Over the years, I’ve developed over 300 workout-specific playlists. I strive to develop song lists that motivate participants to approach me after class and say, “I love your music! It made the class fly by.”
This brings me infinite joy.
Here’s how I do it. The process always includes a warm-up track in the front, followed by some cool-down and stretch tracks in the back. The center of the mix is jam-packed with high-energy beats from a mix of genres and sounds.
Just coming off an epic couple months of shows at local venues, I built the following playlist with artists who rolled through town and rocked The Intersection/Stache or The DeltaPlex.
Find this playlist, CKO REVUE, by following Shelby Reno on Spotify.
A solid dance beat paired with Disclosure contributor Sam Smith is a beautiful thing. The beat of this song provides for the perfect warm-up before the gloves go on.
Zedd “Addicted to a Memory”
This track has a 75-second build providing a nice segue for some high energy yet basic punches. I like good variation so participants stay engaged. The track sequence has such an indisputable purpose in endurance and interval training.
machineheart’s harmony DNA is “happy.” A good workout mix should have both upbeat and aggressive tracks. It helps define and separate the steps in our hour-long journey.
This Montreal-based producer and DJ knows how to expertly deliver heavy basslines and hip-hop rhythms, good for heavy-bag work.
SNAILS “Funk With Me” (feat. Big Gigantic)
Yes, I paired the two SNAILS tracks together because they have completely different tempos. I like this track for high-intensity interval work because of the beat. It’s hard not to put all your energy (and aggression, if applicable) when this instrumental hits its apex.
Adventure Club “Unleash”
“You’ve got to unleash!” is the mantra of this song. If you like high-impact workouts, CKO’s blend of programming infuses interval work inside the space like sprints, army crawls, burpees, high knees, and of course heavy bag work. The EDM genre is the best foundation for that type of workout, so plan to hear your fair share in the studio.
Smallpools “Dreaming” (The Chainsmokers Remix)
Of all the local shows I’ve seen in the past year, Smallpools is arguably my favorite. Taking place at The Stache, The Intersection’s front stage, Smallpools engaged the audience and seemed to be having the most fun of anyone in the room. Live, they owned it!
We Came As Romans “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Nothing gets a group class going like a good remake. One that crosses genres – in this case pop to hard rock — usually starts conversations after class. Detroit-based WCAR gives Taylor Swift a run for her money on this one. Screamo!
Guns N’ Roses “Rocket Queen”
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy was stupid-good live at The Intersection. “Rocket Queen” is the last song on Appetite for Destruction, doesn’t register on their “Top Tracks” on Spotify, nor does it claim real estate on their Greatest Hits — but it is a tempo-changing masterpiece.
Zed’s Dead “Collapse 2.0” (feat. Memorecks)
What’s not OK with this remix is it’s not long enough: Only 3:19. But I’ll live. Redemption comes in two hard-hitting points in the song providing perfect 45-second high-energy interval opportunities, a trainer’s dream.
Dillon Francis “Pull It”
I gravitate to a lot of dub-step beats for both interval work and strike combos. If you’re not a fan of the genre, think of the bag as Dillon Francis and kick his ironic, jokester ass. He seems like a cool guy, so go easy on him.
Ataris “So Long Astoria”
I got to meet the band’s front man Kris Roe, who is an amazing photographer to boot. Kudos to artists like The Ataris who continue to tour clubs and pull off strong performances.
Phoebe Ryan “Mine”
Phoebe had a sultry yet sweet, nonchalant presence on stage. Her voice is lovely. This catchy song is ideal for a workout wind-down.
Fortunate Youth “FY”
A reggae sound, a la Sublime, finishes off our workout. Most of this track is spent stretching muscles and taking stock in how sweaty you got during your workout. You feel energized and accomplished. Replenish with water and a fist bump with the trainer on your way out.