What the Fitness Community Can Learn from Hip Hop

The origin story of hip hop music comes from a basic understanding. You see, hip hop was born out of “sampling”. The act of sampling is when a DJ takes elements from previously recorded music to make something new. Since the earliest hip hop artists and DJs didn’t have instruments. In the origins of early live hip hop music, MCs would rap over records that were manipulated by DJs in lue of original music played by instruments. Inherently, central to the success of hip hop is using music that came before you. 

This jazz track, for example, is the sample that makes this contemporary hip hop hit from Jay Z possible. Not only does hip hop openly take musical elements from those that came before them via sampling, it’s done in a way that is expected, respectful, and open. 

This isn’t a secret.

This element of transparency is important here, because I think that the fitness community could benefit from what hip hop has done so well. Hip hop is an open system where generally speaking credit is given where credit is due. Fitness is a much more closed system (albeit as open as it’s ever been). Ideas are hoarded and most fitness “experts” become experts when they successfully rebrand a concept that started before they were born. 

As our friends at General Admission say, hip hop is a “respect your elders and do your research” community. Jay Z knows that you know he sampled that track and that fact adds beauty and value to the system. The fitness community loves to repurpose old ideas as a means for differentiation and status. Except in the fitness community, authorities often don’t want the audience to know they are “sampling” someone else’s art. That subtle difference changes the whole dynamic. 

It feels like a tribute when hip hop artists sample the work of those before them. Yet, in the fitness community it feels fraudulent and inauthentic.

12/1/22 WOD


Front Rack Reverse Lunges

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:

40 Yard Front Rack SB Carry
8 Single Leg Landmine Glute Bridges

Then, AMRAP 12

10 Devils Press (50/35)
20 Double Unders


“Thoracic Mobility Series 1.0”

Complete 2 rounds for quality of:

4 Half Kneeling Prisoner Thoracic Spine Wall Rotations – Left
4 Half Kneeling Prisoner Thoracic Spine Wall Rotations – Right
8 Tempo Medball Thoracic Openers (5311)
10 Push Ups to Downward Dog

Complete 4 rounds for quality:

12-12-12-MAX Goblet Squats
100’ Sled Push (AHAP)

Then, AMRAP 10

2, 4, 6, 8.. Shoulder-to-Overhead (155/105)
20 Double Unders