We all know the power of creating the perfect workout playlist. It’s magic when it comes together, but creating that amazing blend can be quite the chore. Luckily, whether you’re rocking out at the club or the gym, my job is to use music to get your body moving, and I’ve discovered there are 3 key elements to make sure your workout music selection is kick ass, not a pain in the ass.
Bounce along to the beat
Pay attention to beats per minute (BPM) and go for the high tempos! One of the main problems with listening to a random assortment of songs during exercise is the possibility of a ballad or slow tempo (low-BPM) song creeping into your workout playlist and demotivating you. So no matter how much you love Sam Smith, resist the urge to include him in your workout playlist. Especially during cardio, an energetic beat will keep you moving forward. What’s considered “energetic?” Pick something with a BPM (Beats Per Minute) of 150 or more and you’ll notice the difference!
Tap into your emotions
While a good tempo plays a major role, sometimes you need to tap into your emotions to release your inner mojo. For this, lyrics are key. Whether it’s an 80s pop mix that helps you get lost in a run by reminiscing about high school or a perfectly placed song (think Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’) at the end of a tough run, emotional and motivational lyrics are important facets to work into your playlist.
Go with the flow
Lastly, the flow of a playlist is imperative and should mimic what you are feeling at different moments (or states) during your workout. A solid format that I’ve found has three major parts. First, kick off with high-tempo tunes so your workout is positive and energetic from the very beginning! During the bulk of a playlist, stick with fun, familiar and steady tunes adding some sing along favorites to help you find that elusive “zone.” Towards the end of the mix try to pick up the energy again and also include songs with strong motivational lyrics. This will help you as you fatigue so that you finish strong. Ending with that feeling makes the next workout something you look forward to – not dread, and it’s all about the music!
I’ll leave you with one final tip and that’s the free RockMyRun app for iPhone and Android. RockMyRun has taken the time to create kick ass workout mixes and playlists so that you don’t have to. Plus the music tempo can adjust to match your body’s movement or heart rate.
So no matter what type of workout your preparing for, remember to bounce along to the beat, tap into your emotion and to go with the flow—it’s the perfect musical recipe for a successful workout!
Post contributed by Dave Audé, an acclaimed music producer and DJ as well as creative consultant at RockMyRun. Audé has created over 100 No.1 Billboard tracks and has worked with Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, One Republic, Coldplay and U2, among many other chart-topping artists