You wake up in the morning and lace up your sneakers. You are envisioning your perfect workout. How far you'll run. How much you'll lift. Your sweat dripping down your bicep. The grit of your teeth as you push the extra mile, lift the extra rep. What kind of music is playing? Chances are you know this.
Listening to music during a workout isn't a new phenomenon by any means. The Romans used to listen to music while rowing—they would listen to a drummer beat the drum with each stroke of the oar. Music creates a rhythm and with a rhythm comes a tempo. Most athletes find a specific kind of music psychologically inspiring. But they also find that it ramps them up physically. Music can affect your body and mind in many ways that will end up improving your workout.
Immunity - We are constantly testing our bodies and our bodies are constantly testing us. Unfortunately sometimes those tests come in the form of viruses and no one who is seriously training has time to fight illness, am I right? Lucky for us, music boosts immunity with the hormones that it releases within us. Speaking of hormones, it also helps reduce the level of cortisol our body produces, which relieves stress.
Fatigue Reducing - Have you ever listened to music with a face-paced tempo early in the morning? Doesn't it make you feel a bit like you've had a cup of coffee? Music is a well known fatigue fighter and so it's not a bad idea to pair it with a hard workout. You can even build a warm-up playlist that builds in tempo to get yourself excited.
Heart rate - Listening to music of a certain tempo when you work out can help to regulate your breathing, which is something we all need when we're pushing ourselves. Next time you're working out, plan to pick a song with a high BPM (beats per minute) and see if you can regulate your pace and breathing with the music.
How Should I Arrange my Workout Music?
We advise having a couple different playlists targeted the types of workouts you have. It's good to have a basic warm up playlist that gets you motivated and a cool down playlist that relaxes you. But what else? We suggest you make a playlist by tempo. If you're going for a more relaxed workout, like an easy run, do something with a lower BPM, maybe around 120 If however, you're going for a harder workout, like something that is high-level intensity, try ramping up the BPM of your tracks to activate your heart rate and help push your limits.
How Often Should I Change my Music?
Try to change up your music when you change up your workouts. Just like your body will grow accustomed to certain exercises, your mind will grow accustomed to certain tunes, too.
Where Do I Start?
We've compiled a list of 10 tracks to help you get started and included a variety of genres and artists. Try giving these a listen the next time you sweat:
- “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
- “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith
- “Til I Collapse” by Eminem
- “Move B**ch” by Ludacris
- “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N' Roses
- “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo
- “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
- “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne
- “Bang Bang” by Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj
- “Go Hard of Go Home” by Wiz Khalifa