“Putting Your Workout Into High Gear”

topspeed7I’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of exercising to music that you know. That can mean playing current hits from the radio or taking it “old school” and playing classic songs from your past.

But besides activating your emotions, another motivating factor of music can be tempo or the speed of a song, measured in beats per minute (BPM).

Sometimes simply because the beat of a song is at a higher BPM, you’ll begin moving faster.

To read another article about the benefits of speed, check out “The Need for Speed”.

Not only can the music motivate you to move faster, but a study cited in Scientific American states that athletes who worked out to the rhythmic beat of music were able to endure a lot longer and used 7% less oxygen than the athletes who didn’t workout to music.

So when you’re just not feeling quite as motivated or maybe when you’re pumped up and want to get a huge adrenaline rush, try playing music that’s 150 BPM or faster.

For instance, I took my dog to the beach the other day and was feeling a little bit lazy. So although I don’t usually run with headphones on at the beach, I got out my iPod, played the following cardio mix called, “Top Speed 7” which runs at 170 BPM and suddenly I was flying down the beach.

I think even my dog was surprised!

And I only recognized one or two songs, so that wasn’t the motivating factor. It was the fast beat that periodically faded and then ramped up again that kept me feeling great. Sample this mix here:

Length: 46:03
Format: Continuous and square
Tempo: 170 bpm

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Posted on Oct 18, 2013

About the Author

Kim Nishida has been working in the fitness industry for more than two decades and is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Schwinn Spinning, Reebok Cycle, Powerstrike Kickboxing, Keiser Cycling and is formerly the Group Exercise Director at UC Berkeley.

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