The Lazy Journalist - Play that punky playlist fat-boy

The New York Dolls ponder a post-Champagne visit to the gym. Photo  P Felix/Getty Images
The New York Dolls ponder a post-Champagne visit to the gym. Photo P Felix/Getty Images

With the exception of attending a funeral or defusing an unexploded bomb, there are few experiences which aren’t enriched or enlivened by a banging personal musical soundtrack.

None more or so than a visit to the gym or a spot of jogging. The latter is no longer an option to the Lazy Journalist, not through lack of desire but due to a spinal injury which is borne with good grace and fortitude and only mentioned on a bi-hourly basis.

Steve Holloway

Steve Holloway

You really can’t beat pounding beats when it comes to pounding the streets or sweating away on a stationary exercise machine.

Personal casette players, hefty personal CD players, to mini-disc players, MP3 players, to smartphones of varying sizes, have all been essential bits of kit for runners and gym-goers in the past three decades.

But what to play? What will spur you for that extra mile/five minutes?

Some people like a cheesy anthem or ‘80s soft metal mega hit to keep them going, but, as in life, those people are clearly not to be trusted.

Personally it’s always been about rapid beats per minute (bpm) or shouty, break-neck punk. Electronic music (techno, drum ‘n’ bass, and even a spot of ‘bro step) can always be relied upon to instil a touch of urgency, but you can’t beat a bit of unreconstructed rock and roll and punk to get the old ticker pumping.

In common with footballing hard-man Stuart Pearce (probably about the only thing I have in common with him) I like my motivational tunes erring on the side of aggro, and intent.

The Clash, Ramones and the New York Dolls have found their way to a current gym playlist, alongside contemporary bands which have a few more beats and living members, Snapped Ankles, Sleaford Mods, Fat White Family, that sort of thing.

There’s also something to be said for contemporary high-octane, but lo-fi, beardy guitar bands who, like the Ramones, can never be accused of excessive musical noodling. Although my advancing years combined with a deluded reluctance to accept those advancing years have in recent times led me to aggravate my busted back from nodding too frenetically to such rapid, raucous stuff. Tragic.

The latest playlist is going down a treat and has kept me going through three half-decent sessions at the Prince Regent gym in the past week, and the beauty of modern streaming system means that like a much fatter, shorter and infinitely poorer Simon Cowell I can easily eliminate the tracks that aren’t aiding my personal exercise journey (as Simon might also say).

To find out more about Freedom Leisure’s gyms visit