Posts by: Joe DeShaw

Halloween Music for Your Workout!


Everett Lightcap

Everett Lightcap

It’s that time of year again when the leaves turn a different color, and the weather cools in preparation for to that PNW wet cold to which we conform ourselves for the coming months. But before we get there, we have Halloween, a holiday which is both decorative and personal. Whereas for children it means candy and dress-up, to adults it’s about…well, candy and dress-up!

To me, Halloween is always about the music. Teaching all forms of exercise for over 30 years now, Halloween is a time for me to pull out the creative stops and dust off music that I rarely get to hear. Here are some suggestions which I have used in my classes in the past. There are some you’ve heard and some that may grow on you with time. I know they have with me. Enjoy!



1. Season of the Witch – Donovan

From the twitchy guitar sound at the start to the slow build-up that sonically ends the song, this is a wild ride of internal visual psychedelia. Released in June 1967, this song was never issued as a single but is one of Donovan’s most loved tunes.  Trivia – The song was played over the end credits of the Gus Van Sant film To Die For in a movie-ending eerie twist.


 2. People Are Strange – The Doors

A track from the Doors sophomore album release in the fall of 1967, People Are Strange was issued as a single in September and peaked at #12 on the Billboard charts. This track has such a great creepy vibe it will have you looking back over your shoulder in no time! This song is not specifically for Halloween, but it sure adds character to a scary playlist! Trivia – the song was composed after a “depressed” Jim Morrison came back from a walk to the top of Laurel Canyon in Southern California with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger.


3. Planet Claire – The B-52’s

What’s not to love about this track? I’ve seen The B-52’s in concert on three separate occasions, and each time they play this quirky first track from their debut album. I still remember my 15-year-old self putting the needle on the record and hearing this blast all throughout my small bedroom. Pure heaven. Trivia – this was the second release from The B-52’s following Rock Lobster.


4. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell

1984 was a good year for this one-hit wonder on the Motown label. Rockwell is the son of Motown label owner and CEO founder Berry Gordy. Kennedy “Rockwell” Gordy composed this #1 song and has two world-famous brothers on backup vocals, which make this haunting anthem’s hook irresistible. Trivia – the backup vocals are covered by Michael and Jermaine Jackson.


5. Devil Inside – INXS

This up-tempo rock pop song was a #2 hit in early 1988 from the great late Michael Hutchence and his INXS group. This was the second release from their wildly successful album Kick. Written by fellow group member Andrew Farriss and Hutchence, it’s one of INXS’s most well-known and accessible songs.  Trivia – Batman director Joel Schumacher shot and directed the club-themed video in Balboa, California.


6. Devil’s Haircut – Beck

This sound effects extravaganza barely cracked the Billboard’s Top 100, but it’s one of my favorite tracks by singer songwriter Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell). Only a studio genius could have created a track like this, and that is Beck, in my opinion.  

Besides, where else will you hear such angry-glee screaming at the end of a song? From Beck’s second album release Odelay, Beck sings about “stealing kisses from lepers’ faces”, “discount orgies and “garbage man trees”…awesome.  Trivia – the video shot in NYC, film-references both Midnight Cowboy and The 400 Blows.


7. Sheena is a Punk Rocker – The Ramones

Who hasn’t dressed up as a punk rocker at Halloween?  This head-bobbing song clocks in at a whopping 2:49 and it will get you up and dancing around the room in no time! The surf-influenced rhythm song was written by Joey Ramone and is one of their most popular tracks, but only peaked at #81 on the Billboard Charts in the summer of 1977.  Trivia – The song refers to a comic book character at the time, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.


8. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

Of course this would be on my Halloween playlist! This track has been on every Halloween class list I’ve ever made. It’s a masterpiece of paranoia, anxiety and worry put to an irresistible thumping beat. Songwriter David Byrne, Chris Frantz (drums), and Tina Weymouth (bass) earned a spot on the 500 song list of singles inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame with this track.  From their first album release, Talking Heads ’77, this was the band’s first single to reach the top 100 on Billboard, reaching #92. Trivia – the song was originally written and performed as a ballad.


