The right music can make or break your workout. That's why we tapped some of the best instructors, trainers, and DJs to curate the perfect soundtrack for every session.
This Week: Michael Macneal of The Monster Cycle
In NYC’s Soho district, there’s a new workout destination with major attitude. The edgy studio, The Monster Cycle, blends art, sweat, and an 11-foot illuminated pentagram (yes, you read that correctly). While the pentagram keeps the yoga studio well-lit, the signature workout happens downstairs in the basement. Sure, plenty of cycling spots are known for their ambiance (candles, black lights, or otherwise), but this place takes it to the next level: Everything is black — from the walls to the floors to the bikes.
On those walls are two televisions, which bring the instructor’s playlist to life, creating an “indoor visual cycling” experience. The videos are both motivation (sure, we’ll up that resistance during J. Lo’s “Booty”), as well as distracting (her booty is so mesmerizing, you forget how many times you just cranked up your resistance).
When creating a new playlist, co-owner Michael Macneal gives extra attention to the first and last tracks. “Order is essential in creating a dynamic journey," he explains. "The first song you hear is what inspires you to get started working out, and the last is the one that gives you that final push to finish what you started.” And, on Mondays, we need both of those.
Try setting the mood for your workout and your week with the energizing Calvin Harris track, “Wide Open,” featuring Big Sean. “The beat is epic...[it] kick-starts your energy,” says Macneal. “When the beat drops, you can’t help but work harder, and go faster.”
For the grand finale, Macneal selected “Dangerous” by David Guetta, featuring Sam Martin. “It’s such an inspirational sound that it creates a feeling of accomplishment. The video is also one of the sexiest, most stylized, and coolest music-video productions I’ve seen in a very long time,” Macneal adds. Video may have killed the radio star, but it's certainly lending all you fitness stars a helping hand.