How To Use The ‘Hamilton' Soundtrack To Guide You Through The Perfect Workout
I can pretty much guarantee you've never worked out while listening to a Broadway play soundtrack before.
I get it; it's not really the first thing that comes to mind when you're looking for hardcore motivation to get your lazy ass to the gym.
But, if you've listened to the “Hamilton” soundtrack (or if you've been #blessed enough to witness the show with your own eyes), you know it's pretty much like any other play you've seen or heard before.
I personally came in rather late to the “Hamilton” fan club, but ever since I listened to the soundtrack for the first time about four months ago… I. Just. Can't. Stop.
Naturally, my obsession bled into every area of my life — including my time at the gym, which brings us here to this very moment. I'm about to change how you work out FOREVER.
First of all, DO NOT try to do all of these workouts in one sitting. The whole soundtrack is over two hours long, and there is no reason at all to be at the gym that long.
I recommend using each act in the play (there's two of them) per gym session for the ultimate boost of energy for your workout.
Kick off ACT I with the perfect run.
The first 20-ish minutes of “Hamilton” include some of the most inspirational tunes you'll find on the entire soundtrack.
And the variations in tempo are perfect for a solid run on the treadmill that won't leave you too breathless, but will still push your limits.
As the first song in the play, “Alexander Hamilton” gives us a four-minute rundown of the incredible life led by this under-appreciated founding father.
The song starts off slow, as will you, as you're gradually reeled into the story of how the “bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman” went on to become our nation's first-ever Secretary of State.
Punch up your running speed to keep pace with the quickening tempo as you get into the heart of the song and learn how Hamilton learned to fend for himself while seeking success.
But don't worry; we'll slow it down again as we seamlessly slide into the next song, “Aaron Burr, Sir.”
Feel free to tone it down to a brisk walk, but raise the incline a little while you listen to the first interaction between Hamilton and Burr.
Once you make your way to Lin-Manuel Miranda's powerful “My Shot,” it's time to bump up the pace again as you and Hamilton “fan this spark into a flame” and “rise up.”
Keep switching up your running speed to challenge your body and keep pace with each song.
You'll slow it down again for “The Story Of Tonight,” speed up once more for “The Schuyler Sisters” and finally wind down your run with the more mellow “Farmer Refuted” and King George's opening song, “You'll Be Back.”
Next, work dat upper bod.
Get your tired butt over to the free weights because it's time to work on your upper body.
Channel Hamilton's perseverance to “rise to the occasion of our new nation” to help you power through three sets of 12 reps each for some killer bicep curls and triceps pushdowns.
Take a quick breather for the opening of “A Winter's Ball,” until Leslie Odom, Jr. informs you he and Hamilton are both “reliable with the LADIES!”
Hop back in with four sets at 12 reps each for a one-arm dumbbell row. Keep going as “A Winter's Ball” segues into “Helpless,” and make sure you're doing four sets on each arm.
Allow yourself to rest again as the wedding bells chime in the marriage of Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. Then, start making your way over to a stationary bike.
After Angelica Schuyler “rewinds” back to the night she, Eliza and Hamilton all first met one another, start pedaling along to the beat of Renee Elise Goldsberry's insane rap skills.
Slow down for a brief moment when Angelica fantasizes about Hamilton's eyes, but pick up the pace again when she exclaims, “To the groom!”
It might hurt like hell, but keep pedaling all the way through both the reprise of “The Story Of Tonight and “Wait For It.”
Wrap it up with a core-crushing ab circuit.
Now it's time to work on your abs while you listen to Hamilton come into his own as George Washington's right-hand man, Eliza's loving husband and a soon-to-be-father.
These 10 songs build up to the end of the first act, which ultimately leaves us wondering whether the relationship between Hamilton and Burr will grow into a friendship (the two men bond over the love for their children in the sentimental “Dear Theodosia”), or a rivalry. They butt heads once again in “Non-Stop,” when both men are practicing law, but Hamilton's ascendancy leaves Burr in the dust.
For the remainder of the first act, put your core to the test with five rounds of the following workouts (resting briefly between each round):
20 reps of the Russian Twist.
Six plank push-ups.
And finally, 20 traditional sit-ups.
For your next workout, begin ACT II with a hard AF run.
The beginning of the second act pulls you back into the enthralling story of Alexander Hamilton's tumultuous life.
The first five songs hit you fast and hard, which means you're about to do the same on the treadmill.
Start slow as Leslie Odom Jr.'s rap leads you into the introduction of the whimsical Thomas Jefferson. Once Jefferson officially enters the song, transition into a steady jog.
Try to amp up your speed when you get to the first “Cabinet Battle.” Trust me, if you're rapping along to these insane lyrics, you'll forget all about the burn in your legs.
You can dial down your speed after the rap battle ends, but then it's time to increase your incline as Hamilton is left alone to be seduced by Miss Maria Reynolds.
“The Room Where It Happens” is arguably the most high-energy song on the whole soundtrack, so both your incline and your speed will be set to the absolute highest setting your body can tolerate.
Sweat. It. OUT.
Next, embrace the “RIP-me” leg circuit.
When you roll into “Schuyler Defeated,” it's time to focus on a few leg workouts (I know your gams are probably burning by now, but NO PAIN, NO GAIN, GURL).
Similar to the ab workout circuit from earlier, work your lower body with five rounds of these four exercises, resting briefly between each round:
1. 10 squat jumps.
2. A 30-second wall sit.
3. 10 kettlebell swings.
4. Three rounds at 10 reps each of seated leg curls.
PRO TIP: It's totally OK to cry a little when you hit the song “One Last Time,” because yes, it reminds all of us of when former president Barack Obama completed his tenure in the White House.
Cool it down.
We've now hit the part of the soundtrack where you're going to feel a lot of feelings, which means it's time to begin cooling down your workout.
To let your emotions fully process all of the ups and downs, hop onto a stationary bike and lose yourself in the near-destruction of Eliza and Hamilton's marriage and the tragic loss of their son, Philip.
If your legs can handle it, increase either your speed or your resistance for the four tension-filled minutes of “The Election of 1800.”
Stretch it out.
Unfortunately, you're still going to feel a lot of emotions as the play comes to an end.
Even though you know Hamilton's death at the hands of Aaron Burr is coming, you're still going to feel utterly devastated when it happens, especially as Burr describes himself in his silky smooth voice as “the villain in your history.”
On the plus side, after working your body to its full potential, you've earned some well-deserved stretch time.
Find a floor mat and stretch it alllll out, baby. Do some splits, reach for your toes and let your tears fall as Eliza tells you all the ways she's preserved Hamilton's legacy even after he's gone.
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