Studio 5 Health and Fitness Contributor Melanie Douglass talks about the impact of music on exercise.
Trust me, when you find a good workout song, it’ll feel like a superb manifestation of musical caffeine.
Here’s the thing: most everyday “radio” hit music is too slow for working out because songs often fall into the 80 – 120 bpm range. BPM means “beats per minute”—and the right or wrong bpm can make or break a workout. If you walk to music at 110 beats per minute (too slow) you’ll instinctively work at a slower pace. Conversely, if you use a song at 135 bpm (a good, brisk pace), you can walk, cycle, or strength train to the beat. Literally. Move to the beat… and you’ll find yourself sticking to a steady pace—and innately driven to “keep up” and work at your personal best.
Luckily, iTunes just launched a brand-new “Fitness & Workout” music section in the iTunes store!
Before you start shopping for some musical motivation, remember:
Effective workout music should fast—in the 130 to 150 bpm range.
• 125 – 135 bpm
o Great for walking, moderate cycling or elliptical, and strength training (4 beats per move; i.e. 2 counts up, 2 counts down for a bicep curl)
• 150 – 160 bpm
o Great for running, jump roping, or strenuous elliptical, cycling or climbing
If it’s too hard to find different bpm’s for different activities,
135 bpm is the catch-all bpm. It works for most activities, and even though you run faster than this beat, it still provides the steady, upbeat background you need to work at your best.
Here are my favorite workout songs from the new iTunes workout section:
1. Thinking of you – StepTonic remix
2. Loca (Yes! Workout Remix) – Make it Pop! Vol. 6
3. Just a Dream (Yes! Workout Remix) – Make it Pop! Vol. 6
4. Telephone (Yes! Workout Remix) – Make it Pop! A Tribute to Glee
5. Start Me Up (Yes! Workout Remix) – Make it Pop! Rock Reloaded
6. Kalindo – StepTonic remix
7. The Promise (Electro remix) – 80’s Goes Electro
8. Like a G6 (Yes! Workout Remix) – Make it Pop! Best of 2010
9. Love is Gonna Save Us – Benny Benassi
Remember, you can also use smart phone apps like
Tempo Magic Pro and Beatburn to adjust the beat of your own music (anything in your library) the exact bpm/pace you need.