in order to analyze our form (and to post it to social media, of course). One of my pet peeves is not being able to simultaneously record my set and listen to music on my headphones. We all know as soon as we press that 🔴 REC button on the camera app our music stops automatically. Seconds before I press record, I’m throwing my headphones on the ground since I know my music goes into complete silence anyway. I’m sure there’s a jailbreak out there to circumvent the issue but the way my paranoia is setup…I’m convinced I’ll also be adding some sort of virus to my phone. It doesn’t help that my gym plays the worst music. What actually is worse than losing your left earbud on the way to the gym or having your headphones die 10 minutes into your workout? I can always count on hearing Bruno Mars or Demi Lavato or some other Top 40 playlist song from my gym’s speaker.
I can NOT and will NEVER PR to Demi Lavato.
And that’s not to say that everyone or every gym should share my preference in music. To each its own and if Stevie Wonder or Lady Gaga stimulates your sympathetic nervous system and increases your adrenaline levels then “My Cherie Amour” by all means throw on that “Poker Face.”
A friend of mine mentioned that she competes in the RPS federation because she enjoys the heavy metal they play at their meets. When I met Corey at Nationals this year he told me how primetime lifters got to choose their walkout music at the 2016 USAPL Raw Nationals. Sounds of “Knuck If You Buck” and “I Will Always Love You” filled the venue. How awesome would it be if it were a standard thing for us to pick the songs that we walk out on the platform? Kinda like how boxers choose their entrance theme song as they make their way to the ring. For me, I would be a toss-up between the old school and new school...
Slick Rick “La Di Da Di” or Meek Mill “Ima Boss”
Camp Lo “Luchini” or Cardi B “Bodak Yellow”
Outkast “B.O.B” or Lil Wayne “A Milli”
Music gives us confidence, it distracts us from our muscle aches and fatigue, and sometimes its tied to thoughts or events that evoke emotions strong enough for us to lift weights at the edge of our perceived physical capabilities.
What does your pre-lift or pre-platform playlist sound like?
Get to know Chelsea and the other GWPL Ambassadors a little bit better.