9. Run Through the Jungle – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Written by CCR’s lead singer and guitarist, John Fogerty, this is a track off my favorite CCR album, 1970’s Cosmos Factory. The song is a clear and almost direct association with the Vietnam War, but Fogerty was quoted later as saying he penned the song to be about gun control. Trivia – the opening “jungle noises” was the band’s recorded loops of guitar and piano played backwards.


10. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This toe-tapping dance anthem is an irresistible piece of pop euphoria from the NYC based band from their 2009 album It’s Blitz!. The song clearly makes reference to  Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts character from Alice in Wonderland, and makes you want to join in with her as you lop off each of her knights’ heads. Trivia – the song as we hear it today was not the original, but a remix by an American artist named JVH-C which became the most popular version heard now.


11. Missionary Man – Eurythmics

This haunting pop rock gem is a must for any playlist whether it’s Halloween or not. Taken from the UK band’s sixth release, it opens the album with a long slow building crescendo of sound recorded in what seems to be an industrial work site while a harmonica (played by Jimmy Zavala) swirls in and out like steam escaping from a series of grimy pipes. Lead singer Annie Lennox belts out her lead vocals with power and intensity while the beat pounds into your brain. Trivia – This would be the band’s last top 20 hit peaking at #14 in the summer of 1986.


12. Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones

Penned as a Jagger and Richards tune, but mostly a Jagger song, this hip-shaking, well-known, samba-styled Stones track is sung in the first person narrative by Jagger as he boasts of causing historical crimes and misdemeanors. The idea for the song, Jagger states, came from his Baudelaire books. “I took a couple of lines from the books and just expanded on it.”   Trivia – the song had two earlier working titles: Fallen Angels and The Devil is My Name.


13. I’m Your Boogie Man – K.C. & The Sunshine Band

Yes, I know this is a contextual problem (not THE Boogieman), but it’s such a great motivating disco groove, try not to move about while listening to this 1976 #1 song. Trivia – the song, written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey (K.C. himself) and Richard Finch, is about the DJ in their home state of Florida (hence the Sunshine Band) who first broke their hit Get Down Tonight on the airwaves.


14. Devil Woman – Cliff Richard

Another pearl from 1976, this one peaked at #6 in June of that year. The song, written by Terry Britten and Christine Holmes, is about a man hexed by an encounter with a cat with “evil eyes”, who now must seek the aid of a gypsy to break the curse. It’s a hard driven electric guitar lead song notably recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. Trivia – the song was recently featured in the film I, Tonya.


15. Monster – Fred Schneider & The Shake Society

This is kind of cheating because I’ve already had a song by The B-52’s, but this is a solo project from the lead singer, released in 1984, and I’m sure I was one of only five people who bought the album.  It’s full of really tacky demo-style recordings, but this is a great foot stomper and includes a laugh-out-loud back-up performance by fellow B-52 singer, Kate Pierson. Give it a spin and enjoy! Trivia – Kate Pierson appears in the video and it was included with The B-52’s video collection release.


16. Ghost Town – The Specials

If you’re looking for some SKA in your workout, here is a UK #1 song from June 1981. Urban decay, deindustrialization, unemployment and inner-city violence is all set to a bouncing bass heavy SKA beat. It is a bit repetitive (although I think that’s SKA’s m.o.), but the rhythm is perfect for that lull before your final workout song. Trivia – Keyboardist and Specials leader Jerry Dammers says he wrote the song with weird diminished chords to help convey impending doom and that certain members of the band wanted simple chords and resented the tune.


17. Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo

Released on April 29, 1986, this raucous tune with it’s off-key live horn section intro was the third single released from lead-singer-and-future-Batman/Edward Scissorhands/Pee-Wee’s-Big-Adventure-score-writing-and-producing-genius Danny Elfman.  It taps in at over 6 minutes of party dancing and booty shaking fun. Trivia – This was actually the B-side on several worldwide releases and was a bigger hit then the A-side “Stay.”


Cool Down

18. Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra

Old Blue-Eyes would recut this song later on his Reprise label, but this 1957 Capitol Records release, scored and orchestrated by the fantastically gifted Nelson Riddle, is the diamond to be admired. From the slithering clarinet opening to the hip finger snaps at the close of the song, this is a great way to bring your workout to an end while still making your heart beat fast! Trivia – This was recorded like most of Sinatra’s Capitol sessions with Frank standing live with the orchestra in the same room.


