Best Music for Physical Training
When creating a workout playlist, there are several things you should consider. For starters, tempo and rhythm can contribute significantly to your state of mind and motivation while performing physical exercise. Music with a high beat can bring your heartbeat up and get you in the mood. However, physical activity doesn’t pair well with all types of music, and finding the right tunes for your workout can be a game-changer.
For an ideal workout, identify the type of workout you plan. Different exercises require different types of music. The genre beat and tempo are elements you should consider when creating your playlist.
For the music to have a significant motivational impact, go for songs with a happy progression. For example, catchy hooks and an upbeat key can make a world of difference. Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be.
Because while there are numerous aspects you could take into account when picking the tunes for your workout playlist, what matters the most is the final result – you are satisfied with the songs you chose and feel like they have helped you find enjoyment in the workout.
How can music during workouts improve performance?
- It distracts your brain: Music helps you focus on something else besides the repetitive movements of a hard workout, the pain in your muscles, or the rapidly increasing beat of your heart
- It elevates your mood: We always feel better when we listen to music we enjoy, which cannot be more accurate than when we blare our jams during a workout. Music does not only distract from how painful the exercise is, but it actually turns it into a pleasurable activity. It conditions the brain to assimilate the workout with the enjoyable activity of listening to music you enjoy
- It regulates movements: When you listen to music during a workout, you allow your breathing and heartbeat to align. By choosing songs that pair well with the intensity of the training, you can trick your brain into associating the rhythm of the workout with the rhythm of the music, thus turning the exercise into a pleasant experience
- It helps you sprint faster: Listening to the right song while jogging (whether in a park or on a treadmill) can sync your body to the beat of the music. If you’ve found the right tune, you will notice how the things you hear and the things you do in those moments are tuned in to one another.
What kind of music pairs best with workouts?
First and foremost, go with what you know and enjoy. If working out is not your greatest passion (as with most people), make sure to pick music that you like. This can condition you to assimilate the hardship of a workout with the pleasure of hearing a song you enjoy. But avoid listening to those songs outside of the gym. Your playlist should boost your levels of energy and motivation when performing physical exercise. And by listening to those songs outside of the gym, you might risk desensitizing yourself to the boost in motivation they provide you while working out.
Secondly, identify the type of workout you want to do. Once you know this, you will have a better idea of how to choose your tunes. And an easy way to do this is by separating them based on bpm (beats per minute). For example, low-intensity activities like yoga and pilates pair well with music between 60 and 90 beats per minute, such as dub and hip hop.
On the other hand, high-intensity interval training such as CrossFit or indoor cycling requires music between 140 and 180 beats per minute, such as techno/trans or jungle. However, for moderate-intensity workouts, go for songs between 120 and 140 bpm, like House. And for warming up, your best option is finding tunes with a bpm of 100, such as chill-out.
Numerous mobile apps can help simplify this searching process for you. But, while they may give you a general idea of what music could go well with the kind of workout you choose to do, you might actually enjoy the process of searching for the right songs to add to your gym playlist yourself. After all, who knows your musical tastes better than you, right?
Thirdly, choose songs with happy progressions and happy hooks. When you exercise, lyrics have no real meaning; it’s all about the melody and the rhythm. The more energizing the song, the better. Whether you prefer house or hip hop, trans or jungle, make sure the music you choose puts you in the right state of mind. In other words, make sure it motivates you and gives you the boost you need to take the workout to the end.
Switch from a low to a high tempo
The songs you listen to can vary based on the type of exercise, the intensity you choose to go for, and the part of the workout you are currently doing. For example, you can start with a few slower songs while warming up, then go for ones with a higher tempo as the workout intensifies and return to slower songs at the end of the exercise. In doing so, you can align the music with your heartbeat and breathing and get the best out of your training.
In addition, this switch between a higher and lower tempo can boost your physical performance and state of mind by allowing you to warm up before and wind down after the exercise. When picking songs to add to your playlist, you may be inclined to go straight for the more upbeat and energizing kind. But don’t underestimate the positive effects that more relaxing songs can bring to your workout. After all, winding down is also an essential part of your physical exercise.
Match your music to your exercise
Have you ever heard anyone say that you need to do compressions on the tempo of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees to learn CPR more easily? Well, it turns out that music can save more than lives; the right tunes can also save you from a dull and painful workout. Strive for songs that mimic your body movements, as they can stimulate the motor area of your brain and help you consume energy more efficiently.
In addition, the right tempo and beat can offer you the motivational boost you need to keep going. This is because you inadvertently begin to move to the song’s rhythm. And since working out requires repetitive motions, syncing your body to your music helps reduce mental exertion and offers you the proper motivation to keep pushing. Finally, the tempo of the music sets the tone for the whole workout. This is to say that creating the right playlist with the right music is an essential element in the workout process.
Give new genres a try
Your mood can affect your musical choices at the moment, which, in turn, can affect your workout. As you create and adapt your gym playlist, you will notice that not all of its songs appeal to you some days. For example, you might go for good ol’ hip-hop one day and EDM the next.
There are numerous reasons your workout music choices can change, but it’s essential to always have a playlist ready for a workout, regardless of how challenging it might be at times. But what about those days when none of the current songs in your playlist appeal to you? Well, it might be a good idea to give new genres a try.
There are numerous mobile apps you can use to help you out with this, but if you choose to venture out on your own, keep in mind that bpm can matter a great deal based on the type of workout you choose to do, as your brain automatically syncs with the music you’re listening. The right beat not only boosts your confidence but also helps you ‘tune out’ the physical exertion of the workout and increase your endorphin levels, turning the sweaty workout experience into a pleasant one.
When choosing the right tunes for your workout playlist, you need to consider the type of music that pairs well with the kind of exercise you want to do. For example, some genres pair well with low-intensity workouts, while others team well with high-intensity workouts. Pick songs with a happy progression and hook based on your personal preference.
Generally, lyrics are not something you should focus on when choosing songs for a workout playlist. The melody and rhythm are more important in those moments. So pick catchy tunes, even if those may not always be your first choice. Remember, your goal is to get motivated and stay motivated throughout your workout. So make your playlist ‘peppy,’ turn it into your own personal cheerleader.
The songs you choose should boost your levels of confidence and motivation and pair well with the type of workout you are performing. But if you feel like none of the songs you’re familiar with are getting you ‘in the zone,’ you might consider broadening your horizons and trying new genres. After all, the sky is the limit.