We Need to Hear More Women Rock Out While We’re Working Out

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a 20-minute “classic rock” themed Peloton class. It was brutal. And by brutal, I mean awesome. I’m a former competitive high school athlete (turned mama) who works out 6 days a week, and I could barely keep up! 

The only problem? I didn’t hear any classic rock songs by women, except for a quick excerpt of Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” at the end.

We heard Sting, that “Lola” song and even a Grateful Dead tune. But no Stevie Nicks. No Bangles. no Heart. No Pat Benetar. No Dusty Springfield. If these bands aren’t classic, I don’t know what is. 

I’d say I’m surprised, but I’m not. This happens nearly every time I hop on the damn bike, attend a bootcamp class or do anything other than running, when I listen to playlists I made myself. 

The problem isn’t that women aren’t making music! Ladies are racking up grammies, and proving they can play a guitar solo, drum solo or funky bass riff. 

The larger problem is that “women rock” is seen as an addendum to the default — songs written and performed by men or male-fronted acts. 

Consider this. 

When you turn on satellite radio, or attend a “festival,” if the event or station is not specifically dedicated to women, what do you hear? If you’re listening to Sirius Hits 1, you might hear Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa — but you won’t ever hear more than two songs by female artists in a row unless it’s some kind of countdown show based on airplay (the modern-day equivalent of “American Top 40”). Through most Sirius/Spotify/Tidal/radio streams, we’re fed a diet of mostly 80% male-led music acts. 

This trickles down to my workout. When cycling or Bootcamp instructors play “grunge,” I don’t hear Courtney Love or L7 nearly as much as I hear Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden or Alice in Chains. These all-male bands are the “default” acts associated with a grunge sound. The women and their bands of that era, by comparison, are not considered significant.

This needs to change. The majority of people who take fitness classes are women. Why shouldn’t the majority of songs played feature women?

At a minimum, female/female-fronted music should account for at least 50 percent of a workout mix, especially for genre-based workout mixes (e.g., 80s, grunge, classic rock, metal). 

Working out makes me a better performer and a better mom.

We also need to ask our fitness instructors to slip a few more singles by the likes of Pat Benetar or Tina Turner into their era-themed classes. 

But maybe things are looking up, even if progress is slow. On Wednesday, my husband directed me to Kendall’s 30-minute class featuring the hardest women rockers — Courtney Love, Pretty Reckless (Taylor Momsen), Orianthi, Lacuna Coil, and Evanescence. It was brutal, but blissful. And as I sung along to every song, I have never felt more grateful for a fitness instructor. I’ll be taking only her classes from here on out. 

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy. 

Cardi B Sets a New Bar for Playing a Gig While Pregnant

By Marisa Torrieri Bloom

You’re a musician, and you’re expecting. Can you play a gig while pregnant? And if so, what modifications do you need to make?

These are two of the biggest questions microphone-wielding (and guitar/keys/drums-wielding) mamas to be have when they’ve got a bun in the oven. It’s also a huge reason why my article on playing a rock gig while pregnant is the second most popular Rockmommy post of all time.

And I thought I had all the answers: Hydrate, try to book non-smoking venues, etc. But then Cardi B came along, with her big baby bump, to Coachella. When I watched her Coachella performance — which included rapping, twerking, shimmying and all kinds of cardio goodness, while carrying a big second-trimester belly, I was pretty amazed. Even though I took zumba and Pure Barre classes up until my delivery, I can’t imagine working out like that, while pregnant, in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Of course, it helps that she’s a former dancer.

Check out this video — about 1:30” in, you’ll see her money moves…

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy.

 

Hard as a Rock(star): a 3-Minute Ab Workout for Time-Crunched Rocker Moms

by Sharissa Reichert

If you’re like most moms, you’re busy as heck, trying to juggle school schedules, a zillion activities, and a tiny bit of “me” time. If you’re falling short on the latter, having a few quick workout videos on hand (that you can do anywhere, anytime) can make a huge difference in your mood … and your month!

While getting abs like Gwen Stefani’s may seem out of your reach, the good news is you don’t need to do a lot to strengthen and tone your midsection — and look and feel amazing.

Here, I’ve put together a workout using a Bosu ball and hand weights that you can do several times per week in order to build those rockstar abs. Now, the only thing you need to do is buy a cute crop top to wear for your next gig.

Disclaimer: These exercises aren’t meant to replace the advice of your physician or other health professional. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Sharissa Reichert is a personal trainer, mom, and rock musician who lives in Brooklyn. To schedule a session, email bene11fitspt@gmail.com or visit her blog