The following was produced in partnership with our friends at Spotify.
If you’ve already bailed on your New Year’s resolution to get your sorry ass in shape because someone told you resolutions are dumb (uh … sorry about that), rest assured it’s not too late. And you don’t even need to start meditating or become a morning person or anything else like that — all you need is a better soundtrack.
That’s the opinion of Steve Weatherford, Super Bowl champion, baddest punter ever, and “Fittest Man In Football.” Weatherford recently ended his 10-year NFL career but he still holds the title of Commander-In-Chief of the #SwollPatrol and Chief Board Game Officer of Team Weatherford, which includes his 3 daughters (ages 6, 3, and 7 months), one son (8), his wife (none of your business), and sometimes Grammy. So yeah, he pretty much makes the rest of us look bad, but he’s convinced he can help you look really, really good with a few choice tracks.
The Benefits Of Exercise Music
Weatherford is what you might call a workout freak, but even a guy who hits the weights 7 days a week and twice on Sunday feels the grind. When the gym is the last place you feel like dragging your ass between business and family commitments, grab the headphones. “The soundtrack to your workout is what gets you moving and keeps you pumped,” Weatherford says. “Music can positively impact your mood during a workout, which increases productivity and success.” That’s not just a jacked up dude talking out of his 12-pack — science agrees.
Another benefit of rocking your headphones is that they signal to your fellow gym-goers that this beast is not to be trifled with. “When people around you are having conversations, distracting you, having your music will prevent you from having your mind yanked away from you mid-set,” says Weatherford. “You’re sending a clear message to everyone else at the gym that all of your focus is on your workout routine.”
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What To Listen To
For Weatherford, the soundtrack of choice depends on the intensity and goals of that day’s workout. On leg day — his most brutal session (seriously, do not try to skip leg day around the punter) — he relies on metal gods like Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rob Zombie to keep his aggressive focus. When he wants to escape and relax his mind on cardio day (because who wants to just run?), he’ll play some mellow country or Bob Marley — stuff that would never sniff a weight rack.
At heart, though, Weatherford’s an exercise music classicist. “Nothing gets me more pumped and ready to physically push myself than a headbanging metal track,” he admits. “I don’t know what it is, but heavy guitar riffs and loud drums seems put my mind in a zone where I can push through any physical pain and discomfort and get the most out of my workouts.” Some of his go-tos include “Enter Sandman” and “Seek & Destroy” by Metallica, “Superbeast” and “Feel So Numb” by Rob Zombie, “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, “Bodies” by Drowning Pool, and “Du Hast” by Rammstein. When he needs a change of pace from raining death guitars, he’ll crank up some angry hip-hop like DMX’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” or Eminem’s “Soldier.”
And recently, Weatherford has even discovered the motivating effects of EDM thanks to — who else? — his long snapper with the Giants, Zak DeOssie. “When he’d get sick of hearing Disturbed and the heavy music, he’d put on house music. The first time I was like, ‘Dude, we’re not at a rave, I’m trying to crush weights.’ But once I listened a little bit — it’s high energy. Now when I want to change it up, I’ll switch gears to some EDM and I actually kind of like it.”
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Who Picks The Tunes
It’s safe to say that if you found yourself in a weight room with Weatherford, you’d defer DJ responsibilities to the guy who could bench press you, your wife, and kid. Turns out that’s how it worked in the NFL, too, but not for lack of other guys in the room with 5 percent body fat. “One thing you never do — unless you’re the oldest guy in the room — is touch the radio. By my eighth, ninth, tenth year in the league, I always got to listen to whatever I wanted.” What about the quarterback or kicker, the other usual suspects for oldest dude on the roster? “Those guys don’t exactly lift very often.” Touche, Weatherford, and a solid lesson to impart on your kids the next time they even think about changing the carpool soundtrack: “You don’t mess with the stereo when the old guys are in there.”
The New Workout Plan
Weatherford is still the head DJ these days, the team has just changed. Now he broadcasts workouts to his Snapchat followers and stays fit with his kids. Weatherford’s oldest, 8-year-old son, Ace, has joined him at the gym since he was about 9 months old. “As soon as my wife trusted me with him alone I’d take him to my friend’s gym and lay him down on a beach towel in a playpen with a couple toys. He’s grown up in the gym.” Ace trains with dad about 3 times a week — only bodyweight exercises until he’s at least 13, when Steve started lifting — and since the emergence of Weatherford’s former teammate, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., has gotten into rap music. “He loves to dance, so ever since Odell got popular with his touchdown celebrations I’ve been buying the clean versions of rap songs for my son to listen to.”