Geto Boys, 2 Live Crew, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, NWA, Future, Boogie Down Productions, Cardi B, Lil Wayne and Drake. These are the artists I listen to when I start training. Other selections include Hatebreed, Motorhead, and Phantom Anthem, especially when I do squats.

I’ve heard the biggest guy in our gym listening to 1970s disco…DISCO?! He’s not even 30 years old and he likes disco? Another young kid that Joey trains, listens to hip-hop from my time, the 80s. We get along because of the connection of our music. Interesting stuff.

Music is so powerful that it isn’t uncommon for me to see competitors at a USAPL me backstage listening to something right before they hit the platform. Their faces literally change in an instant. I have an entire playlist that lasts four hours every time I’ve competed.

Music is so powerful that it can make or break a record PR. It’s so powerful that it can lift you on the shittiest of days, or it can bring you down because of a tragic memory. There’s a certain song I heard this week that made me angry as F-K and gave me one of the best workouts I’ve had since the last time I competed three years ago. Now I have the itch to get back onstage and finish what began in 1999.

Don’t underestimate the power of music. Minutes before you step into the gym, the music you hear as you drive in can dictate the mood of your training session. Carefully select the music from the moment you get in the car to the time you do your first set. I can guarantee that your training will be at a higher level.

Retired Special Education Teacher, NPC competitive bodybuilder, USAPL Certified Club Coach, general fitness trainer, and Pure Focus co-owner Chris Marzarella