Choosing the Right Music for your Workout


When it comes to getting the most out of your workout,  Mind-Body Connection is essential!

As we explored in a previous article, it is important to eliminate as many distractions as possible, especially television and magazines to create that mind-body connection.

After reading that post, many of you asked if music is also a distraction so let’s address this today.

The short answer: NO!

In fact music can be a powerful tool in keeping you motivated and pushing past your comfort zone to reap amazing benefits.

Unlike a television show which draws you out and away from your workout, leading to less intensity and a more distracted workout, music can help you sustain a level of intensity you would not be able to maintain otherwise.

Music has a pulse…

Music is charged with emotion…

Music triggers a very specific response…

Choosing the right music is key, of course. You’ll want to pick something that makes you happy and literally makes you want to get up and move!

Music that makes you want to DANCE!

Think about Zumba and you’ll understand immediately the power of music.

Zumba, an energetic and fun dance based workout, created by Beto Perez, is rooted in latin music, which has a fabulous beat and tends to invite you into a dance.

It’s fiery and hot.

You hear the music and you can’t help but start moving. It’s fun  and makes you feel great! If you’ve ever taken a Zumba class you’ve probably found yourself totally spent after class yet elated and with incredible energy. You feel good, are a little winded, muscles are a bit achy from a deep workout but not so sore you can barely move. That’s the feeling you want to get with every workout, no matter what you choose to do.

You want to feel like you’ve gotten a really good workout, you’ve pushed past your comfort zone and fatigued your muscles. You’ve sweated and felt the need to catch your breath… You’ve given your all!

But you feel AWESOME!

Once you’ve recovered, you feel like you could keep going strong all day!

I used music a lot when I was training for a half marathon a few years ago. I compiled a playlist of carefully selected pieces for the duration of my run.  I chose pieces with a steady but easy beat for my warm up, then transitioned to a faster beat, more intense beat for the core of my run, and back to a slower beat for my cool down.

I now play around with music, building a soundtrack for my BURST workouts that alternate 45 seconds of intense music with 15 seconds of mellow music and splice them together to make a 15 to 20 minute soundtrack. This allows me to focus entirely on my workout. I have my cues built in so I know what part of the cycle I am in and can focus 100% of my attention on getting the most out of each exercise.

When I work out at the gym, the music the instructor chooses has a huge impact on my workout. During my spin class I try to match the beat. As the music builds I know I have a huge effort coming up so I prepare… then I go all out until the beat slows down again. I know I would slow down much sooner without that driving beat cranked up!

In any class, the music selection will drive me forward if it’s a good selection.. The wrong music, on the other hand,  can just as easily kill my mood and I’ll find myself wanting more by the end of class.  I’ll have to dig deeper to put in the right effort if the music doesn’t quite push me forwards.

What about you?  How to you use music for your workouts?  Do you find music enhances your workout sessions and allows you to push harder?


  1. alicia szemon says:

    music definitely helps me workout. It has to be fast beat though!

  2. Yes. The right music is key to keep going. I always try to use upbeat songs that I like.

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