Need some songs to work out to at the gym? Researchers in the U.K. created the ultimate workout playlist, based on science, and our listeners also came up with some additions.
Sports psychologists in London looked at 6.7 million Spotify playlists that had the word “workout” in the title. Then, they analyzed the beats per minute of each song, to figure out the perfect type of music for each portion of a workout.
For example, when you’re warming up, cooling down, or doing something aerobic, you should listen to pop music, because you want music with a regular rhythmic pattern for stuff that tends to be repetitive.
For jogging, the best thing to listen to is rap, because the number of beats per minute match up well with the average person’s stride rate.
And when you’re lifting weights, dance music is best, because it’s faster and has a lot of bass.
The researchers say you should never listen to rock, because most rock songs have changes in rhythm, which can mess with your rhythm.
Here are the specific examples they came up with for the perfect workout playlist, from warm-up to cool-down.
1. To get mentally prepared and psyched up, listen to “Roar” by Katy Perry. It has 92 beats per minute.
2. While you’re stretching, “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo. 100 beats per minute.
3. For an aerobic warm-up, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. 116 beats per minute.
4. For a moderate cardio workout, “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha. 130 beats per minute.
5. For a more intense cardio workout, “Applause” by Lady Gaga. 140 beats per minute.
6. For REALLY intense cardio, “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. 147 beats per minute.
7. For weight lifting, “The Monster” by Eminem and Rihanna. 110 beats per minute. Which isn’t really ‘dance’ music, but the other examples they gave were British.
8. And to cool down, “Burn” by Ellie Goulding. 86 beats per minute.
When it’s a really tough workout, you’re also supposed to choose songs that remind you of your youth, because they subconsciously help motivate you to power through when you’re tired.
We asked our listeners to add to the list of the best songs to run or work out to. Here’s what we came up with as a playlist:
1. “Scream and Shout (Bring the Action)” – Will.i.am and Britney Spears
2. “Stronger” – Kanye West
3. “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
4. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem
5. “Boom Boom Pow” – Black Eyes Peas
6. “Super Bass” – Nicki Minaj
7. “Good Feeling” – Flo Rida
8. “Pump It” – Black Eyed Peas
9. “O.P.P.” – Naughty by Nature
10. “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” – C&C Music Factory