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Music Monday

Music Monday: How Katy Perry Roars Into Tip-Top Tour Shape

Written on December 2, 2013 at 9:23 am , by

Munching on healthy snacks helps Perry stay on track. (Photo courtesy of Popchips)

Whether you’re “Dressin’ Up” for a hot night out on the town or struggling to be “Wide Awake” for an early bird spin class, Katy Perry has the turn-it-up tune to tap into your inner-rockstar. I mean, is there a better workout anthem than “Roar?” I don’t think so.

In true Perry fashion, her newest album PRISM delivers hit after girl-power hit, all with that go-getter ‘tude we know and love (And talk about total arm envy in her music video “Unconditionally,” which was released last week). So how did the starlet shape up for her upcoming world tour? We got her svelte secrets and put together a killer playlist of our Katy faves for you to pop on whenever you need a boost.

Hit the Trail. “I prefer to get my exercise outside,” says Perry, confessing her love for hiking and bike riding with friends. Just don’t get her started early in the a.m. “I love feeling stronger and clearer-minded after a workout, but I HATE mornings!” What does she jam out to as she tackles the terrain? Drake, Lorde, Sky Ferreira and HAIM.

Strong is Sexy. “When I’m on tour, I get into a pretty steady rhythm so it’s not that hard to get in a workout every day,” says the avid SoulCycler. “I need to work out to keep my stamina up for singing and dancing at my shows.” When it comes to a gym sweat sesh, Katy (oftentimes sporting Adidas attire) kicks it with one of our fave trainers, Harley Pasternak, known in Tinseltown for his firm-and-burn routines. After a 15-minute warm up, the duo tackle two to three full-body exercises with weights, followed by three to four muscle group-specific exercises. “He has me constantly moving,” she says. Katy’s strengthening circuit is followed by cardio—she enjoys skipping rope to spike her heart rate!

Plan for Success. “The challenge on tour is eating healthy because not every place you go has fresh food,” she says. To avoid getting stuck with preservative-packed snacks, the singer comes prepared for on-the-go noshing with Popchips. Her signature flavor, Katy’s Kettle Corn, is a winner—just like her!

Music Monday: The Sexiest Men Alive Should Be On Your Playlist

Written on November 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm , by

Every year, we patiently wait for People magazine to release their latest list of sexiest men, and which stud will grace the cover to be crowned Sexiest Man Alive. It came as no surprise that Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine claimed the title this go ’round – after all, anyone who tunes in weekly to see him coach on The Voice knows the guy can turn on the charm. His bromance with Blake Shelton, another singer topping the sexy men list, and recent engagement to model Behati Prinsloo doesn’t hurt either (someone managed to lock him down!). But he’s not the only smoldering star on the list. Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars can all be found too, and with swoon-worthy songs coming from each of their albums, again, we’re not surprised. So get a little boost during your next workout and plug into this playlist made only of the Sexiest Men of 2013. And hey, picturing them with their shirts off probably won’t hurt either…

Music Monday: U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Olympian Julie Chu’s Pump-Up Playlist

Written on November 18, 2013 at 10:11 am , by

The key to Chu’s success on the ice? Pumped-up tunes and teammates to push her to the max. (Photo courtesy of Bounty)

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are a few mere months away and if you couldn’t tell already we can’t wait. This is around the time we start getting super nosy when it comes to the athletes preparing for the game. What are they wearing? What’s their training like? What are they eating? How are they getting pumped up to make the team? To answer the last one, three-time Olympian of the women’s ice hockey team Julie Chu has a simple answer: Music! Below, check out her playlist she listens to for everything from strength and conditioning training to bringing it on the ice. Her other workout secret weapon? Team up, obviously. “Being a team sport athlete, I have learned the value of working out with others,” Chu says. “Have someone that will push you and keep you accountable. If you don’t have someone specific to workout with, then join a local gym and take part in different classes.  It’s amazing how we can feed off of other people’s energy around us.”

For those days when you’re sweating solo, plug in to these tunes and just imagine Chu crunching on the mat next to you.

