The short answer is yes - music can increase performance. Music is an incredible motivator, capable of easing pain and improving focus, all of which help you go that extra mile. However, the real secret to getting the most out of your exercise is in the tracks’ beats per minute (BPM). Syncing your reps or footsteps with certain BPMs can give you an advantage.
What works best for you?
Ideally, conditioned runners aim to achieve up to 180 steps per minute to maximise their efforts. So, getting in sync with songs like “All the Things She Said” by Russian vocal duo T.A.T.U and “Having a Blast” by American punk rockers Green Day is an excellent way to reach your full potential. However, not everyone plans to set new world records. Finding the right BPM for your own pace - and for the way you prefer to exercise - is most important.
How do I choose my BPM?
While focusing on steps is perfect for running, and counting reps is great for weight training, for exercise in general you want to monitor your maximum heart rate (MHR). To work out the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle, you can use this handy little equation:
MHR = 220 – Age
To start burning calories and building muscle, you’re looking to raise your heart rate to around 70% of your MHR, and this can be achieved through light to moderate exercise. Once you’re hitting your optimal heart rate, you can start to queue up the right hits which have the same range of BPM.
If you are 28 years old, your MHR would be:
220 – 28 = 192
Now you have your MHR, all that’s left is to find 70% of that:
192 * 0.7 = 134.4
All you need to do now is use songs with similar BPM - like the absolute banger Party Rock Anthem by EDM super stars LMFAO. You’ll be doing more than shufflin’ everyday.
Start off on the right foot by checking out our BPM playlist, which has our top motivational tracks between 140 and 180 BPM. Get ready to maximise your exercise!