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The Sunday Backtrack: 5 Songs You Shouldn’t Take To The Gym

I had a hard time only picking five songs to leave behind when you go to the gym when I wrote the post back in April. Some of you had some amazingly bad suggestions in the comment section, the worst of all being “Heal The World” by Michael Jackson.

I stand by my original choices inasmuch as they have not become less terrible since April.

Today I’m adding a few.  With your suggestions, we’ll eventually have enough to make a definitive list for a future post.

More songs that don’t belong in your workout

  • Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden
  • Winter by Tori Amos
  • Aida by Sarah Mclachlan
  • Any song by Celine Dion
  • Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by Crash Test Dummies

Keep it coming. What else is out there?


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  • Laura July 19, 2009, 9:10 am

    Muskrat Love
    Afternoon Delight
    Midnight at the Oasis
    Anything by Air Supply
    My Humps (I know some people like this one, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the auditory equivalent of waterboarding)
    Hollaback Girl (ditto)
    The River (great great Springsteen song, but one of the great demotivators of all time. Still, better you should play it at the gym than at, say, your wedding reception.)

    • Josh Hanagarne July 19, 2009, 10:15 am

      @Laura. HAHAHAHA. You just made my day. Does this mean you’re not a Hollaback Girl, Laura?

  • Jake July 19, 2009, 9:41 am

    Everybody Hurts – REM
    Pale Blue Eyes – Velvet Underground
    Day-O (the banana boat song) – Harry Bellafonte
    Mad World – Tears for Fears
    Lap Dance is So Much Better (When the stripper is crying) – Bloodhound Gang

    • Josh Hanagarne July 19, 2009, 10:14 am

      @Jake. BRAVO! I was hoping somebody would put REM in there.

  • David Cain July 19, 2009, 10:30 am

    Scarborough Fair comes to mind.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 19, 2009, 10:54 am

      @David. Oh, that’s good. Jeez, every comment becomes the new winner for a second. Rosemary. There’s not enough Rosemary in the gym.

  • Jen July 19, 2009, 10:41 am

    Pachelbel Canon in D
    Paper Planes by M.I.A.
    anything sung by Alison Krauss
    Burnin’ Up – Jonas Brothers
    ditto on Muskrat Love

  • Jason Steeves July 19, 2009, 10:43 am

    Any Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray or Rita MacNiel

  • Travis Byram July 19, 2009, 11:20 am

    How about “Barbie Girl?”
    “Cloudburst” by Eric Whittacre and the Nsync Christmas Album are my top choices.

  • Jake July 19, 2009, 1:17 pm

    Here’s some more, courtesy of my wife:
    Anything by Enya
    Julee Cruise (Famous for the Twin Peaks Theme)
    Damien Rice
    Hallelujah – The Jeff Buckley version…actually any version.
    Tom Waits – Bad Liver and Broken Heart
    The Verve – Lucky Man

  • Mac Wrigley July 19, 2009, 2:00 pm

    I was actually at the gym one time when Barry Manilow’s Mandy come up on rotation on the old ipod. The thought occurred to me at the time, that if any of these meat heads in the weight room knew what I was listening to they’d probably tear me limb from limb. But it was sort of a surreal experience. Sort of like getting away with something you shouldn’t. “I’m listening to Barry Manilow while doing a manly activity and no one knows it!”

    • Josh Hanagarne July 19, 2009, 2:54 pm

      @Mac Now hold on! Maybe Copacabana wouldn’t fit in, but who says Mandy isn’t a testosterone-laced rage anthem and a eulogy for weakness?

  • We Fly Spitfires July 19, 2009, 3:00 pm

    Like I said in my tweet, anything by Kenny Chesney but especially the song “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”.

    Oddly enough though it’s a great song to programme too, especially when mixed with Finnish fantasy metal 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne July 19, 2009, 3:06 pm

      @We Fly Spitfires. I’ll have to take your word for it. Can you recommend a good Finnish fantasy metal band for those of us who don’t move in such exotic and fantastical circles?

  • Laura July 19, 2009, 4:00 pm

    I don’t care how much you enjoy musicals, “I Feel Pretty” and “I Enjoy Being A Girl” have no place in a workout playlist.

    More bad choices:
    Ebony and Ivory
    Everybody Have Fun Tonight (“everybody Wang Chung tonight”-need I say more?)
    Last Christmas, Wham
    Father Figure

  • David Cain July 20, 2009, 5:27 am

    Man I feel like a Woman — Shania Twain
    November Rain — Guns n’ Roses
    Us and Them — Pink Floyd
    Together Forever — Rick Astley
    Died in Your Arms — Cutting Crew

    • Josh Hanagarne July 20, 2009, 7:17 am

      @David. I wouldn’t mind the final 2 minutes of November Rain. the first 30 minutes, agreed–no place in the workout.