How to Pick the Right Music to Effectively Fuel Your Workout

I had no idea that that my music was working against me…

Now, I’m not someone who works out all the time. But when I did, I would put on the most face melting metal that I could find. And then I would proceed to punish my body as best I could.

Something Wasn’t Working

After my workout though, I would feel worn down and unfocused. Which, apparently, is not how you are supposed to feel after a work out. Everyone would say how great they felt…so energized… And I would just shake my head because I didn’t feel that at all.

So, I would keep working out for awhile and continue to feel run down. Until eventually, I would just quit. “Whats the point of working out if I can feel this crappy from the comfort of my couch,” I often thought to myself.

This January, like so many others, I once again made a new years resolution. I was going to lose weight and make it stick this time.

In the past, I had failed but this time I was putting some “skin” in the game. I got a trainer and a gym membership and said “Tally-ho!” But after a week of working out I still felt run down, tired and kind of foggy. BUT this time I wasn’t going to give up, so I did some research.


I started looking in to everything: Was it what I ate? Was it hormones? Was it depression or cancer or an apocalypse? I didn’t know. Until I happened to read an article called, “A review of the research on the ergogenic and psychophysical impact of music—tempo, type and timing—in an exercise program.”

It got me thinking about what I was listening to during my workouts. And how that was impacting what I was feeling. I realized that I was doing it wrong.

Thrash metal, while heart pumping, isn’t a great choice while putting your body through a physically stressful routine. I was getting double the stress and my music was working against me.

So I read more … and more … and more

Until finally, I figured out how to get my music on my side.


So, in all the studies that I read, the one thing that they all say is that your music should rise and fall with your workout. So, here’s some science for you:

One of the main reasons that music works so well when working out is that it distracts you from thinking about what you are doing.

When you start your workout and are warming up, slower music will help you concentrate. As you increase your workout and fatigue begins to creep in, the music should speed up and intensify. In theory, this is what allows you to take on a higher intensity workout for a longer duration.


After reading about how to structure a playlist with rise and fall as well as using more inspirational music, I made a playlist for myself.

“What can it hurt?” I thought.

I was surprised at the difference it made in my work out right away. When I finished my workout, I felt good and tired. As opposed to torn down and beaten up.

As I kept making playlists and using them, I found that the science guys may have known a thing or two because I was able to start increasing my workout. More importantly, I was feeling good about what I had accomplished.


To sum it all up folks, if you want to get more from your playlist and your work out, you have to make it work for you! Make your playlist with slower songs at first and then increase the speed to match your workout. Also, be sure that your are listening to some uplifting stuff so you can focus your mind and your body.

The epic manly playlist of manliness

Pearl Jam – Black 79 BPM

Sum41 – Fatlip 98 BPM

Red Hot Chili Pepers – Snow 106 BPM

Third Eye Blind – Never let you go 114 BPM

Guns n’ Roses – Welcome to the jungle 125 BPM

Foo Fighters – Best of you 130 BMP

Foo Fighters – Everlong 139 BPM

Maroon 5 – Harder to breath 150 BMP

Green Day – Basket case 174 BPM

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free bird 151 BPM

Alien Ant Farm – Smooth criminal 136 BPM

Van Halen – Hot for teacher 127 BPM

Rage Against the Machine – Renagades of funk 124 BPM

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Rocket man 105 BPM

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 11.59.10 AM


Do you have any songs in mind that meet this description?

If so, please let us know in the comment section.

We mean it. Please comment. We’d love your input!

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