Calum Leslie

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University

Running to the beat

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You’ll excuse this diversion into the farcical for the sake of asking a very important question. Well, a question.

What is the soundtrack of the fitness fanatic?

That’s what we ended up pondering this week in our radio production class, and so here I’ll attempt an answer.

First, the serious stuff: radio’s taken up a large part of our course over the past month and it’s been revealing, interesting and good old fashioned fun: the chance to be creative, arouse interest, tell a story or even have a bit of a laugh.

This week it was a bootcamp. Not for us, but for one of our (un?)fortunate lecturers. We were tasked with producing a short radio package from interviews and voxpops done at her own early morning fitness class.

Which we did.

But it got us thinking about exercise. . . and music. Naturally. (And not at all in a manufactured-for-blogpost-theme kind of way).

We had plenty fun trying to come up with the right start in our packages. Do you go cheesy? Inspirational?

Callum Baird got into a particularly musical mood with this MAMJ remix.

But, to the point: what’s the ultimate exercise soundtrack?

Lists are my thing. So here’s my top 5:

5. Eye of the Tiger

Basically, everyone wants to be Rocky. They want to be a hero. They want crowds of cheering fans urging them on. It’s the classic exercise tune. Pure cheese? Of course. All the more reason to have it right in at number 5.

4. Don’t Stop Me Now

Sheer self denial. You’re doing exercise and it’s hell. So singing at the top of your voice that you’re “having such a good time, having a ball,” man, is the natural way to get through it all.

3. Born to Run

When I asked earlier if cheese was the best option it should really have been a statement rather than a question. Following the lyrics literally is all you need to do with this one. You were born to run, so get on with it. 

2. Right Here, Right Now

Granted, the video here tracks evolution from early forms of life, to animal, to man, to fat man. But there’s nothing like this track for getting you going. And if Fatboy Slim is chronological order as well as a name, you’re on to a winner. 

1. Simply the Best

More self denial in this classic choice. You are the best. In your gym. At that exact moment. And it’s 6am. But who’s asking questions when 20,000 people are singing along? Fire the treadmill up another notch and go for it.


Author: calumlesliejournalist

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

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