Your Workout Soundtrack Can Make You More Active

Exploring Intensity

Your Workout Soundtrack Can Make You More Active

A new study is out that should make every audiophile bob their heads a little harder — it turns out that what tunes you play may have a significant effect not only on the intensity of your workout but also how intensely you face the rest of your day.

The researchers compared people exercising without music to people who trained with music that had higher bpms or beats per minute. And those with higher bpms not only worked out harder, and felt less exertion, but afterward they were more active, even when the exercise was over and the music had stopped.

There is no definite explanation for this, but there’s a couple theories — one is that the endorphins you get from intense music keep you going after you leave the gym, while another is that there is just something about the beat the lodges itself into your head, and like an earworm it stays with you and adds that extra skip in your step.

Either way, one note (pun intended) the researchers make is that you shouldn’t be trying to artificially make yourself go faster by putting on nothing but thrash metal. Instead find the songs with bpms that are about the top of what you can manage so that you can keep up. But how do you exactly figure that out?

The article uses a bpm website to let you know what some hit songs are — and they also push some software you have to pay for. We have looked but have yet to find a great site to help figure out the perfect soundtrack. So if you need to get the bpms for a song, use this basic tool to figure it out. Essentially just count the beats of a song for 15 seconds and then multiply by four. Then rock out with your workout.

At the Cardio High gym we are always tinkering with different Pandora channels to find the optimal workout tunes. Clients have been enjoying the Pandora Pop and Hip Hop Workout Music channel, the Go Gos channel with upbeat ’80s music and an Outkast channel that leans toward classic hip hop. Mark often plays electronic dance music channels like Moby, Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers – and has had good luck with a Cornershop channel. Hard not to like this Cornershop trackCornershop with a remix by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim). Though not all clients would agree with his choice of music as being the most upbeat.