The Secret Formula for Creating a Killer Workout Playlist

how to create a workout playlist

There’s more to making the perfect workout playlist than compiling a list of your favorite songs. According to several studies, music enhances your workout performance by motivating you to keep moving and distracting you from fatigue. If you need an extra push in your workout – or added incentive to go to the gym – check out our secret to creating a great workout playlist.

Studies have found that listening to music while working out is a happy distraction, lowering your perception of effort so you don’t realize how hard you’re working. Not to mention it boosts your athletic performance by about 15%.

First, select your workout.

First things first, decide what type of workout you’ll be doing, and design your playlist around that activity. The goal is to match the pace of the music to your movement. Scientific studies recommend selecting music with specific beats per minute (BPM).

We want you to spend your time at the gym, not sitting in front of the computer concocting the perfect playlist. Are you planning on running or lifting weights? Or maybe both? The ideal pace of your playlist should match those activities. If you plan on running at a consistent speed, select songs that have a similar beat. Are you challenging yourself with an interval workout? Make every other song faster for your sprints.

Time your tunes.

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of staring at the clock while you’re at the gym. What if we told you that there’s a way to know it’s almost time to pack your bags without looking at the time? Try creating a playlist that’s the length of your workout.

  • Start with a slower warm-up song to help you get into the mindset. This song should be about 4 or 5 minutes long to give your body the proper time to “wake up.” Bonus points for picking a song with motivational lyrics.
  • Throw in some moderate to fast-paced songs, depending on your workout of the day. These should make up the majority of your workout.
  • Finally, end your workout with a more mellow song. We know that, after an intense effort, you probably just want to leave the gym and continue your day. But we highly encourage you to take a few minutes to slow down and catch your breath.

Variety is key.

Just like you switch up your workouts, you should switch up your playlist. Every Boost Fitness location offers the best strength and cardio equipment to help you design the best workout for your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to try out that workout you saw on Pinterest or are training for a Tough Mudder, we have you covered. Try out your local Boost Fitness club for free with the pass down below.

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Every day I’m shuffling.

Believe it or not, shuffle may not actually be your best friend. Somehow shuffle finds every song you’re not in the mood to listen to, distracting you from your workout just to find that perfect song. Not only are you slacking on your workout going through your song library, you also risk the chance of breaking your phone or music player. We’ve all been there, running on the treadmill and dropping our device in the process. Creating a killer workout playlist allows you to put the DJ on autopilot and channel more energy into exercising.

You’ve got the power.

Have you ever been ready to throw in the towel but then one of your favorite songs came on? Pick a song or two that you can’t help but tap your foot to. This song can be anything you want, as long as it energizes you to go the extra mile. Is it the theme song to that road trip you took several summers ago? One with catchy lyrics that you can’t help but sing along to? Maybe it’s a brand new favorite that you just want to listen to again and again. This is the “break in case of emergency” song to help you power through your workout when it starts getting tough.

Still haven’t gotten that foolproof workout playlist to keep you focused on your fitness goals? Consider scheduling your free personal training session at Boost Fitness to get more helpful professional tips and workouts tailored just for you.


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