There are a few ways to go about making the perfect playlist for your workout routine. Some trainers say your songs should be organized by beats per minute, while others say to just make a playlist of songs you like and get moving. Take a look at these suggestions and decide for yourself which works best.
Why Make a Playlist?
Before we get into HOW to make a playlist, let’s take a quick look at WHY to make a playlist. It has been proven that music affects your workout performance in many ways. It can:
- Increase or reduce your heart rate.
- Distract you, reducing your perception of fatigue and strain.
- Make you sprint faster.
- Improve your mood during a workout, which makes you enjoy it more.
- Make exercise seem easier.
Consider Beats Per Minute
People who are musically inclined will find it easier to count the beats per minute (BPM). If you don’t know how to find the BPM, don’t worry. The Song BPM tool lets you plug in a song title to get the BPM. The idea is to match the songs BPMs to the exercise you are doing. Here are some general guidelines:
- Warming up: 100 to 140 BPM
- Yoga and other low-intensity activities: 60 to 90 BPM
- Power yoga: 100 to 140 BPM
- CrossFit or other forms of high-intensity interval training: 140 to 180-plus BPM
- Dance and Zumba: 130 to 170 BPM
- Jogging and other steady-state cardio: 120 to 140 BPM
- Weightlifting and powerlifting: 130 to 150 BPM
- Cooling down after exercise: 60 to 90 BPM
Pick the Right Tempo
Without having to count BPM, just pick songs you like and organize them from slow to fast to slow again. Just keep the songs upbeat and start with a few slower songs for warming up, then faster and more intense as your workout progresses, then slow again to cool down. Time your playlist to coincide with your routine. If you warm up for five minutes, workout for 20 and cool down for five.
Play Whatever You Like
Another school of thought for workout playlists is simple: just make a playlist of songs you like and that motivate you. Here are some guidelines that help:
- Make sure you have enough music for your workout. You don’t want to run out of music five minutes before your workout ends.
- Inspiration can strike when you least expect it, so keep your playlist handy so you can add songs quickly.
- Use Shazam to identify new songs. If you hear something in a coffeeshop that you really like but don’t know who performs it, Shazam can help.
- Try different genres for a playlist variety. For example, ‘90s punk rock or classic funk and disco can really get you moving.
- Outsource it if you must. It’s not the most personal option, but most music services have premade playlists for workout routines. Perfect for people who don’t know what to put on their playlist or who just don‘t have time to do it.
Whether you go to the gym or work out at home, put on some great music and get moving! If you are new to exercising, take a look at our beginner’s guide.