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5 Songs You Shouldn’t Take To The Gym.


Not all songs are created equal

Not all songs are created equal

It’s easy to come up with a list of songs you just hate, but that’s not what this is about. That’s too easy because we all hate things and just being snarky isn’t noble or helpful. I’d take it a step farther in my own case and say that I’m not very good at talking about what I love, but I can certainly tell when I hate something. Songs in particular have a peculiar power to irritate me more than I can explain.

But again…not what this post is about. We’re trying to find songs that not only are bad, but that are also the exact opposite of working out or going to the gym. When you think of the following songs, try to picture yourself doing a workout when they start blasting out of Gold’s FM or whatever you’re stuck with. With that, I humbly submit for your jeers or derision:

  • I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

    Don’t get me wrong: Monsieur Loaf isn’t all bad, and Bat Out of Hell II certainly isn’t the worst thing out there. But this song is weird. It is so big and bombastic that the sheer spectacle of it would yank me out of any groove I happened to get into during training. And this isn’t entirely fair, to M. Loaf, but when I hear him now, the only thing I can think of is that weird performance with Katherine McPhee at the finale of whichever American Idol season that was.

  • Believe

    by Cher

    People got a little confused in the mid- to -late-90s. Grunge was winding down and suddenly everyone was singing in that bizarre electronic voice and rapping was only done in futuristic grain silos–at least in the videos. Cher jumped in with this little club-favorite and contributed her own take on the “I am a fabulous robot” vocal bandwagon. There are lots of little things in Believe that annoy me, but it would be the quavery robot voice that would probably get me to drop a barbell on my head.

  • Barbie Girl

    by Aqua.

    Oh, you crazy Scandinavian DJs! This song has gotten more deconstructive attention than it deserves, in my opinion. “It’s a commentary on superficiality,” “It’s an expose on the female body and how it’s being subverted at every turn.” And so on. And maybe it’s all of these, and maybe it’s just a kitschy dance tune that also happens to rattle my fillings. At my gym, there are plenty of what my wife calls either “Prancing princesses” or “The Barbies who are always in the mirror behind me.” She’s right, but even they would be confused and a little put-off if Barbie Girl interrupted their socializing and phone calls over by the power rack.

    Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

    Lee Greenwood

    A few years ago I had a season job selling women’s shoes at the local Dillards. Perhaps that nightmarish experience has clouded by judgment. I’ve certainly never been the same. But for all of the other problems, what sticks out most is M. Greenwood’s take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Every note is about a half-step high or low. The song came on in the in-store play about twice/hour and you could see the salespeople start cringing about two bars in. Give it a listen, put it in your iPod, grab your weights, and see how far you get.

  • Mmm Bop

    by Hanson.

    I don’t even know where to start, so I won’t. If I keep typing, I’ll never stop.

    Please nominate your own worsts in the comment section. also, if you enjoyed this, you might enjoy this songs you hate post that readers compiled.

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  • Comments on this entry are closed.

    • Megan Horton April 15, 2009, 2:44 pm

      You’re telling me you don’t want to work out to Barbie Girl or MMM Bop? If I had to pick between those two songs at the gym I would just leave….

    • Josh Hanagarne April 15, 2009, 2:57 pm

      Not that I don’t WANT to, just that it doesn’t help.

    • Bill Long April 15, 2009, 3:54 pm

      Anything by Hansen or justin Timberlake. In fact anything in the pop genre

    • Josh Hanagarne April 15, 2009, 5:40 pm

      Agreed Bill. Except for Timberlake. Nothing gets you worked into a lather like “sexyback,” admit it!

    • Cyndi April 15, 2009, 11:03 pm

      Alright, sexyback may or may not work me into a lather. As for songs I am currently despising, Kelly Clarkson’s rousing tribute to dysfunctional relationships, “My Life Would Suck Without You,” as well as Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold,” are right up there on my list. Oh yes, and Ne-Yo’s “Closer.” I hate songs that clap.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 15, 2009, 7:23 pm

      I’m with you on Katy Perry. Not sure. It’s the voice. and the eyes. And the lyrics. And the voice.

    • Maren April 15, 2009, 7:35 pm

      There is only one thing I like by Timberlake and it won an emmy.

    • flagmonkey April 18, 2009, 3:17 pm

      1. Michael Jackson – Heal the world
      2. Wham – Wake me up before you go go
      3. Take That – Babe

      Got to stop here *shudder*

    • Josh Hanagarne April 18, 2009, 3:28 pm

      Oh man, I think Heal the World wins. I never would have thought of that and it just makes my skin crawl. Bravo!