Have you ever felt supercharged and excited when your favorite tunes come along? It is because music has motivational qualities that can make you work harder, elevate your mood and increase your body’s chemistry(Endorphins). Research has shown that exercise can be easier and your mood will be elevated when you turn on the beats.
Stick to what you have in your music library
We tend to favor a song the more we hear it. Remember the first time you listened to a new song? After a few repetitions, you start to have a better idea how the melody is going to progress and how you want to move your body. When you hear it, you are conditioned to feel stimulated, inspired and motivated.
Select tracks with upbeat tempo
According to a 2011 study, “music tempo should be selected with the expected exercise intensity in mind and be sequenced to contour in accordance with changes in heart rate.” This part of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) increases activity based on the upbeat tempo you are listening to, which psychs you up.
Try different beats per minute (BPM) tracks
By looking at different BPMs you can find music beats that match your heart rate. Personally, I will choose around 80 BPM for my warm-up and when I hit the weights I choose around 100 to 120 BPM. Apps like Spotify can help you choose songs either by BPM or you can build BMP-based playlists.
Be choosy about the lyrics
Lyrics are very important when creating your playlist especially those that have special meaning to you. Choose music that resonates with you. Your friend’s playlist might not be suitable for you, so do your research on the type of music that you enjoy.
Don’t forget to switch it up
If you have been repeating the same playlist for the past couple of weeks, change it up. You don’t want to develop a negative response and lose the motivational qualities of that particular playlist. Create 2 playlists and switch it up so you don’t listen to the same track over and over.
Structure your playlists like your workout.
Endurance training vs strength training needs different motivation, so do not use the same playlist for the same workout. Think ahead, plan your workout and make sure you load more music than you need as there is always space for another song.
Finally, a quick word about safety
Do not let listening to music distract you too much. Stay in tune with your body and also stay in tune with the environment. If your playlist is going to prevent you from hearing people or any motor vehicles, turn it off. Safety first.