Having spent years in the gym for up to 10 hours a day, I’ve heard my fair share of music played as people work out. Sometimes good, but oftentimes bad, it seems that as the years go by, they come out with more and more forgettable music. I can’t help but think back to my high school days when I worked out at a place called South Side Gym. This place looked like Mickey’s old gym in the first Rocky. The floor was concrete and there were only 45 pound plates in the place. Can’t bench more than 135 lbs? Tough shit. What I liked most about this gym was the music. It’s stereo system was fitting for a place that had a unisex bathroom. It consisted of a huge bass tube and one home speaker, all connected to a cassette player. Joey, the owner of the place had sole control of the tapes that were played throughout the day. I can honestly say I only remember two bands that were given play in this house of iron, and they were Guns and Roses & Metallica. Which albums you ask? Why, the Black album and Appetite for Destruction, of course. These days you would be hard pressed to find such classics played in the gym. When I first started personal training it was the middle of the grunge era, but the gym I worked in played nothing but shitty dance music of the 90’s like C & C music factory and the Spice Girls. Catchy songs to some perhaps, but annoying to most. Even though this gym was first class and sprung, what at the time had to big big bucks, for a Muzak system, I couldn’t help but notice the same fucking 10 songs being played on the hour. It was more or less like any FM radio station minus the commercials. Fast forward several years later to my next place of employment which went all out for what had to be the best thing to happen to the fitness industry since the sports bra, and that is satellite radio. Don’t care to hear the Backstreet Boys or Celine Dion? No problem, put on the classic rock station and never hear those high pitched chicks again. In the mood for something heavy? Just turn on the metal station and let loose to some Pantera or Hatebreed. Feeling straight up gangster? There is plenty of NWA or Ice Cube to go around. These days you have your iPod to take care of the background noise while you workout. For all you old schoolers, just think about when you dared to run with your discman attached to your arm. It has gotten to a point where people just want to listen to the shit that gets them going, and be cut off from the rest of the world. In my travels I have been in gyms from coast to coast, and for the most part the music being played these days is strictly vanilla. Expect no surprises, and in fact it’s so boring it’s on the same level as elevator music. No more loud rock music or, God forbid, tunes with offensive language. Thank you very much to those politically correct assholes who ruined it for the rest of us and complained enough to make most gyms as exciting as a morgue. But every now and then, however, you come across a South Side Gym. It may not be the flashiest gym in town. It may not have fancy equipment. But there is a good chance the music will be awesome and actually inspire you to do a little more than a couple curls and a few laps on the treadmill.