Ever gotten to the gym and realized you left your earbuds at home? Then you know all too well that good music can make or break a workout. So if country music isn’t really your thing, you may have already written off the idea of ever trying Country Heat from your list of workouts on Beachbody On Demand.
If you’re thinking, “You can pry my Drake playlist out of my cold, dead hands,” we get it. Country music is totally a love-it-or-hate-it thing — and no one understands that more than Country Heat creator Autumn Calabrese. “I hated country music up until I was about 16. Hated it!” she says. Then her family moved from Cleveland to St. Louis, and her friends got her hooked on Garth Brooks and Leann Rimes and Shania Twain. Now, she says, “When I’m in my car, I probably listen to country the most.”
Who knows? You may have a country music obsession lurking within you, too. Or not — but there’s only one way to find out, right? Here are a few reasons to give Country Heat a chance even if you don’t love country music (yet!).
1. Country music is more upbeat than you think.
If you don’t listen to a lot of country music, you might assume it’s mostly just sad songs about pickup trucks. But don’t write off the whole genre just yet. There are plenty of upbeat country songs out there, not to mention a lot of songs that are a fusion of country and pop or hip-hop, such as Justin Timberlake’s country-inspired “Drink You Away,” or Nelly’s cover of Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.”
“The term ‘country music’ has a negative connotation for many people — they think it’s old school, twangy music, and that’s just not what it is anymore,” Autumn says. “You can take country music and dance to it. If you go to a line dancing bar, you’re coming out covered in sweat.”
Still skeptical? Here’s an example: According to jog.fm, Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up” clocks in at 172 beats per minute, a similar tempo to high-energy workout tracks like Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” or Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.”
2. Country Heat isn’t “just line dancing.”
Country Heat isn’t a line dancing instructional video — it’s a high-energy, calorie-burning dance workout — although the moves are inspired by line dancing. They’re also easy to learn, accessible to just about any fitness level, and loads of fun. “Country Heat feels less like working out, and more like you’re dancing,” Autumn says. “That’s something people can get behind.'” (If you like a good old-fashioned line dance, though, there are two bonus line dancing workouts.)
3. You don’t have to be an expert dancer to nail it.
If you’re not the most graceful dancer, you may be hesitant to try any dance workout. Take Beachbody dance workout Cize — while anyone can have a blast learning the routines, you need at least a little bit of rhythm to feel like you really killed it. But the basic moves in Country Heat are easy to master, even if you’re a beginner.
Each workout also comes with a 15-minute primer that breaks down each move, so you can learn the footwork before you put it to music. “That’s my number-one tip — do the move breakdowns,” Autumn says. “Even though it’s basic choreography, taking 15 minutes to learn those moves makes all the difference. When you then put on the routine, you’ll be more confident, because you’ve seen and practiced what’s coming at you.”
4. You won’t get burnt out.
Even your favorite song can get old if you hear it enough times in a row. But each 30-minute Country Heat workout features six different songs, so you won’t have to hear the same song over…and over…and over again. (We can’t keep you from getting “Footloose” stuck in your head, though. Sorry.)
5. Country Heat is designed for beginners — but anyone can break a sweat.
One awesome thing about this style of dancing: It’s not about precision or perfection, which means you can have fun, put your own spin on it, and push yourself as hard as you want. “It’s not going to make or break results if your arm isn’t moving in the exact same way that mine is,” Autumn says. “You’re going to get the most out of it when you’re having the most fun — when you immerse yourself into it, and don’t worry about the technique, and just worry about challenging yourself.” And you don’t have to be a diehard country fan to appreciate that.