5 Energizing Workout Playlists to Make Exercising Less Miserable

Updated: Sep. 24, 2017

It might be hard to find the willpower to hit the treadmill upon waking up or ending a long at the office. Yet, workout music can instantly pump you up and get that motivation going.

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If you’re doing a HIIT interval workout

Those bootcamp classes are hard work. If you’re doing squats, lunge jumps, and other circuit moves, you’ll definitely need workout music you can jam out to. “I love using FitRadio. It has great genres that include a combination of new hits with a high energy playlist,” says Rebecca Gahan of Kick@55 Fitness in Chicago. “The beats are very important if you are completing plyometrics because you want your clients to complete a specific number of reps within a given period of time, and they will also try to keep up with the RPMs of the song,” Gahan explains. For bootcamp, she recommends staying around 150 bpm on average, while it might dip a bit lower to 130 bpm for strength training. And, if you’re doing those serious sprints, it could get towards 180 bpm, as long as it’s not too distracting or overwhelming. Check out these other tips that will get and keep you motivated to moveBest songs: “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift and “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.

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If you’re sweating in spin

If you’ve ever taken a cycling class, you know how sweaty you can get. But, it’s all worth it because the energy is so high and motivating, thanks especially to a workout music playlist to set the mood. And, the bpm will change based on the RPM count, says Erin Moone, co-founder of StarCycle. But, here’s an estimate: Sprints might go up to 180 bpm, average sets might be around 150 bpm, and it might drop a little to around 130 bpm when you’re in the midst of a climb. It’s pretty similar to the HIIT, bootcamp style class format, in terms of the best workout playlist. And, if you haven’t lost weight in spin classes, when you’ve been upping your classes and dieting, you might be making these spinning mistakesBest songs:Booty Had Me Like” by Round2crew, “Power of Now” (crystal lake remix) by Steve Aoki, and “Perfect Strangers” (club remix) by Jonas Blue.


If you’re in down dog

If you’re doing yoga, you’re likely looking to relax and work on your stability, flexibility, and core. Here, the best music playlist would involve slower, more moderate paced songs for flow work. “You want songs that set you to a place of rhythm and flow that will flow with your practice, and these songs are a slower pace but still have a beautiful melody,” says Astrid Swan, celebrity trainer. Sticking around 120 bpm is a good estimate, but it can increase, let’s say if you’re doing a yoga sculpt, more bootcamp style, to 140 bpm, or it can decrease even down to 90 bpm for a more restorative practice, as well. The variety should match the flow. Here are some serious health perks after starting your yoga practice. Best songs: “Indian Summer” by Jai, “Surprise Yourself” by Jack Garratt, and “Brother” by Gavin DeGraw.

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If you’re hitting the trails

If you’re going for a run, your pace might vary. You could stick to a moderate run the whole time, or you might go into intervals, alternating between jogs and sprints. And, if you have a set format, it’ll be easy to plan the workout playlist accordingly. And, either way, you’ll still get all the benefits of running, and there are many. “These songs come on and I find my stride. People who run will talk about the runner’s high. Music and fitness are both about getting the body to move,” says Swan. And, the bpms of these songs will take you through the different moments of a long run, as well as short sprints, she explains. While you might be around 150 bpm for moderate runs, you could get into the 180 bpm range for sprints. Here are all the great changes that happen to your body after you start a running workout. Best songs: “Coming Home” by Sigma/Rita Ora, “Good Day” by Yellow Claw, and “Whip It” by Lunch Money.


If you’re doing Pilates

If you’re in a Pilates class, you’re likely going at a more moderate pace, really working on toning and strengthening that physique. Pilates requires lots of concentration, where you’re specifically targeting certain areas to create definition and leanness. So, you don’t want music that’s too intense or fast to act as a distraction. And, if you want an extra challenge, try a PopPilates class, to shake things up. “Things I look for: medium paced, uplifting and also easy to get lost or not notice it’s even there,” says Pilates instructor Lesley Logan. Sticking somewhere between 120 bpm and 140 bpm is a good idea for a more medium-paced speed. Best songs/artists: Leon Bridges, Kaleo, Lana del Rey, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Ray LaMontagne, and most 90’s music.