29 Jul 2016

The Ideal Playlist for Exercise Motivation

Certain types of songs have been scientifically proven to motivate you to work harder.

This is due to a unique combination of beats per minute (ideally between 120 and 140 beats per minute), style (a steady rhythm and strong rhythm changes) and lyrical content (songs that evoke nostalgia).  

Different exercise categories require varied amounts of mental attention and/or arousal, but here’s a guide to songs that suit the most common forms.

Mental prep, stretching and warm up

The ideal gym playlist to start slow and get your neurons firing, with a beat that increasingly intensifies to help you rev up the pace.

  • Roar – Katy Perry

  • Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz

  • Skip To The Good Bit – Rizzle Kicks

  • Get Lucky – Daft Punk featuring Pharrel Williams

  • Move – Little Mix

Low skill/low intensity (long distance running, rowing and cycling)

Here you need rhythmic music that matches the intensity of your pace and helps buffer fatigue. Power tunes (whether it be a classic 80’s track or an endorphin-pumping contemporary mix) are perfect for the end of a spin class, during the final leg of a road race or as a finisher to a resistance workout.

  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

  • Another One Bites the Dust – Queen

  • Flawless (Remix) – Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj

  • Time of Our Lives – Pitbull and Ne-Yo

  • Break Free (Remix) – Michael Aasen and Ariana Grande

Low skill/high intensity (interval cardio and sprints)

These activities are fast-paced and don’t require much movement proficiency or balance, so they need music that’s at a higher tempo, like Dubstep.

  • Goin’ in (Skrillex ‘Goin’ Hard’ Remix) – Birdy Nam Nam

  • Gold Dust (Skrillex Remix) – DJ Shadow

  • Katy on a Mission – Katy B

  • The Island – Pendulum

  • Midnight Run – Example

High skill/high intensity (your max test day)

Power lifts can handle a higher arousal level with more intense beats, however you’ll need to experiment to final your own optimal arousal rate based on your training, skill level and personal psychology. Try songs by these artists.

  • Faith No More

  • Everclear

  • Nirvana

  • Nickelback

  •  Stone Temple Pilots

Music is a powerful entity. Combined with exercise, it has the ability to increase focus, diminish fatigue and prolong endurance and readies the body for action by priming muscles, accelerating the heart rate and increasing physiological senses. Match exercise regimes with a heart-thumping gym playlist and you’ll be smashing those fitness goals in no time!

Ready to push your motivational skills to the max in the health and fitness industry? Ask about our Complete Personal Trainer^ Program now!

Get in touch with AIPT today.

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