You get ready, put on your workout clothes, and pick out an exercise program. Just as you begin, you feel your strength and motivation leaving your body, and just as you were about to work for the beach body that you know you deserve. Is there a remedy for this regretful outcome? Workout music.
The same conundrum troubles the DJs and organizers of major sporting events. The music involved should increase the excitement of the crowd, and it can’t be just any old beats. This music has to be something that pushes you forward, and gets your adrenaline pumping. Surprisingly, this isn’t always the case. Here are some things you should consider when choosing your playlist.
Set the Tone, Literally
Figure out what it is you’re trying to achieve. We associate certain songs with energy, while others are there for a calming effect. If you are doing yoga, for example, you may want to put on some Enya, or Enigma. Exercise regimes like yoga are there to stretch your body, relax your mind and bring a feeling of wholesomeness.
On the other hand, if you are the go-big-or-go-home type, you may be a weight-lifter or cross fitter. In that case, we recommend dubstep, hard rock, heavy metal, or techno – anything with a loud and fast beat that shouts in your ear and gives you that one final push.
For the people in between, who like to exercise moderately, with a focus on cardio, like jogging or swimming, pick songs with around 120 BPM. To give you a better idea what those songs might be, we will name a few: Raise Your Glass by Pink, Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson, and Around the World by Daft Punk.
Sporting events have their way of getting the crowd pumped up for what’s coming next – hard rock and heavy metal tell the viewers and athletes what it is that they have in store for them: it is the energy, thrill, sweat, blood, adrenaline, guitar and drums.
All about that Bass
Calisthenics and weightlifting usually require you to do a certain number of repetitions, or reps, in a certain number of sets. This, of course, varies from one exercise program to the next, but the point is that you push and stop. This is achieved more easily if you have a sense of rhythm.
The purpose of rhythm in exercise music is to make your body follow it. It will stop you from going too fast and burning out (unless that is, in fact, what you set out to do in the first place, in which case you can choose songs with a faster beat), and it helps you stay on track when your body and mind start sending you signals that exercising was a bad idea.
The question is how to make the rhythm more prominent? Is there a way to make it stand out more? Why, yes, there is. Crank up the bass, and you will feel your whole body vibrate. One of the things you’ll discover is that, in spite of yourself, you feel compelled to follow the beat. You can easily do this by tampering with the equalizer on your computer, phone or MP3 player. If you are choosing the playlist for the gym, and you have a subwoofer, by all means, use it. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it.