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Hit the gym with the perfect workout playlist

Author: Cynthia Madison
by Cynthia Madison
Posted: Feb 07, 2019
140 bpm

When we are talking about workout playlist, we are not talking about a bunch of songs put together to run in your ears, while you work out. We are talking about songs that will motivate you to work harder and to burn calories. The songs will work similarly to a remote control, will tell you when is the moment to speed up and where you should cool down. You may already have a playlist on YouTube or SoundCloud with hundreds of songs you like to listen to when in the car, or when you are working. But these songs will not help you sweat when at the gym, they will not motivate you to push harder. Here are some expert tips on how to create the perfect workout playlist, make sure you check them before starting to add songs to your playlist.

The playlist should be created according to the different stages of the workout.

Warm up

At the beginning of the workout, you will do exercises like biking or running, because you need to heat up your muscles to avoid injuries during the workout. It is advisable for this phase of the workout to choose songs that are at about 120 bpm, because they will help you get in the mood for working out. The number of beats per minute is low and the songs will correlate your heart beats with the beats of the songs. Athletes state that they are able to work out better if they are listening to warming up music for about 10 minutes, at the beginning of their training. Some examples of songs that are around 120 and 140 BPM are: Titanium, David Guetta (featuring Sia), Runaways, The Killers, Let's Go, Calvin Harris (featuring Ne-Yo) or #thatPOWER, (featuring Justin Bieber). You can add one or two of them to your playlist, or you can search for similar ones.


During this cardio phase, you will burn calories and you will need some songs to keep up with the intensity of your training. You will have to alternate songs, a speedy one and a slow one; because they need to reflect the exercises, you are performing. Repeat the combination of songs for three or four times, it is enough to cover the sprint phase of the workout. The songs should be at 140 BPM or higher, because your body will work at a faster pace, and your brain should not be distracted by songs that play at a lower beat. If the songs keep you involved in the exercise, you will not notice that you are using more energy. Some example of songs you can use during the sprint stage are: All I Do Is Win, DJ Khaled, Can't Hold Us, Macklemore (featuring Ray Dalton), Runaway Baby, Bruno Mars, Come and Get It, Selena Gomez or Pump It, The Black Eyed Peas.


You should add to your playlist three or four slow jams to help you catch your breath between the intense exercises you have done in the sprint stage. The songs should be at 130 or 140 BPM, to help you relax your body and brain. This is a strategy to help your body recover. Studies show that joggers are able to recover more quickly if they listen to tracks that are at around 140 BPM. Your goal should be to start the exercises again, and to do it as sooner as possible, so you should not skip this part of the playlist. Here are some suggestions: Pour It Up, Rihanna, Goin' In, Jennifer Lopez (featuring Flo Rida), Feel This Moment, Pitbull, Let It Go, Dragonette, or 50 Ways to Say Goodbye, Train.

Cool down

The workout is about to end, and you need some music to help you chill out. Pro tip, during this stage of the workout the songs should be at around 110 BPM. If you are following athlete bloggers, you will notice that when they are filming videos they are using this type of songs towards the end of the video. A good strategy is to do your first workouts listening to the same playlist they are using on their videos. Bloggers usually are using pro playlists with music for sports videos offered by expert sites. These songs can lower your heart rate and blood pressure; therefore, they are an essential part of your playlist. The key to enjoying your workout is to listen to your favourite jams, and to do the exercises that work your body the most. They will help you end up your training in a mood happier than when you have entered the gym. Some good songs for this part of the playlist are: Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys, Diamonds, Rihanna, Halo, Beyonce, or Anything Could Happen, Ellie Goulding.

Make sure you do not get carried away when choosing the songs

When you choose the songs, make sure you do not get carried away, because if the beat is too high you can easily hurt yourself, in trying to keep up with it. It is advisable to add to your playlist songs you already know, you need to pay attention to the action you are doing, to the exercise and not to listen to the lyrics. It does not matter if we are talking about a playlist for a yoga class or a playlist for treadmill training, you should listen to the songs at least once before hitting the gym.

Your playlist should be catchy to keep you away from the other distractions from the gym. You may have heard some great songs on the radio, but not all of them are good for a workout playlist. If you want to create the playlist like a pro, you should listen to every song at least 5 times, because studies show that familiar songs improve your motivation. You know the lyrics, you know when the chorus will start and you can associate the song with a positive memory or feeling. And do not forget your training playlist is sacred, you play it only when you are in the gym, you do not play it on your friend’s birthday or when you are in the car.

About the Author

Cynthia Madison is a young blogger and economics and marketing graduate. She writes about home, lifestyle and family topics and is a senior contributor to popular niche publications.

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Author: Cynthia Madison
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Cynthia Madison

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Member since: Jun 30, 2017
Published articles: 44

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