Finding The Perfect Music
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Let’s talk about music and motivation. Music can provide an elevated heart rate, better mood, release hormones, and get you ready to WORK HARD. This can be before you go to the gym, or getting you ready for work. So, what is the best pump up music? The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you think. I can show you my current workout playlist, but you might not like my taste in music. However; there is a way to get you the best music to fit your genre or style.
The most important factor in deciding workout music once you find your genre is beats per minute (BPM). All music is composed with a time signature and is recorded with a bpm rating. Some songs will alter the bpm during the song, but for the most part, a verse, chorus, and bridge in a song will use the same bpm.
Generally speaking, songs around 100 bpm are cool down material, and songs from 160+ bpm are high intensity material.
Some examples of songs I have listened to recently on a run:
Shake it Off by Taylor Swift- 160 bmp (9:00 mile pace)
Thnks fr th mmrs by Fall Out Boy- 155 bpm
Indestructible by Disturbed- 180 bpm
As you can see, the songs I ran to were above 150 bpm. I would also like to note that I was surprised to see some of my heavier workout songs only rested at 130 bpm. Then, I tried running to the pace of those songs; I had to slow my pace to match my footsteps to the beat, which is not the goal. The goal is to create a heart rate and pace faster than what you’re used to. The other extreme was to get my footsteps to double the bpm to fit in sync with the song, which at 260 bpm was insane.
Suppose you like a song and you find out it is only 90 bpm. Technically, that is within the cool down pace, but you might be able to think of the song as 180 bpm if you doubled the rhythm. The site jog.fm utilizes this technique to create a playlist for you. Notice how some of the bpm are below 100, but they use a '2 x' above it to make it work in the proper range.
Your next challenge is to look up your current playlist songs for bpm. You want to get the bpm above 120 to elevate your heart rate. If your song cannot meet that criteria (even if you really like the song) I would consider removing it from your workout playlist. Use Spotify or Pandora to find new songs you like to download and check their bpm as well. Everyone has a different taste in music, so get your genre and favorite artists ready.
This site will help you find music with the right bpm to fit your running pace: jog.fm
Enter a faster time than you are used to or your MAX time so that you can keep a challenging pace even when you start feeling tired!
Use this link to easily look up an individual song's bpm: songbpm.com. Not all songs may be listed on this website as I have seen from experience.
As a side note, push yourself, but don't push yourself too hard. If you start to feel discomfort, headaches, or nausea, turn down your music or switch to something slower, and rest.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.