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In 2011, the sounds that used to be considered underground—that we would have called house or trance or club music—became the definition of pop, says Scott Melker, who mixes beats for Flywheel and Physique 57, and as such has become the city’s resident fitness DJ.
“And club music works well for working out because it’s so up-tempo and upbeat.”
Avicii’s “Levels,” and Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling,” which sampled “Levels,” are the perfect examples of the popular songs that got people sweating—on the dance floor, and on the bike.
So what does Melker predict will be the hottest workout music of 2012?
“This is going to be the year that dubstep breaks into the forefront,” says Melker, who sees commercial success coming to more “fringe” and under-ground music.
The super-produced electronic genre has already showed up in a few new songs—like Britney Spear’s “Till the World Ends” and at the end of Kanye and Jay-Z’s unfortunately-named (but amazing) “N**gas in Paris.”
But are the bass-heavy slow beats of dubstep a good match for getting your heart rate up?
“For spinning and circuit training, dubstep works perfectly, because it’s high energy at a slow tempo,” explains Melker. “To find a slow song that inspires you to climb a hill is a challenge, and it offers that.”
Another thing you may start to see? More fitness DJs of all stripes. SoulCycle’s Kym Perfetto spun tracks while teaching a class earlier this year, and yogis have been bringing in beats like never before. —Lisa Elaine Held