Pick the perfect workout mix

You rarely find someone at the gym or outside running without an mp3 player of some kind. It doesn’t matter who you are; good music will do wonders for your motivation. An extra punch into the bag. An extra bench press. An extra step. An extra sit-up. Most gyms play background “motivational” music, which helps, but it’s usually some cheesy watered-down remix of a song that wasn’t very good to begin with. And I’m sorry, Gregory Gym, but Coldplay simply cannot be inspirational workout music by any stretch of the imagination. Think ahead and prepare your own playlist for your iPod, and you’ll have just the right music for every kind of activity you’d want to do.


For cardio workouts, you often want a beat to move along with. Your body will want to keep up with the beat, and you will be less likely to slack off toward the end of your workout. It’s also a great distraction… Different songs have different beats, though, and you don’t want to have to keep changing your speed to keep up with different songs. iTunes has a nifty feature where you can sort your music according to beats per minute. This would ensure that all your songs keep a steady beat, and your workout will be smoother as a result.

Music for cardio workouts is usually more fast-paced and upbeat, since it has to inspire energy for longer periods of time. Here are some suggestions:

Weight Training

Music for weight training is often a little more intense, since you’re going in short, tough, straining bursts rather than a long stretch of continuous movement.

Here are some suggestions:

If you want more music suggestions, click here. Build your own playlists, and mix it up so you get new inspiration and don’t get stuck with the same music over and over again. What are some of your favorite workout tunes?

5 responses to this post.

  1. I really found this article to be very helpful with the iTunes help as well as the musical suggestions that would enable a better workout! Thank you so much for such an informative, helpful post!


  2. While I cannot say I find that suggested music list all that appealing (what can i say, I have different tastes, and if I heard a song from Hairspray followed by Madagascar 2 it might kill me), it was definitely news to me that iTunes can sort by the BPM of your library. I could see this being useful as well if you are in one of those moods where keeping things mellow just feels right.


  3. LOVE this post! The music you listen to while you work out is absolutely key. It can either make or break your workout. It is also super important to get your playlist sorted before you go to the gym. Without a playlist, I keep flipping through my iPod the whole time I could be jamming and working out to the fullest.

    My suggestion-Lady Gaga! I’m not a huge fan and think her music has definitely been overplayed but there’s no denying that her music gets you moving.


  4. Posted by Emily Watkins on March 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I’m definitely a believer in running to music that syncs up with your pace. I always try to listen to songs with higher beats per minute so that I’m motivated to maintain a fast pace. One resource that I’ve found helpful is http://www.runningmusicmix.com. This web site is dedicated to running songs categorized by genre and BPM. Each mix contains a song list with BPM counts for each songs and a link to the mix on iTunes.


  5. this is very informative and intersting, thanks 🙂


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