Behind the Scenes: Heavy Metal Workout – The World’s First Original Metal Workout Album

By Jason Stallworth

February 25, 2016

Heavy Metal Workout is the world’s first original instrumental metal workout music album! It’s my 2nd studio album release and one that I’m extremely proud of!

There are a ton of gym playlists created for metal workout music. That’s great because there are countless heavy metal songs that are motivational. It fits.

But the problem is sometimes the songs are inconsistent with the various beats and rhythms. And vocals can be distracting.

So I had the vision to create a metal workout music album that’s specifically for people like us who love to workout and lift weights!

Listen Now

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About Heavy Metal Workout

Heavy Metal Workoutcontains 12 instrumental metal tracks that are hard-hitting, yet also melodic and driving. This is somewhat of a concept album as it’s catered to those who workout.

So while it falls under the instrumental metal category, it’s also considered workout metal, or workout music in general.

Heavy Metal Workout was written to be motivational and triggers you to tap into your inner beast, so to speak. I wrote this in a way so that there are no distractions.

Whereas there are songs in different keys and a variety of BPMs (beats per minute), the overall groove and mood are steady. Again, it’s workout metal music. The idea is to keep you pumped up!

Despite Heavy Metal Workout catering to those who are looking for workout music, I deem this as a great album for us metal music lovers.

The songs are heavy and there’s a lot of that classic djent and moving riffs. Of course, if you don’t work out, I do encourage you to start!

Heavy Metal Workout Tracks

Heavy Metal Workout

Release Date: February 2016

  • 01 – Jacked
  • 02 – Maxed Out
  • 03 – Train Insane
  • 04 – Mass Season
  • 05 – Skull Crusher
  • 06 – High Intensity
  • 07 – Shut Up and Lift
  • 08 – Weight of the World
  • 09 – Hour of Power10 – Grow Time
  • 11 – Pushing and Pulling
  • 12 – Shredded

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The Making of Heavy Metal Workout

I’ve had this idea for at least two years prior to recording Heavy Metal Workout. My first passion has always been metal music.

But I had picked up something else around the same time I started playing guitar. Weights. This all happened when I was around 15 years old (this was ‘eons’ ago back in 1990!)

When you have two passions, you naturally want to find a way to combine them. And that’s exactly what the Heavy Metal Workout album is all about.


As part of the back story, I was a small, skinny kid growing up, and I was an easy target for folks to pick on. So I begin lifting weights in my mid-teens as an attempt to mitigate some of those issues.

Although putting on muscle was a seemingly impossible task, I stuck with it. Weight training ultimately became a core part of my life and the consistency has paid off.

Fast-forward to now, I’m in the gym before 5 AM on most days, and train at least 5 days a week. 

**You can read my entire story in my book Heavy Metal and Weights on Amazon (available on Kindle and paperback).

Heavy Metal and Weights book by Jason Stallworth

Writing and Recording Heavy Metal Workout Songs

Back to the album, I want to talk a little about the process of writing and recording Heavy Metal Workout. I went back and forth on whether or not to release this as a workout music album or just a normal instrumental metal album like my first, Apocalyptic Dreams.

My first thought was the fear of losing some potential listeners with the album catering to those who workout. But I also loved the idea of creating a workout metal album.

I was a bit torn. The music would be released but I wasn’t sure what the name of the album would be.

I’m not sure what happened, but when we got back from our Thailand vacation in mid-November 2015, I made the decision to go with my initial thought and the vision became very clear.

I started writing and recording the tracks almost every night of the week, for about six weeks straight.

I don’t know that I had ever written as much new music in such a short amount of time before. But it was quite an amazing experience to sit down in my studio, night after night, pumping out new tracks!

Guitar Tones

I didn’t struggle as much with my guitar tone this time around. I had already decided to use Positive Grid’s BIAS FX amps and effects for my tones. From there, it was just narrowing down the actual amp I wanted to use.

It was a choice between their EVH 5150 III, Mesa Dual, and Randall amp simulators. I ended up going with the Mesa Dual, which Positive Grid calls Treadplate.

And now I’m addicted to the BIAS FX Treadplate. I already have some songs recorded for the next album using this amp sim.

Other Musical Elements

The only other challenge I had was drums. Ideally, I wanted to hire a real drummer. But I had given myself a tight deadline for the release of Heavy Metal Workout. And due to this being a concept album, I wanted the drums to be great but I didn’t need anything super special.

I just needed quality sounds that have carried the rhythm and feel of the songs. So I ended up using Metal Machine from Toontrack. A lot of time went into tampering and creating these tracks but I’m extremely happy with the end result.

**UPDATE: For future albums, I hired a real drummer!

For my bass tones, I used a mixture of studio bass amp simulator plugin from Studio Devil called Bass Amp Pro. I was able to dial in a killer bass tone that complimented the rhythm guitars. 

Album Artwork

Lastly, I had originally intended for Heavy Metal Workout to be released by the middle of January 2016. The one thing I did not plan well was the logo and album cover. 

I had a really cool idea but was having trouble replicating the idea. I came up with something else and ran into some challenges, which were eventually overcome. So it’s release was about a month late.

Heavy Metal Workout

I ended up doing the artwork myself. And if I could take anything back, I would have hired a pro for this!  

Many lessons were learned here and I’ll have a strict checklist and timeline for the next album release!

Gear Used for Heavy Metal Workout

  • Guitar: Ibanez RG1570
  • Bass: ESP LTD D5
  • Amps/Effects: Positive Grid BIAS FX (Treadplate/Mesa Dual amp sim)
  • Drums: Toontrack Metal Machine (EZ Drummer)
  • Recording Software: Presonus Studio One Pro 2 (I had not yet upgraded to 3)
  • Interface: Presonus AudioBox USB
  • Monitors: KRK G5 Rokits

It was somewhat strange that I decided to use my Ibanez guitar. This RG1570 came from my close friend and bandmate Tom, and we always agreed to keep this guitar in the family.

I had my ESP LTD M-1000 Deluxe, which I consider an insane metal guitar! But there was something about the tones I was getting with my Ibanez RG1570. Even though the pickups weren’t as hot (V7 and V8), it produced a super heavy, tight, and punchy tone, so I recorded the entire album with it. 

Most everything else was the same as my first album except for my sounds and the new bass I had bought. I recorded this will minimal gear, and I prefer that. 

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Special Thanks

  • Christ, for the gift of music, and gift of life.
  • Candy, my beloved soul mate. I’m living proof that it makes a tremendous difference when you have a spouse that’s supportive of your dreams and passions.
  • Mike Olson at JMO Services LLC for perfecting Heavy Metal Workout with his mastering skills (Mike also mastered my first album, Apocalyptic Dreams).
  • Eddie Gray and Tom Sherman, you guys have been closer than brothers despite the distance, and you’ve always been an integral part of my music. Thanks for the feedback and support.
  • I always thank my parents for their love and support over the years and their belief in my dream. And I’d like to thank my in-laws as well, Chuck and El for their support.
  • My fans and followers; I could not do this if it weren’t for you!

Keep it Metal,


Jason Stallworth

About the author

Jason is a melodic metal solo artist, songwriter, acoustic performer, and co-founder of Metal Mastermind.

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