As someone whose been making mix-tapes since the 5th grade, I have my playlist making techniques down to a science. At the Vixen Workout, the playlist makes or breaks the class. You need to know how to bring the energy up, what songs to place where, when to bring it back down and everything in between. Making a great playlist is pretty much an art form in and of itself. In this post, I’m going to share some tips on how to make your own killer playlist.
THE BIOLOGY OF MUSIC AND EXERCISE
According to recent studies from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there’s real science behind creating effective workout playlists. The right songs can function as an important tool in improving your athletic performance – by motivating you and tricking your brain into feeling less tired.
An Optimum Tempo Between 120 to 140 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Personal preferences aside, this is a good workout song’s optimum tempo range because it roughly corresponds to the average person’s heart rate during a routine workout. A runner, however, may need songs with a higher tempo of 147 to 160 BPM. Most dance songs and many rock songs are already in the 120-140 BPM range. Studies also found that music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. To find out the BPM’s of songs you want to add to your playlist, checkout this site.
HOW DO I FIND THE BPM’S TO A SONG?
To find out the BPM’s of songs I want to use, I use a site called Song BPM. Once you’ve calculated the BPM of a song, you can generally store it in the ID3 tag of the music file. For example, getting info on a song in iTunes will let you enter the BPM. Using iTunes as an example, you can then sort your music by BPM and choose the songs you want that fall into the 120-140 BPM range.”
IS THERE A BLUEPRINT FOR CREATING A PLAYLIST?
Remember that if you are working out, you need to begin with a warm-up. The first 3 songs of your playlist are your “warm-up” songs. They should gradually increase in tempo and speed to get muscles warmed up.
Good options to begin your playlist are:
1: “Party Ain’t Over”/ Pitbull feat. Usher
2: “Champions”/ Kanye West feat. (everyone)
3. “Jungle Bae”/ Major Lazer
For the middle of your playlist, put songs that make you feel a certain way. For example: if you’re going through a break up or a tough time, having songs with lyrics that are relatable to what your going through helps your mind not think about the fact that you have 30 minutes left. To be clear, I don’t mean ballads for the middle of your playlist. I mean adding songs that make you feel like a bad-ass in the middle and then the then slowly decrease in tempo so as to assist in a proper cool-down period. the slower paced ones at the end for a cool down.
Need some help finding music? Make sure to follow some of my playlists on Spotify.
Stay Hungry, Live Fierce.