Music Monday: Christina Aguilera Knows How to Work It (Not to Be Confused with Twerk It)

Written on November 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm , by

After watching season 3 of The Voice, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hop on the Christina Aguilera bandwagon. Her actions and clothes were a bit too provocative for my taste; she seemed to be grasping for attention. But after taking a step back from the show in season 4 with fellow coach Cee Lo Green, and reportedly spending more time with her family, the megastar is back for season 5 with a vengeance and I could not be more in love. Her look is more classic, the advice she doles out is top notch and she seems to really care about the contestants. Although we got a glimpse of Xtina’s season 3 behavior in last week’s performance of “How I Feel” with Flo Rida (girl wants to show she’s still got sass!), she reeled me back in with her performance of “Say Something” with A Great Big World the following night.

While I could go on and on about my reignited love for the singer (I mean, I did grow up working it to “Genie in a Bottle”), it’s her svelte figure that I’m going gaga over. And it turns out you are, too – you told us one thing you’re most curious about is how she slimmed down. Ask, and you shall receive! Reports say she’s worked with trainer Tee Sorge to peel off the pounds, citing yoga and hiking as two of the fat-blasters that worked for her. We personally recommend this yoga routine, where you’ll burn 500+ cals in a speedy 45 minutes.

We’re not sure if she jams to her own tunes (after all, sometimes LL Cool J catches his own hits), but I certainly will. Download these old and new hits to your next rise-and-grind playlist. There’s something about “Fighter” that’s guaranteed to bring out your inner badass.

Music Monday: Nelly’s In-Shape “M.O.”

Written on October 28, 2013 at 10:59 am , by

Nelly’s latest album? Perfect for long runs. (Photo courtesy of Universal Records)

Nelly was one of the first rappers I listened to. Although I consider myself more of a country girl (um, his collab with Florida Georgia Line in this summer’s smash hit “Cruise (Remix)” was the soundtrack to my windows-down car rides…), back in my early teens my friends and I would “Ride Wit” him en route to field hockey games, sporting Band-Aids on our cheeks and all—just like he did. Yes, it was a trend that lasted a few weeks in my preppy shoreline town. Don’t ask.

I’ve followed Nelly’s career ever since, and when his seventh album, M.O., was released last month, I couldn’t pop it into my running playlist fast enough. “There’s a bunch of good workout songs on it,” Nelly told me when we recently chatted. “From top to bottom, I think you’ll find there’s a lot of great music on there to do your thing.” He called me “sweetheart” at the end of our conversation, I might add, but I digress.

Featuring Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Nelly Fertado, T.I. and others, Nelly’s newest pace-pushing beats are sure to get your rear in gear as you take your runs indoors. And if you’re anything like Nelly, maybe that athlete mentality will translate into your career. “The competitiveness, the will not to quit and basically being in attack mode definitely helped me,” he says, explaining that the new album’s title not only stands for his home state of Missouri, but also “Method of Operation.”

So what is the workaholic’s method of staying in shape? I mean, don’t mess with those biceps! “The majority of the men in my family are super duper skinny, so the hardest part is putting the weight on,” he admits. “If I’m working, I probably get to the gym three times a week. I’m not going as heavy, just trying to maintain.” And when it comes to cardio, you won’t find the singer on the treadmill, but on the court. “I think basketball is the best cardio in the world, especially with all of the movements—the stops, jumps, the agility part of it and just the constant running.”

When I asked the former vegetarian about his diet, Nelly couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of watching what you eat. To keep his pumped-up physique, the artist tries to take in a lot of protein and loves turkey burgers. “When I started filming The Longest Yard—they wanted me to play a running back—I started eating chicken and turkey again because I only had two months to get as big as possible.” Another staple in Nelly’s daily eats? Oatmeal. “I eat a whole lot of oatmeal with cinnamon. I’ll chop up some bananas and put some raisins in it.” Whoa, Nelly! We’re impressed!

In honor of his new album, here’s a Nelly-fied playlist (a nice mix of old and new) to “Shake Ya Tailfeather” to. Sporting a Band-Aid? Optional, but strongly encouraged.

