In a city as active as Austin, you can never venture too far without seeing someone jogging or walking their dog while wearing earbuds. But what are they listening to? Here, we’ll be following the lives of several Austinites whose workout playlist reflects their gym activities.
UT college student Daria Lane will never say no to a hike, especially when it includes her AirPods and a good podcast. As a fan of influencer Emma Chamberlain, Lane’s go-to listen when stepping out into nature is Chamberlain’s Anything Goes podcast.
“I have three favorite episodes that I listen to when I want to hone in on a conversation,” Lane says. “‘identity,’ ‘quality over quantity’ and ‘a happy and healthy life’ are the ones I usually do when on a long walk or hike.”
Lane explains how listening to the podcast provides her with a sense of empowerment and excites her to take on life. In addition, the podcast provides advice and helps her see things from a different perspective than usual. For Lane, being surrounded by trees, creeks and dogs on a hiking trail with her favorite podcast is a little slice of bliss.
St. Edward’s college student Kevie Wierzbowski curates his perfect playlist when doing cardio with all songs aligned to EDM.
“My favorite DJs like JOYRYDE, Wax Motif and Chris Lake stimulate me,” Wierzbowski says. “Having a variety to choose from lets me not worry about a song not matching my energy.”
Wierzbowski explains that listening to EDM or house music allows him to match his attitude at the gym to the beat of the music. He also mentions that while he loves the gym and EDM, his music taste is completely different when he practices yoga as he gravitates toward softer and more meditative beats. For Wierzbowski, the difference in workouts allows him to change his music and set a different mindset for each exercise.
A newcomer to Austin, 19-year-old Catelyn Toney has always been interested in sports. As a tennis player, she enjoys running to maintain the stamina required for the sport. Her playlists are eclectic, ranging from Taylor Swift to Greta Van Fleet. She prefers upbeat music to keep her mind focused and moving. Tennis allows her to create medleys.
“I’m satisfied by any mood or pace of song coming through the speakers and enjoy anything from my typical collection,” Toney says.
Toney is no stranger to tennis, and she chooses her music based on the mood of the match and the day’s training, sometimes choosing between medleys based on how intense they are. When Toney is outside, whether she is running or playing tennis, music always plays and helps her focus for a match or a good run.
Chicago native-turned-Austinite, 23-year-old Christian Flores has made the gym an extension of his home. While working out is therapeutic, Flores notes that he mentally prepares himself for the workout even before arriving at the gym. Typically, his regimen consists of strength and conditioning workouts, so his playlist is all about using his groove to push through the nitty-gritty exercises.
“Music is a catalyst that helps strengthen my connection with myself holistically,” Flores says. “It is through music that I mentally prepare myself for the inner battle. So I choose songs or motivational speeches that I can genuinely adhere to.”
Flores’ playlist is all about motivation — songs that speak and challenge him to do better when doing his final sets. His songs range from early ‘90s rap to present-day reggaeton, sometimes mixing in a motivational speech when pushing for the last rep on a set.
Every person loves a challenge, and Tony Hu is an excellent example of making a gym challenge look like an evening stroll. Hu is currently trying out the 75 Hard program, which challenges him to work out twice a day for 45 minutes while also focusing on self-esteem and discipline.
“I listen to rap and hip hop because a lot of the time, the high bass and music sequence are composed in a way that creates a good workout atmosphere,” Hu says. “I relate to lyrics a lot too, and if the verses resonate with me, I like to listen to them when working out.”
While Hu loves a challenge, music makes everything better. He states that music is part of his everyday life, especially when working out twice a day.
Many people’s music selections shift drastically. These Austin locals have demonstrated how their workouts are influenced by their music while exercising and how this reflects their personality and motivation to reach a goal.