Why I like to start my day with a long run

Recently a friend asked me how I managed to have so much energy, especially since I rarely drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages. During the day I’m often training with a heavy punching bag at the gym, and at night I can usually be found DJing in one of the hundreds of clubs located throughout the city. It was hard not to grin when I told him it was due to my morning run.

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I like to start my day with a long run for several reasons. Yes, it helps to wake me up and get my blood pumping so I have plenty of energy to get through my long day, but this is definitely not the only reason. Like I’ve mentioned in other posts I live in New York City, you know the one that “never sleeps”, and these early morning runs are often the only time I ever have any time to myself. Even if a friend joins me, which is rare, it’s always hard for them to keep up a conversation when we are “pounding the pavement.” During my long runs I usually have the time I need to plan out my day so I don’t waste a lot of energy trying to accomplish unnecessary tasks.

 

My long morning runs are also a great form of training, especially since I am concentrating on working out with heavy punching bags. Between the warm up, run and cool down, by the time I get to the gym my muscles are loose and limber so I am ready to start my training. I should also mention that my trainer also recommends these runs since they are an excellent way to help prevent injuries that could sideline my workouts.

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The other reason I like to start my day off with a long run is that it gives me the chance to explore this great city. If you have ever been to NYC you know that the city is always changing, and there never seems to be a shortage of things to see. Between the trails at Central Park and sidewalks through the different neighborhoods, I am really starting to feel like I truly know my city. While I haven’t ventured outside of my burrough on my morning ones, I am planning on doing so in the next couple of weeks. If I end up too far, I can always take the subway back home.

The Best Hits of 2016 for Clubbing

As a DJ, you can tell right away that I love clubbing, even when I am not at work. Getting in the party mood usually starts while you’re still at home, but the truth is that if the music in a club is not energetic and powerful enough to get you going through the night, your clubbing experience pretty much falls flat on its face. So, I want to dedicate this post to the best hits of 2016 that make club nightlife rock.

 

Major Lazer Feat. Justin Bieber & MØ – Cold Water

I suppose Major Lazer and Justin Bieber do not exactly need any introduction, and maybe the only name you have not heard of is MØ. The latter is a Danish singer, who in 2014 collaborated with Iggy Azalea on the artist’s Beg for It single. Her voice can also be heard on Major Lazer’s major hit Lean On, so, even if you don’t know her by name, you certainly know her voice. Cold Water announces great times for 2017, as well, since it is the lead song on Major Lazer’s 2017 album that is going to be called Music Is the Weapon. If Mazor Lazer and MØ have collaborated before, Justin Bieber’s presence and involvement with Cold Water was a surprise, since it seems like the artists talked on Twitter just before the release of the single.

Tory Lazer – Controlla

Another cool summer anthem that you will certainly hear over and over again no matter what club you will be hitting during the next months is the remix of Drake’s Controlla performed by Tory Lazer. While I like Drake’s original version, since it is such a great reminder of summer days, I am always down for a great remix, and Tory Lazer just did this one right.

AlunaGeorge, Leikeli47, Dreezy – Mean What I Mean

The story for this track is one fit for clubbing. Aluna Francis shows once again that she knows to rap, and she recently declared in an interview for the Rolling Stone music publication that she was inspired to write this song after being hit on in a club and then accused to play hard to get. Real time experiences truly inspire the best songs, and this one is no exception to the rule. It is clear that Aluna Francis plans on taking no offense from anyone, and Mean What I Mean speaks the artist’s mind.

Chris Brown & Benny Bennassi – Paradise

The collaboration between the well known rapper Chris Brown and Italian DJ Benny Bennassi led to another 2016 hit that is now rocking club life. It is not the first time when the duo is creating a huge hit, the previous one being in 2011, under the name Beautiful People.

So, if you plan on hitting the clubs anytime soon, just know what to expect!

A few tips for people who would like to try DJing

Okay, so you think you want to be a DJ. The excitement and glamour of the club scene seems like the perfect work environment, not to mention being able to spin and mix great music all night. To top it all off you get to meet thousands of people, maybe even a few celebrities and actually get paid to do what you think you love. While all of this sounds great, and trust me it can be, it takes a lot of time, effort, disappointment and even money to be a DJ successful enough to make ends meet.

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I first started DJing right out of high school and it took me several long years to get where I am right now. Even though I might have gigs in several “hip” clubs, I still remember going through long periods without any money coming in. If you are determined to try your luck, and skill, at DJing here are a few tips to help you get started.

Show up for your gig early

Showing up at the club early not only shows that you are a professional, it also gives you plenty of time to set-up. You can run through a couple of sound checks, and have time to troubleshoot any problems that might come up. This will also give you some time to settle your nerves before the crowd arrives.

