I don’t know about you, but if the music isn’t right, I hate my workouts. I need the music to be upbeat, loud, and something I know so I can sing very loudly and off key.
The perfect music can pump you up, drive you through a hard set, and take your mind off the pain. I can’t tell you how many times I have sung my way through a particularly horrible wall-sit or plank.
In fact, it has actually been shown, in scientific studies, to make exercise, especially intense exercise, more palatable.
But not only that, there is research showing that listening to music can enhance your performance as well.
According to that article, USA Track and Field has actually banned portable music players during competition because it is seen as an ergogenic aid (fancy words for performance enhancer).
So how do you create the perfect playlist?
So first thing’s first. make sure you LIKE the music. If a song comes on that you can’t stand, it is not going to help you… obviously.
Next think about the tempo of music. What do you do when you hear a song? You tap your foot or nod your head. The physical reaction is to move in time with the music. Same thing when you work out. So when you choose music, you want to choose something with a beat in line with how fast you want to move. If you are doing something slow and controlled, you can choose slower music, if you are going as fast as you can, the beat better be out of control!
The last thing to consider is mood. Music can elicit strong emotions which you can use in your workouts. Intensity in your workout can be enhanced by the music you choose. For me, I love angry rap music for a big lifting day, and top 40 for more cardio days. I love the rap because it allows me to hone in on the intensity I need for my big lifts. I love the top 40 style for my cardio because it is generally a happier style music so I feel lighter when I’m slogging my way through a run or row.
So play on! I’d love to know what your favourite songs are :) LMK in the comments!