Preparation is half the battle
Let’s take a closer look at your workout playlist to find out which type of music can help you maintain stamina and positivity. Of course, results may vary depending on personality and tastes, but there are a few fundamental things you can keep in mind when creating your playlist.
1. Adapt the music to the type of training
When choosing your workout music, the first thing to consider is how it makes you feel. It goes without saying that a HIIT or cardio workout demands a different mood than a calm yoga session. In other words: a slow, melancholy pop song is suitable for your cool down but turns into rather a drawback during V/Sweat. Adapt your playlist to your type of training, and make sure to create different playlists for each kind of workout.
2. Pay attention to beats and lyrics
The bpm (beats per minute) of a song can be a great guide when you pick the songs for your workout. For example, a fast tempo with over 120 bpm is most effective if you really want to get your blood pumping. For the warm-up or cool down, slower music with less than 80 bpm is better. In the end, however, all that counts is how the song makes you feel: is it aggressive, or does it make you feel at ease? Make sure the lyrics fit the mood you want to set for your workout.
3. Create a well-rounded playlist
Ideally, your workout will put you in a state of flow through the perfect balance of challenge and ability. Music, if well-chosen, can support and enhance this state. For example, imagine you are doing a yoga session. Norah Jones is playing in the background, and you are fully emersed in your movement. Then, all of a sudden, a song by Calvin Harris starts playing. Although you like that song, it completely throws you out of balance. Pay attention to the overall harmony of your playlists: the song you choose should always be somewhat in tune with the mood of the previous one.
4. Split the playlist into different sections
The effectiveness of your playlist also depends on whether or not you consider the different phases of your workout. For the warm up, you’ll probably want to start with an upbeat song that motivates you and sets the right mood. During the workout you might prefer a more aggressive sound that pushes you to your limits and beyond. And you could end the workout with a soft ballad for the cool down. Alternatively, you can use the same playlist for the warm up and cool down or simply turn down the volume a little.
5. Listen to your gut
Your body doesn’t function like clockwork. Don’t expect a peak performance day in, day out, all year round. While a playlist may have pushed you the last time you exercised, it can put you under unnecessary pressure the next day. Pause for a moment and listen to your gut feeling.