Plan out several playlists

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Almost any professional DJ will tell you to start and end your set strong, but the in between time will depend on the crowd. Just because your gig is at a hip hop or dance club, doesn’t necessarily mean that that is the type of music the crowd wants to hear through the entire set. Pay attention to the crowds reactions and be ready to change to another playlist if their attention, and most importantly their enthusiasm seems to be waning. Keeping your audience happy is the best, and usually the only way you will be able to make it as a professional DJ.

Double check that all your gear made it to the club

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Before you even leave for your gig take the time to go through your gear. The last thing you want is to get to the club only to find you left an important piece of equipment back at home. If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a gig next door then this won’t be a problem, but since the chances of this happening are basically zero it definitely pays to double check that you have all of your gear.

Always have a “Plan B”

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After DJing for several years I have learned that something will go wrong on occasion. Whether it is a short in the club’s electrical system or your laptop crashing in the middle of your set, having a Plan B that you can fall back will keep the party going and improve your chances of being hired again.

New York nightlife is the best

Whether you’ve recently moved to New York or are just planning to visit, this post is for you if you want to get the most of the city and benefit from all the enjoyment and pleasure that going to sights, clubs, and fabulous restaurants can offer you. NYC nightlife is known all over the world for being glamorous and amazing, particularly if your budget allows you to splurge now and then. It goes without saying that, since the place is downright huge, you’ll need to take a cab, use a driver, or take advantage of a rental car in order to get from one spot to the other.

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Some of the most critically acclaimed bars in New York are the following: Proletariat, which can be found in East Village; Barcade, which can be found in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; and Corkbuzz, where you can enjoy your drink in Union Square. East Village seems to be filled with places to go to, where anyone can order a glass of Martini, whiskey, brandy, wine, or just a random beer. Yet another popular must-see is the Blind Tiger, whose whereabouts are in West Village. Finally, if you have nothing against going to places such as Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens, there’s nothing stopping you from sipping from a drink at the Bronx Ale House.

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As for the actual things you’ll be doing during the night, nothing can compare to several hours spent dancing in the posh clubs of NYC. From what we’ve gathered, some of the places that have New Yorkers and students raving about them are the Bossa Nova Civic Club, Cielo, Verboten, Palisades, and Output. Something that I feel compelled to underline is that you can’t go to an NYC club without any money in your wallet, as most of these places are rather expensive and will probably have you breaking the piggy bank. If you’re not from New York and can’t really afford to make lavish expenses, we suggest saving some pennies on a regular basis so that you’re able to take everything in and spend as much as you want when you next visit the town. Tourists differ from one another on many levels, but we’ve seen that the best way of making the most of your time in NYC is spending as little money as possible on your lodging and affording to buy drinks and delicious foods when you go out. While hotels such as The Ritz or the Hilton might leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth on account of their extremely high prices, there’s a bunch of Airbnb locations that you can rent for as little money as possible. However, since the NYC law prevents people from renting apartments for anything less than thirty days, you might have a problem in this case. Even so, all you have to do is go online and search for a few locations, and you’ll inevitably come across a few that are affordable and look reasonably well.

My new pair of boxing gloves

You don’t necessarily have to be a boxing professional to acquire a pair of boxing gloves. They may come in handy in certain circumstances, like when you want to punch someone in the face and you don’t want to hurt your hands – but this is not why I bought my latest pair of boxing gloves. The main purpose for which I acquired them was that I needed to do some bag training at the gym. I’m not planning anything dangerous with them, besides, maybe, sending the bag in my face.

My thoughts on these gloves

nydj 4Training gloves are a bit different from the ones employed during boxing matches by professionals. Given the fact that a punching bag can seriously injure your hands when you hit it, they need to have a thicker padding than those designed to throw punches at a flesh and bone adversary, so that they are able to absorb shocks better. With this thought in mind I chose the Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves. In addition, Everlast has a good reputation and a long tradition in fabricating boxing equipment. I tried them for the first time yesterday and I absolutely loved them. The dense padding surrounds not only the front and back side of the glove, but preserves its thickness around your wrists as well, to protect them from shocks and possible injuries. Because these gloves were designed to be used by professionals, their shape take after your fists, to prompt an accurate punching technique that will not only prevent you from injuring your hands, but will also help you throw fast and powerful punches. In addition, to add to their ability to keep your hands safe, the pair includes the ThumbLok feature that protects the thumb from being injured by keeping it in the correct position while you train.

Of course, if you want your gloves to last, they need to be made with quality materials. This pair is made with synthetic leather especially engineered by Everlast to maintain its fresh appearance and not to crack for a long period of time. The gloves have a hook-and-loop Velcro strap that allows you to remove them fast and that adjusts the glove to your wrists perfectly. From what I’ve been able to notice until now, the clamps seem solid enough to last in time. However, you can acquire these with a lace-up system as well if you find it more reliable than clamps and they are available in several colors and sizes. I can’t wait to use them again!

