If your iPod is lacking in the awesome and inspiring pump-up music department, it can be even more difficult to grab your gym clothes, lace up your running shoes and go for a run or intense workout at the gym.
But don’t let your iPod blues turn into your gym blues. Creating a playlist that gets your blood pumping and inspires you to run that extra kilometer can do wonders for your workout.
So, don’t get left behind with a lackluster playlist and follow these tips to create your perfect music mix:
1. Decide the intensity of your workout
If you’re the type of person who loves singing along to get your workout groove on, then compile a list of songs that really make you want to dance. It’ll help you run a little bit further, climb that extra set of stairs on the stair climber, or do that extra rep.
2. Know your distractions
Sometimes your workout playlist can become more of a distraction than encouragement. If this is the case for you, create a playlist of wordless songs. When you’re not distracted by the words of songs, sometimes the playlist can just become background music, which can help you stay present and aware. Try a few of these amazing songs: Black Mud by the Black Keys, Complication by Nine Inch Nails, Lord Leopard by Caribou.
3. Make sure you have enough music to last your workout
Choosing the perfect amount of songs is just as important as the songs themselves. When you’re constantly fussing with your iPod or mp3 player, you’re not paying attention to the task at hand “ working your butt off! Create a list of about 20 songs and press shuffle, so you don’t become desensitized to the songs and so they last you for more than ten minutes.
4. Match the music to your heart
This one is a little bit technical, but it’s actually been proven to be tremendously effective! When your target heart rate matches the beats per minute of each song on your playlist, your workout not only lasts longer, but it’s more effective in the end. The first step is to calculate your target heart rate. You can do this on the machines at the gym, or search for a list on the Internet. For example, a 25-year-old woman has a target heart rate of about 98-166 beats per minute if she’s at 50-85% of her target heart rate zone. If she’s at 100% of that zone, it’s approximately 200 beats per minute. Now you have to calculate the BPM of your music “ you can do this using iTunes software, BeatScanner, or Tangerine!
When you plan ahead, know your workout style and your workout goals; creating a playlist becomes a cinch.