All right, so metal has always elicited a strong emotional response but rarely (shit, never) has it inspired the abandonment of a sedentary lifestyle in favor of 20 push-ups and a 10km run.It’s like, disco has long had an association with that whole workout gym culture; Lycra, protein shakes, glutes, quads and aerobic dance for the ladies … all that bullshit, but metal? C’mon, headbanging is not going to spirit you right into the aerobic zone, not without visiting some damage upon the vertebrae.
But this Olympics shit has really strong-arming the health and fitness idea into our consciousness. Surely metal, with its innate physicality, can provide the ultimate workout soundtrack. We could argue that metal’s strongest suit is as a soundtrack to beer drinking, barbecues, and thinking about stuff, but consider this: those Manowar dudes didn’t get those contoured He-Man physiques from grilling short-ribs, smoking pot and drinking jagerbombs.
Back in ’93, Venom’s Cronos, teacher’s pet and fitness instructor, spoke to Kerrang! to wax lyrical about Manowar Joey DeMaio’s fitness. “Joey’s in excellent shape, especially for his age,” he said. “Kids must look up to that. Kids don’t wake up and go, ‘I wanna be Lemmy!. Joey’s on a mission … When I saw him training, he was very intense and very concentrated. I saw him work out for an hour before a gig, then he did the gig, too! He’ll live a long time. He’s obviously doing well by all that shagging!”
If memory serves me well, Cronos also ran the rule over such beefcakes as Phil Anselmo, then shirtless despite Pantera’s success, and Henry Rollins, the former Black Flag frontman who looked like he could benchpress a Nightliner. Anselmo in particular was praised for his onstage athleticism. But digging a little deeper, the notion that metal could be the catalyst to physical perfection has got some legs. Check out this interview with Glenn Danzig from 1995 where he runs through his weekly workout program. Now that is the talk of a man whose tour bus has a portable fitness suite up at the back.
Now, we were going to draft you up an exercise program, complete with a regimented diet and so on, but someone beat us to the punch. The Metal Workout.com is our stomach flattening, fat-burning hope. This site’s got everything you need: The diet is covered; the routines; the goal-orientated power-patois of the gym. And, OK, we admit that the playlists draw heavily from moron metal with horrific suggestions ranging from Unearth to Hammerfall and err Static-X: nu-metal, nu-body, nu-you, etc. But Slayer, Metallica are in there, too, along with the corporeal Ambre Solaire-perfection of Manowar.
In 2008 Crimson Mask music released One More Rep! the Heavy Metal Workout Various Artists, available through iTunes, and it’s got some gnarly shit from Vital Remains and Black Witchery.
But we fair-weather athletes at the Deciblog recommend that you compile your own workout mix-tape, and stick to mid-paced neck-shortening Pantera chug, no acoustic intros or extended middle-eights, avoiding all that cerebral avant-garde shit.
But then our favorite training program is based loosely on this low-impact, minimal exertion instructional video …
… So who are we kidding. We’ll leave you with some
Weird documentary footage of Def Leppard’s Phil Collen lifting weights… Err, yeah.