The Ultimate 2017 Workout Playlist, According to Science

February 21, 2017 /  No Replies

Think back to the last time you got to the gym and realized you left your headphones at home. More than likely, you realized in that moment just how important music can be when it comes to your workout performance! In fact, the right playlist can really help you power through a workout with optimal energy and motivation.

Why Music Matters

Believe it or not, there’s actually a “recipe” for the right workout playlist. Generally, you should be selecting music that falls between 80 and 140 beats per minute (BPM), with lower BPM songs to start your workout and higher BPM songs for when you’re “in the zone” and sweating hard. Then, you can move back to lower BPM choices towards the end of your workout and cool-down.

The “Ultimate Workout Playlist”

A scientific study on music playlists and workouts actually yielded what researchers are calling the “perfect” playlist in terms of beats per minute. Specifically, this playlist begins with a decently slow and calm “Just Like Fire” by artist P!nk before moving gradually to higher tempo songs such as “Move Your Body” by Sia and “Runnin'” by Pharrell Williams. At their peak, these songs reach between 128 and 137 BPM. From there, lower tempo music like “This Town” by Niall Horan creates the perfect soundscape for a nice, relaxing cool-down after an intense workout.

Some Tips for Creating Your Playlist

So, now that you have a better understanding of how important music choices can be when putting together a workout playlist, there are some tips worth keeping in mind. Aside from beginning with lower tempo songs and working your way to up higher tempo songs (ideally around 140 BPM), make an effort to select songs with uplifting or inspirational lyrics. These can help you stay energized throughout your workout.

And of course, don’t be afraid to switch things up. Just as your body can grow bored of the same workout day after day, the same concept can apply to the music you use to power through your workouts. Consider taking the time to change up your playlist once every week or so.

If you haven’t been hand-picking songs for your workout playlist based on their tempo, beats per minute, and lyrics, now is the time to give this a try. You may be surprised what a huge difference the right tunes can make


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