We all know it, we’ve all done it — that song comes on mid-run, jump, push or lift and suddenly you’ve got that extra ‘umph you need to finish strong and satisfied. Whether you're hoping to tone your derriere or increase your upper arm strength, the tunes you sweat to have a real impact on the effectiveness of your workout.
In ancient times, drumming was used to prepare warriors for battle — not that far off from, say, a bike around the San Francisco hills (have you seen those hills?). So, what should we listen to to get ourselves inspired for the most effective workout?
Most workouts involve repetitive motion, so songs that don’t range widely in tempo can be most helpful. How you arrange your playlist matters, too — switching rhythms too often and too sharply can subconsciously throw off your groove, and wind up making you more tired and less excited about getting your heart pumping.
Want to make your workout last longer? Try spacing out high-energy, thumping bass, or generally amped-up music by peppering in a few slower, more introspective tunes. These waves and lulls can balance out your heart rate and keep you motivated (you can nail down the science by arranging music by BPM, or beats per minute, which can be found out at websites like SongBMP.com).
Have something specific on the brain? Build a playlist around that person, experience or situation (à la your 6th grade mixtapes) and literally work it out.
To kickstart your ultimate workout playlist check out the 15 greatest workout songs ever.