Music Matters

There is a detail to your workout program that is so important and has so much force behind it that it can emotionally impact you.  It can inspire you so much that you feel strong enough to  move mountains. It may elicit pure joy and provoke an impromptu dance move. It can even move us to tears.  Can you guess what it is?  ….MUSIC! 

We can’t deny that music impacts us emotionally.  Furthermore, emotions can impact our physical efforts.  Think about a time when music has helped you physically.  I dread sweeping and mopping my house.  But when I put on a good feeling, dancey tune, I don’t mind sweeping and mopping because the song makes me want to move.  Well, I don’t mind it as much.  LOL!

When planning your workouts, keep in mind that the music you play impacts your performance. Not only the style of music, but also the tempo, or pace, of the the music. Tempo is represented by the beats per minute (bpm). Generally speaking, the faster the tempo, the more intense the workout.

Here’s are some guidelines when choosing your playlist:

  • Cool Down, Stretching, and Relaxation based exercises: below 100 bpm
  • Warm-Up or lower intensity exercises like Yoga and Pilates: 100-120 bpm
  • Zumba, Barre, Dance Workouts or Moderate Intensity exercise: 120-160 bpm
  • Cross Fit, Power Lifting, Weight Lifting: 120-150 bpm
  • Running and Cycling or High Intensity exercise: 160-180 plus bpm

Wondering what the bpms are for a certain song? Check out these online calculators: Simply type in the name of the song and find the beats per minute. Here you can find the beats per minute for any track by using the mouse pad to input the tempo. This is great for tracks that are not popular songs.

If you are a fitness professional and want to know more about how you can use music during client sessions, check out my podcast Episode #8 Music Matters.

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