Music & Motivation: Top workout playlist
Why is the first 5-10 minutes of a workout or run always so brutal? But once you get rolling and warmed up, you start to feel like you can take on those hills like a rockstar.
I know that’s how I feel after having just spent a few days doing one of my favorite things— running in the heat of the desert. YES! I know it sounds crazy, but I love running in the dry heat. My body gets warmed up quickly and in the groove, I get time to think and be in nature and there are lots of opportunities to push myself in new ways.
I also remembered how critical it is to have a killer playlist when working out solo. Music is a game changer for any workout, especially if you’re going at it alone.
In fact, research has shown that music makes a difference when it comes to most kinds of athletic performance. A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that 5K participants ran the first 1/2 mile faster with music—and the music style or kind didn’t matter. What? You could listen to your parents’ old wedding band on your iPhone and still run faster? Yep, that’s right.
It doesn’t matter what level athlete you are, either. Runners and athletes of all levels can use music to help stay motivated. Research has shown, however, that the beat of the music matters and that you work out longer and harder to faster music, or music with a certain BPM.
Personally, I pick songs for running that have a a beat of 80-90 bpm, to match my running stride. Or, I’ll use dance or club music to keep me pumped up and excited. I also love having really great beats like Missy Elliot, The Chainsmokers or David Guetta to distract me from my breathing. Psychological mental toughness research suggests using distraction to help if you find yourself focusing on your aches and pains. So, if you can try to find music you love motivate you to keep going if you plan to workout on your own this summer.
To help you get started, here’s one of my favorite 30 minute playlists to keep you energized in your next sweat sesh.
Ready, set, GO!
Playlist to power your workout
1. Jai Ho! (You are My Destiny) A.R. Rahman
Start your workout out on a high note, it’ll make you want to dance!
2. Get Like Me (Nelly)
This song makes you feel like the bad-ass that you are. Go get ‘em.
3. Pursuit of Happiness – Extended Version Remix (Kid Cudi, MGMT)
What can you not do to this song? Killer beats and positive vibes.
4. Runnin’ (Lose it All) Naughty Boy, Beyonce
A little soulful, but fast enough to keep you motivated.
5. WTF (Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams)
You’re on your way, and you’ll want to take on the hills and the sweat with full power and force once this song hits your ears.
6. Rinse and Repeat (Riton)
This one always gets you going. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
7. Spirits (The Strumbellas)
A good, deep beat to finish a short run or to lengthen out your stride and dig deep up a hill or during big finish and cool down.