Music can move you… or make you stop

Following up on a post from my buddy Stefan @TheBikeEscape and five rules for his pain cave, I thought I’d post some of the climbing songs I use for my own training at home.

I listen to Pandora radio at work and most often, I listen to music that doesn’t have any lyrics. Having ADD, I find this helps me concentrate as it overcomes the noise in my head. The same can be said for climbing. Music sets the pace and the feet often follow.

photo by Matthew Ankeny


I prefer a hard, intense beat where I can pedal from 72 to 85 rpm.  When outdoors, I find myself at a higher rpm on a steep climb (don’t ask me what gear – I have no clue). I pass more people at a higher rpm, especially on the Lexa I have now.  Rarely do I get out of the saddle for more than 15 seconds. Even outdoors, I don’t often stand.

@RussianCircles was introduced to me by a commercial, actually. Last year during the NHL playoffs, they used an incredible song for a commercial and I had to find out what it was.  Enter ‘Mladek’. Then I heard ‘309’, ‘Atackla’, ‘1777’, ‘Station’, ‘Verses’, ‘Youngblood’, and ‘Carpe’.  Mind blown.

Russian Circles led me to Kerretta’s ‘Maven Fade’ and ‘The Secret is Momentum’, then on to the bands Maserati, 8Dawn, God is an Astronaut and Goonies Never Say Die. (That’s right kids. Goonies!)

I also train with videos from @TheSufferfest.  They’ve introduced me to another wide range of songs, like ‘Star Walker’ from EchoDroides and the Cranston Foundation’s ‘Movement Revolution’.

And @MikeCotty – he’s so dreamy. (I kid because I admire Mike. He’s an incredible athlete and motivating when you’re climbing with him on screen for 90 minutes. Well, and there’s that thing I have for Englishmen. But I digress.)

runaway-gif OMG he’s looking at me! RUN AWAY!


Anyroad, because I love big sound, I traveled down the road of movie scores. My first was ‘Sucker Punch’. The film was interesting but the soundtrack was friggin awesome.

Then came Iron Man #1 and Captain America-Winter Soldier, which led me to a little known genre of music called ‘movie trailers’.  Two to three  minute all out, balls to the wall, kick your ass stuff. ‘Crushing  Blow’ by Jack Trammell, ‘Carnage’ by Xtortion Audio, ‘Hell Rains Down’ by Epic Score, ‘We On Fiya’ by Methodic Doubt Music.  You get the idea.

Another artist, who deserves his own sentence, is @Celldweller. Klayton is an incredible musician and again, suits the mood for high intensity climbs but also hard driving interval sessions and tempo profiles.

I happily pay over my .99 to 1.29. These artists deserve to be recognized for their contribution to my love of music.

Don’t get me started on all the songs I found on Guitar Hero!

Lastly, I was searching around iTunes for ‘The Pass’ by Rush and discovered @ThePassTheBand, which led me to Dirty Vegas (@WeAreDirtyVegas).

I tell ya, iTunes is almost as bad as YouTube with going down the rabbit hole, but with music, that might be a good thing.

Almost makes you want to take my class, eh?  What kind of music do you listen to?


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