19. Spooky – Classics IV

This Billboard #3 song was released in October 1967 and is one my personal favorites. Originally, the song was written as an instrumental by Mike Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr., which stalled at #57, but James Cobb and producer Buddy Blue created the version here with fantastic and memorable lyrics about “a spooky little girl like you!”, sung so well by Classics IV lead vocalist Dennis Yost. Trivia – Cobb and Classics IV bandmate Dean Daugherty would later go on to create and become a part of the Atlantic Rhythm Section who would have hits with “So Into You” and “Imaginary Lover”.


Joe DeShaw

In mid August ZŪM hosted a Member Appreciation Party to show our gratitude for the people who support us and allow us to support them. As I was planning my speech I realized that I had a unique conundrum. I knew I was grateful–I’ve been grateful for the past twenty years–but I hadn’t thought of why. I just felt it. It was time to do some self-examination!

I came to realize that I love the career I’ve put so much time and intention into developing because of how much I enjoy working with people. Personal training has been the mode I use to help people live more satisfying and fulfilling lives.

I’ve always felt a tremendous sense of purpose in being there for clients who are performing physical feats they’ve never done before, enjoying doing the activities they love to do with vigor and without pain, improving their blood panel biometrics, getting back to 100%–and beyond– after recovering from an injury, feeling more confident and energetic as they take on life’s challenges, and using movement for stress release to feel equanimity during tumultuous times.

I didn’t grow up thinking health and fitness training could be a career option. I played sports, lifted weights, packed healthy lunches to school, and read Muscle and Fitness Magazine. I didn’t want to be a competitive bodybuilder–I just loved training to be stronger, faster, and more flexible. And I loved learning and applying new healthy lifestyle habits. In college, I majored in Exercise Science, thinking I’d serve society with a career in the Fire Department and do personal training on my days off.

That was in 1996. I’ve since worked in a few different physical therapy clinics and health clubs, as a Physical Therapy Aide (do they have those anymore?), owner of my personal training business, and now as General Manager at ZŪM. I can’t express how thankful I am to be one of the founding trainers at ZŪM and still with this community after 16 years! Managing ZŪM has been challenging, both personally and professionally, but in the throes of my most difficult days, I am still grateful to be part of such an inviting and professional community of staff, clients, and members with whom I’ve developed meaningful relationships with over the years. I still go to work each day with a tremendous sense of purpose, and I know I can say the same for so many of the ZŪM Team who love working with people as much as I do.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you, and for allowing us to be there and see you grow and develop. Thank you for choosing us to be your partners in supporting you and educating you to be a healthier version of yourself, whether you stay with us for one month or several years. It’s an honor and privilege for us, and we continually strive to make ZŪM your “happy place”; your sanctuary of health and well-being.

Turn Up the Pink!

Breast Cancer Awareness at ZUM Fitness

A 90-minute workout class raising donations to support the fight against breast cancer.

Three 30-minute segments:

  • CYCLING with Liz Robinson
  • HARDCORE with Joe DeShaw
  • YOGA with Annie King

A minimum donation of $10 per person is required to participate. No additional drop-in fee, so bring a friend! 100% of funds raised will go to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to support research in finding causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cures for cancer.

RSVP and donate at the front desk.


Breast Cancer Awareness at ZUM Fitness

My grandmother was 84 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, a routine mammogram enabled her medical team to catch it early, and the cancer hadn’t metastasized. She made the tough decision to get a double mastectomy to make sure she got rid of all of it; to get all of the cancer out of her body. She passed away years later, but not because of breast cancer. She was a survivor.

According to the National Cancer Institute website, a staggering 330,080 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Women have a 12.4% chance of developing breast cancer, and there are 3.1 million survivors in the US. Breast cancer also strikes one in 833 men.

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Bridget’s Favorite HardCore Playlist!

members love the music in class!

The word “music” is derived from the Greek root Muses, who are the goddesses of inspiration.  To my mind, there’s no better word to describe what music brings to my life.  Here’s the 13th HardCore song list that member Bridget Cobb thought was the bomb, so I thought I’d share it wilh all of you.


