Do you listen to music while you’re working out? You’re not the only one. Music has been proven to help us make the most out of exercise, but only if you’re listening to the right stuff. Turns out that there’s a different genre for different exercises, that’s proven to help you get results. It’s science. Here’s the workout playlist you’re gonna need if you want to maximize that time you spend working out, no matter what the exercise.
As we said, this is real science with a study and everything! Sports psychologists from London spent months researching different genres of music and specific songs, to see whether it impacted someone’s ability to workout. Led by Dr. Costas Karageorghis, and with a little help from Spotify, they discovered that certain genres of music were suited to specific types of exercise. Over 6.7 million Spotify playlists were analyzed with a focus on the BPM (beats per minute) to see whether this would help or hinder someone’s athletic performance. Each playlist they analyzed had the word ‘workout’ in it, which they used to find the perfect songs to create their own workout playlist.
Different genres for different exercises
So, what are the best genres for your favorite type of exercise? According to the team, urban and rap music is the perfect thing to listen to while you’re running. This is because your typical stride, while running or jogging, is anywhere between 150 to 190 strides per minute. Urban music works out at around 75 to 95 bpm which is half the typical runner’s’ stride per minute. Add this to the lyrics of a rap song, which can “imbue the physical energy” you need for running according to the researchers, and you’re onto a winner. If you’re planning on strength or weight training, then you should turn to dance music, however. This genre is fast, bassy and rhythmical, which pumps people up before they pump some iron! Finally, pop music is better suited to slower activities such as warming up, cooling down and aerobic exercises. Rock fans, we’ve got some bad news, however. If you’re planning a high-intensity workout, then this genre is no good! The changes in temp can impact your rhythm and put you off your stride.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis has said that the right motivational playlist can help reduce exercise-related symptoms such as fatigue or breathlessness. When your body is shouting at you to stop, the right music can help you push that little bit further. Dr. Karageorghis also found that songs that remind us of early adulthood can also have a positive impact, as they remind us of the time we were youthful and far fitter. So, if you want to be able to get the most from your workout, the right playlist is key.
The ultimate workout playlist
What does the researcher’s ultimate playlist consist of, however? Here are just a few of the songs they recommend for optimal training:
Roar by Katy Perry – This pop song comes in at 92 bpm and is perfect for mentally preparing yourself to workout.
Skip to the Good Bit by Rizzle Kicks – An upbeat hip hop song at 105 bpm which is good for stretching.
Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams – A funky song that comes in at 116 bpm which will help you out in an aerobics session.
Applause by Lady Gaga – A quick pop song at 140bpm that is good for high-intensity cardio training.
It’s my Party by Jessie J – Another fairly quick song that’s dancey and comes in at 130 bpm, which is ideal for strength training.
The next time you plan your workout playlist, consider which songs are going to get you motivated and which are going to put you off your stride. You might be surprised at what a difference the right song can make.