If you want a closer look at these excellent gloves, you can watch this short clip I found online:

My heavy bag workout routine

I got into heavy bags when I was younger, and I used to go to a studioNYDJ 3 to keep in shape and meet up with some of my friends. That’s when I learned that a proper workout routine mostly relies on the warm-up you do in the beginning. After getting a punching bag and installing it in my basement, I started looking around for the best possible routine I could use in order to avoid going to the gym and paying a fee.

NYDJ 1 heavy bagQuickly enough, I created my own program that helps me stick to
what I have in mind and gradually achieve my goals. I’m not as young as I used to be, so it’s way harder for me to put on some muscles and shed the pounds that I’ve gained over the years. I start out by doing some crunches and using a jump rope. This practice helps me get warmed up efficiently, although I don’t have to put a lot of effort into it. I’ve found that for more productivity when it comes to my workout, I have to set a timer and determine whether I want to hit the bag for twenty minutes or so. Once I’m done warming up, I wrap my hands and put on my heavy bag gloves that I purchased from my local store some time ago. They have more than enough padding to keep my workout safe at all times, and I’m not keen on the idea of doing any damage on my knuckles.

NYDJ 2For me, the best type of exercise seems to be a timed one. I usually look at the clock to see what time it is and then I use a stopwatch to check when I’ve hit the bag for thirty seconds or so. Each time the alarm goes off, I stop and have a little break, stretch for thirty seconds, and then go back to hitting the bag. It’s kind of like a high-intensity training with small breaks that allows me to increase my metabolic rate without being too strenuous or challenging. Typically, I do about five punching rounds before I take a longer break. There are various mobile apps that I was in the habit of using for keeping tabs on my progress but these days I don’t give them too much thought. What I most found useful when working out is listening to music, either by using my CD player or by streaming some songs online. There’s a gazillion of resources out there that allow me to listen to DJ and electronic music that’s energetic and helps me keep focused on my workout without losing focus. In the end, it all boils down to your personal taste, but I can’t listen to rock ballads while hitting the heavy bag unless they’re a combination of rock and electronic. As for the routine, I recommend creating your own based on your personal preferences and what you most feel comfortable with. If you’re finding this difficult, all you have to do is refer to YouTube and watch some videos where training sessions are explained step by step.

Useful information on heavy punching bags can be found on dek23.com

My life blog

I have two favorite activities: creating music and working out and I’m a lucky guy since I am able to practice both of them, without any inconvenience. As you can imagine, it hasn’t always been this way, but even if I had my share of troubles on the path to becoming a DJ, I’m not joking when I say it has been more of a struggle for me to keep up with my gym schedule, and I believe many of you who enjoy working out have felt the same way during their first weeks of exercising.

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I’ve dreamt of becoming a DJ since high-school and, though it seemed like a distant dream back then, I’ve managed to make my music known to people and find a job as a DJ, once I’ve got out of school. It wasn’t much, but, in time, I started participating in local and regional competitions, and the prizes I won helped me stay afloat and obtain bigger and bigger gigs. Lately, I’ve been playing music in several clubs. However, the road to becoming a great DJ and a respected one is long and harsh and I don’t expect it to become easier in the near future. I’ve been through positive and negative experiences in my endeavor and these are some of the things I would like to discuss on this blog, maybe my less fortunate experiences can be of some help to my readers.

It may look like I’m underlining the negative aspects of this profession a little bit too much. My personal opinion is that you can avoid many unfortunate events by simply talking to the right person at the right moment or by having somebody willing to give you a decent advice when you are at a crossroads. Enthusiasm can lead to being careless and, in the beginning I was tricked more than once by people promising a lot and offering nothing. That is why, I hope what I’m sharing here will be of some value for other amateur DJs.

It’s the same with money – even if you work hard and are extremely passionate and talented, making money (so that you can stand on your own two feet) will take some time and making good money even more. Bottom line, you will have to do a lot of volunteering work and, more important, there will be moments when even this type of activity will seem like heaven. About that, more in my next blog posts.

Working Out

The other side of this blog is intended for my work-out activities. I will tell you a few things about how I managed to gain muscle and train all my muscle groups without provoking an injury, which is hard to escape in the first weeks.

If I were to retrace my passion for working out to a moment in time, it would probably be high-school. I used to be quite a skinny guy back then and that didn’t bring me any luck with the girls. So the decision to start a gym exercising program came not as naturally as the dream of being a DJ, but it still stayed with me over the years and I still do it with great pleasure, though I also have periods when I don’t manage to work out as much as I’d like to.