Setting the Mood Before Class:

West Side Story – America

Percussionisti Dell’ Orchestra Sinfonica

This percussion composition sets the tone.  It’s a popular tune that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up as all of the percussionists play the theme together.



1. Talking ’bout My Baby

Fatboy Slim

I first heard it in one of Elia Mrak’s classes, where he said ‘this song just makes me want to walk with a smile on my face.’  Roger that, loud and clear!

2. Bridge Attack

Bill Whelan

Inspires your feet to move like the dancin’ Irish.  Be careful, the soles of your shoes might catch on fire!


Interval Section:

1. Hard to Handle

The Black Crowes

Blues + Rock = Joe Love

2. Regret

New Order

I usually see someone signing along to this one.

3. Hey Ya!  (Instrumental)


Quick tempo, uplifting vibe.

4. Only the Young


Theme song for the 80’s movie Vision Quest, which inspired the hell out of me.  There goes the hair on the back of my neck again!

5. One Girl / One Boy


Yes, !!! is the name of the performers.

6. Percussion Jam

Askin Serbetci

Great East Indian drum circle to keep you in The Zone.  Life is best in The Zone.

7. Pretty in Pink

The Psychedelic Furs

Another 80s movie tune.  What is a Psychedelic Fur, anyway?

8. All Summer Long

Kid Rock

Do you know what tune Kid Rock sampled from for this one?

9. Freedom! ’90

George Michael

George Michael with an Empowering Stance.

10. Extreme Ways (Bourne’s Legacy)


Moby = Master of Mood and Ambiance.  I love the way this song evokes conflict while inspiring movement, even without the lyrics.


Posture Training:



Wasn’t into his music until my thirties.  Now I love it.


After-class Ambiance:

Goodnight Sweetheart

The Spaniels

Just like the endings of the ol’ She-Na-Na Show… way back when.


Treadmill Interval Workouts

ZUM Fitness in the heart of downtown Seattle




Some days it just works better to do your walking on a treadmill.  Here are three different treadmill walking workouts to reinvigorate your energy, stimulate creative thinking, and boost your mood.


What is the chart at the bottom of this post?

The chart is a collection of heart rate ranges calculated from evaluating your maximum heart rate (or close to it).  The duration (how long a workout is) and intensity (how hard or easy you work) of most exercise programs are based on an evaluation.  The results from an evaluation help you know what benefits you’re getting at any intensity of walking.  Intensity is given as a percentage of your maximum heart rate.

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Kaizen for Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Kaizen Healthy Lifestyle Changes


Think about one significant change you’ve made that supported your health, fitness, or well-being.  How did you make that change?  Did you will the change to happen, or did it sneak up on you?  Or was it a combination of both?


We all know that change can be difficult, whether we’re going through a re-organization at work or trying to create new habits that support reaching our goals.  We may think we want the change, only to experience internal resistance that undercuts our efforts.


Kaizen is an approach that can help us deal with the internal resistance we face when implementing change into our lives.  It’s often used in business to systematically ease change into an organization, but I will share some ideas of how it can be used as a gentle and effective approach to successfully implementing healthy lifestyle changes.

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Walk for Mental, Physical, & Emotional Well-Being 

The fitness industry is full of different training methods that are “backed by research” and “scientifically proven.”  A dominant trend over the past decade is the promotion of higher intensity training approaches like Crossfit, Insanity, and P-90X.  No doubt these approaches can help people reach fitness goals, but they must be balanced with moderate intensity approaches to prevent burn-out and injury. Walking is arguably the best moderate exercise, with proven physical, mental, and emotional benefits.


Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.

Carrie Latet


Regular walking and other forms of moderate exercise has tremendous positive impact on your health with very low risk of injury.  Over time, walking makes your heart and lungs function more efficiently and keeps your blood vessels relaxed and flexible, qualities that lower blood pressure.  It also regulates your blood sugar to keep the risk of diabetes in check, while reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by 32%One study even showed that a daily walk can add seven years to your life.  Walking is movement medication.

Perhaps the most potent way walking benefits your health is that when you’re walking, you’re not sitting.  A lifestyle of sitting an average of eight hours a day is associated with a 90% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, along with a higher incidence of heart disease and cancer.  Unfortunately, the average American spends nine to ten hours sitting each day.


