Tips for Making a Great Workout Playlist
Choosing the best music for your workout is an extremely personal exercise (pun intended). The songs that get me pumping may just be noise in your ears, and vice versa! Nonetheless, good workout music motivates you whether you’re at the gym or out for a run.
Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their “bodily awareness” (read: Pain). A recent study determined that listening to music in time to one’s pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout.
Whether you like rock, hip-hop, house, 70’s, or anything in-between, music is naturally energetic and makes hitting all those fitness goals more rewarding and enjoyable. With an easily organized gym bag at your side, there’s never any reason to be without your ear buds and music player. So whether you use your phone or any other device, load it up with some of the best workout playlists and get ready to get pumped!
Finding good music can be as easy as loading up your current top twenty favorites or you can go the extra mile in search of new stuff. My daughter is a spin class enthusiast and swears that when she ever gets certified to teach, her class will be the most popular (dopest) class at the club because she puts together the best music selection from various sources.
Apps for Quick and Easy Playlists
There are several apps for scoring workout playlists but the most popular are Spotify and Soundcloud. The Spotify app is a great digital resource with many pre-made workout playlists for almost any genre. If you’re not ready to pay the monthly fee, be ready to hear commercials, which could interrupt a good workout groove, but otherwise go for it!
Soundcloud is another digital app with pre-made workout lists but no fee – however, I found the selection is not as robust as on Spotify.
Curate and Mix Your Own Workout Playlist
If you have your own music selections for a heart racing cardio mix, there are several music mix apps, which will give you DJ powers. Some assume DJ mixing knowledge and others are available for beginners.
The Pacemaker Music player app allows you to easily create your own customized DJ mixes with iTunes or Spotify. If you’ve ever wanted your own personal DJ to carry around in your pocket (or wear on your wrist), then Pacemaker is the best app to do it with. One review says Pacemaker has an incredibly simple and intuitive interface that anyone can pick up, even if they’ve never used a mixing app before. So beginners should give it a whirl!
Stringer is another easy-to-use music mixing app, but it can only be used with your iTunes library or iTunes Match, which need to be downloaded on your iPhone or tablet.
Tailor Playlists for Your Workouts and Tastes
For music selection, cardio and weight training music can differ significantly. In a cardio scenario, music with a consistent beats per minute encourages a longer workout because it sets a pace for a specific time period. The beats per minute can range from 120 to 130 depending on the type of exercise and intensity needed. Based on my class experience, the playlist should start off with a bang to get the mental state of hardcore cardio started. The length of the mix of course depends on the length of time set aside for exercising. The mix should always end with a slower tempo selection to encourage a proper cool down.
It isn’t necessary to maintain a beats per minute for weight training workouts, it’s just important that the music drive you to your goal. Some folks might get pumped on jazz while others need the pound of hard-core rock.
So pick your workout and your music and then get pumped!