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Can’t Work out Without A Good Beat? Here’s Why – The Psychology Of Workout Music

By Ben White

How to use music as your motivator

Now that we understand why music helps to motivate us and the improvements it gives, we need to have an idea of how to use this to actually make these improvements happen.


I'm sure a lot of you out there take a pre-workout supplement before the gym, whether it be creatine, amino acids, caffeine or maybe a combination of the three.

They have fantastic qualities and are specially designed to get you fired up for your workout, but I bet you didn't know that music can actually have the same stimulating qualities as strong coffee before a workout.

I have found that this is actually dependent on the individual but on the whole, the recommendation is that whilst warming up you choose music with a lower BPM to help set the pace of your warm up and then you up the BPM during the workout.

How to use music as your motivator

Once you are done go back to lower BPM music to help you cool down more efficiently, the switch in music tempo is what will help to fire you up because it makes you associate faster, livelier music with your maximum effort.

During the workout

Because each type of training is different the music that you can use to get you going is different as well. So here is a quick run-down of music to suit your training.

Strength training/weightlifting

You want to be looking at something around 150 BPM with typically a heavy bass line to keep your tempo up and help distract you from what you doing.

As a personal recommendation I like to have something with a drop in the song, this really helps me when I get into my heavy working sets in the gym as you focus your energy for a specific section of the song and it really helps to up the energy levels when you need it!


Now this is going to seem like a cop out on my part by this all comes down to you personally, you want to have a song that allows 2 beats for every pace you take, that way it keeps you at a good constant rhythm and helps set your pace.

How to use music as your motivator

Something to help you along the way would be to add a faster song in every 4-5 songs, this keeps it slightly more interesting as upping your pace every once in a while, will not only get you fitter but stop you getting bored.

Exercise bike/spinning bike

Again this is similar to that of the running but you want to have a song that had a beat per revolution of the pedals, this, like running, is all down to how fast you cycle.

If you do steady state cycling having a good constant rhythm will be very useful, if you are in the gym on a spin bike throw a really fast upbeat song into the mix, this will help you up your speed and add a HIIT element to the session.

Please also remember that if you are running or cycling out on the roads you need to either not have music on or keep it on a low volume so you can make sure your safe.

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