Consistent walking can also contribute to losing and managing weight.  Here’s a guesstimate of how many calories you burn in a mile walk, according to a Harvard Health Publication:

120 lbs = 85 Calories
140 lbs = 95
160 lbs = 105
180 lbs = 115
200 lbs = 125
220 lbs = 135


Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

Henry Thoreau


Have you ever gone on a walk when you’re stuck on a problem, or left in the cold by your muse as you wait for inspiration to spark, and return to your desk with greater clarity and innovation?  The better question is how often does this happen to you?

Stanford University research has found that walking boosts your ability to find solutions to problems and gets the creative juices flowing.  Some of the highest regarded thinkers in history had a regular routine of walking, like Charles Darwin, Soren Kierkegaard, and Fredrick Nietzsche, who said “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”  Facebook front-man Mark Zuckerberg has been known to hold walking meetings, as did the late Steve Jobs of Apple.  To bolster the mental benefits of walking, research shows that it protects against dementia and improves sleep quality.

These mind-clarifying benefits come whether you are walking on a treadmill at ZUM or walking in the beauty of the Arboretum.


The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.

Jacqueline Schiff


Needing to ease a bout of anxiety, deal with some anger, or make yourself feel better on a melancholy day?  Walking can help.  It gives you time for nurturing connection, with yourself or with someone else.

Walking has been an potent ally in helping me through a few big changes I’ve had in the last couple of years.  A simple technique I use to enhance the calming effect of walking is to put my attention on the different sensations I feel and the things I see as I walk.  I notice how my feet connect with the ground, I feel the rhythmic, automatic swing of my arms and the fullness of blood flow in my fingers.  The gentle breeze on my face.  The varieties of smells.  Sometimes I just feel my breath flow in and out of my nose.  When I catch myself indulging anxiety-ridden thoughts I just bring my attention back to all of these simple but wonderful experiences.


Walk to be healthy, walk to be happy.

Charles Dickens


Walking nourishes your health in ways that intense exercise doesn’t, and can’t be overlooked in its time-tested contribution to our health and well-being.  It invigorates the body and nourishes the soul.  There’s no better activity to welcome you to our Feel, Perform, and Look Your Best challenge.

ZUM Fitness in the heart of downtown Seattle

Good Morning ZUM

Zum Fitness in the early morning hours

A pulsing, relaxing rhythm brings me out of my slumber. I hit the snooze button. The CD screeches quietly to a halt. 5:00 am. This hasn’t been my wake-up time in over a decade.

I started waking up early when I decided to study the business side of fitness: sales, marketing, profit margins, and systems for taking care of members. Then I started the general manager position, and found that I wasn’t going to get consistent exercise unless I did it before work. So now my morning starts with meditation, some journaling, and mindset affirmations before I head to ZŪM for a workout. I get up early to take care of myself.

Going to ZŪM this early has it’s advantages: light traffic, few cars in the parking garage, and the quiet early morning vibe. But I’ve also found the morning ZŪM experience to be nourishing and enjoyable, with that same energetic feel that it has through the rest of the day.

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Welcome to the ZŪM Blog

After almost 15 years of being in business, we at ZŪM Fitness are excited to launch our first blog program! Our goal with this program is to support our mission as a company, strengthen our community, and provide interesting, useful, and educational content.

Our mission is to inspire our community to succeed and thrive in their health, fitness, and well-being. The blog posts will support our mission by addressing questions like “how do I gain strength?”, “are squats good or bad for the knees?” and “what are proven ways to reduce stress?”

ZŪM is the home of more than 30 fitness professionals, with a dozen that have more than 10 years experience in their craft, and we will share the fruits of this knowledge and experience. We will educate, entertain, and give useful and practical approaches to enjoying life with more strength, energy, and vitality.

We want to know what YOU want us to blog about. Check out our new “blog box” in the Community Area upstairs and let us know. Just write your requests on one of the cards next to the box and drop it in!

Welcome to our blog!

Yours in health, fitness, and well-being,

Joe DeShaw

Joe DeShaw
ZŪM general manager and personal trainer