Music Monday: The Latest Miley-Obsessed Trend We’re On Board With

Written on October 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm , by

Ever since that notorious VMAs performance, people cannot stop talking about Miley Cyrus. And I’m no exception: every time I see a link about her latest antics pop up in my newsfeed, you know I’m clicking through to see what’s up. While I’m shaking my head most of the time, and I may not agree with all of her – eh hem – visual antics, the girl’s got me hooked. Which, of course, is the point. She’s even got me jamming to her music on my late-night runs, and no matter how ridiculous I find the music videos to be (I really want Michael Jordan to weigh in on “23″), I will admit to being mildly obsessed with “Wrecking Ball.”

But the latest Miley trend? Combining forces with other musicians, whether she knows about it beforehand or not. We’re talking mash-ups, collaborations, spoofs and covers. In case you’ve missed out on the good, the bad, and the absolutely hilarious, I’ve rounded up my faves. Get watching, and then maybe mix a few tracks from Bangerz into your playlist. Girl may be cray-cray, but her voice is motivating.

Miley and Mumford & Sons mash-up to create “Little Wrecking Ball.” Now this is a video I can actually get behind. And adding Miley’s power-ballad vocals on top of Mumford’s fast-strumming, bluegrass beats was brilliant.

Jimmy Fallon, Miley and The Roots sing an acoustic version of “We Can’t Stop,” and it’s set up Brady-bunch style. Genius.

Read more

Music Monday: Bruno Mars is Going to the Super Bowl & J-Lo is Working with T-Swift!

Written on September 9, 2013 at 11:19 am , by

It was a magical weekend in the world of music. The return of football (are you nailgating this season?) brought the news that this year’s Super Bowl XLVIII half-time show may just be better than the last. While we love Beyonce as much as the next girl, our hearts started pitter pattering with the announcement that Bruno Mars will take the stage during the championship game. Um, yes, we would like to watch him swagger on stage with his bandmates, reminding us of Michael Jackson’s smooth moves, especially after his VMA’s performance. And letting him charm us half-way through watching cute guys play football? Thank you, NFL. Thank you.

But that’s not all that’s got us on a music-high this Monday. USWeekly also tipped us off about a certain collaboration between two of our fave pop artists. We kind of figured something could be in the works after the Twitter lovefest that occurred between J-Lo and T-Swift after their performance on Taylor’s Red Tour. But it looks like the two will have a song on Jenny’s eighth album, set to release in early 2014. Anyone else think this is going to be a match made in heart-thumping, run-your-heart-out heaven?

To tide you over until these big events actually come to fruition, we compiled our top tunes from these three stellar artists. And if you need to remember just how great all of ‘em are at performing, check out these vids first:

Now you tell us: Which performance are you most excited about?

Music Monday: The Best Songs of Summer 2013

Written on September 2, 2013 at 10:01 am , by

We know: It sucks that summer is coming to a close. While you pack up your bikinis and flip flops, and take out your (super cute) sweaters and boots, press play on this lineup. Just because the seasons are changing doesn’t mean we have to let go of the hottest jams quite yet, and right now, we have no intention of doing so.

Now you tell us: What was your favorite song of summer?

Music Monday: Assistant Fashion Editor Melissa Freeswick’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on August 26, 2013 at 11:15 am , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

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Melissa Freeswick, Assistant Fashion Editor

I’m not a runner or a yogi, and I don’t do Pilates – my workout of choice is hardcore High Intensity Training, otherwise known as HIT. Music plays a huge part in my sweat sessions because sometimes I just don’t feel like lifting a heavy weight or doing a pull-up. But when I step through the doors of my local gym, there’s always a sick beat pumping through the speakers, and it instantly puts me in the mood to move. Check out my list of favorite techno tunes that will hopefully make you want to get of the couch and workout, or at least dance!

Follow Melissa on Twitter for more of her faves!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Heidi Smith, Freelance Designer

Marla Horenbein, Fashion Assistant

Lisa Haney, Senior Editor

Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Fitness Editor

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor

Music Monday: Designer Heidi Smith’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on August 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Heidi Smith, Freelance Designer

Whether you were born in the 90s, like me, or just enjoy a throwback to a great decade, this playlist will bring back old memories that you just can’t help but sing along to. Whenever I need an extra push to stay energized and keep moving, I always plug into these picks. Now do the same and travel back in time a bit!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Marla Horenbein, Fashion Assistant

Lisa Haney, Senior Editor

Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Fitness Editor

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor