How Music Can Improve Your Workouts
Let your workout music do (some of) the hard work for you!
When it comes to a workout, training for a marathon or even just going for a light jog, we all know music can really help get you in the zone. But did you know research suggests workout songs can actually directly improve your performance? Read on to find out exactly how to unlock the training power of your favourite tracks and level up your exercise routine.
The science behind music helping your workouts...
Not only does music help to boost your mood throughout your workouts but there's actually scientific evidence supporting the claim that it can improve performance too!
A study by Karageorghis, C.I., & Priest, D.L. showed that music with higher BPM (beats per minute), which is typically faster-paced, tends to help improve athletic performance when a person engages in low-to-moderate level exercise, either by increasing the distance taken, pace or completed reps. (Source)
How does it work?
Well, take for instance running on the treadmill... the above study would suggest that if you're listening to music or a workout playlist with a high BPM you're actually more likely to run further, faster and potentially for longer.
The explanation behind this is that you subconsciously adjust your output to match the rhythm of the song, so if it's a fast-paced song, you're naturally going to workout at a faster tempo. The reason you can run for longer all comes down to consistency. Sticking to a song that has a consistently high BPM, you will regulate your pace to match it and make it easier to maintain what you're doing without wild fluctuations of required energy.
Your favourite playlist has never sounded so good, right?
How to make the most of music in your workouts
Our first tip, of course, is to listen to music you love!
However, there is a great way to level up your exercise playlists... The trick is to find out the BPM of your favourite running or workout songs you can group these together and create your own playlists assisting you in your exercise.
There are lots of tools you can use online to work out what your favourite songs BMP is.
But, if that sounds like too much work (on top of your actual workout, of course), Spotify and other music platforms have made it even easier for you. Take a look at some of our most loved BPM playlists below and get started!
One simple rule to remember: The higher the BPM the more intense your body will want to work! Our bodies respond to beats and rhythm and your body will want to match the beat. So, make sure you start low and work your way up, or once you're confident you can change these to suit your workout plan.
How to calculate your own running BPM
If consistency of pace is your training objective, you can actually take a musical BPM boost one step further...
There are ways to calculate what BPM your natural pace matches up to, so you can curate your own playlist that is customised to fit your own personal rhythm. Or, if you have a specific race time you're targeting, you can work backwards from that to find out what BPM you need to run at to meet that goal. Clever, right?
So, how do you work out your ideal running BPM?
The easiest way is to run for 60 seconds at a pace you know you feel comfortable running at, ideally on a treadmill. During this minute, count the number of times your feet hit the ground (perhaps enlist a friend to help with timing or counting so you can focus on running at a consistent pace). That simple method will give you your ideal BPM, which you can then use to seek out your new favourite running tracks.
If you're looking to use this technique to determine your target time pace, you need to layer in speed over distance into your calculations. Say, for example, you're aiming for a sub 2 hour half marathon. You know this equates to approximately 9:09 minutes per mile. You therefore need to go for a single mile run, where you are confident you can hit that rough 9 minute mark. Do your best to count your steps on this run, as dividing that number by 9 will give you your ideal half-marathon BPM.
It's not an exact science, but it's a good grounding for training at a consistent and suitable pace for what you're looking to achieve.
More tips to make your workouts even more effective...
1. DRINK WATER
Drink water! No really, it's that simple, drink water throughout the day to allow your body to hydrate before you lose that water when you sweat. Drinking water will also help reduce muscle fatigue and pain the next day.
2. MAKE A PROPER EXERCISE PLAN
Get prepared, even if it's a rough outline. Set your goals before you set off. Remember, you can only smash the goals you set!.
3.WORK OUT WITH A FRIEND
Not only is it fun but they can help spot you, join you on a run or educate you in an area you might be finding difficult. Motivate each other to do better and achieve firsts together.
4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Simple, yet effecttive. Make sure you're getting as much sleep as possible, not only will this help your muscles to recover but it will give you motivation too.
5. HAVE A PRE AND/OR POST-WORKOUT SNACK
We all need fuel for our bodies but we also need to ensure it's the best type of fuel to get the most out of our exercise. So, grab a bottle of For Goodness Shakes and unlock the power of protein!
FUEL your workout with Protein
Our PROactive Shake
Our Protein Shake offers the optimal pre-exercise boost. The 25g of protein you'll get in this shake supply every cell in your body with the ability to prepare and repair ahead of exertion.
REFUEL afterwards with Recovery
Our REactive Shake
Our Recovery Shake is all about building you back up when life wear you down. It guarantees refreshment whenever and wherever you need it most, whether it's after a run, a HIIT workout or a game of sport.
Learn how to fuel and refuel properly...
HOW PROTEIN FUELS A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Getting the right amount of protein in your diet is not just about body-building and muscle growth, but about fuelling every aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Learn how to unlock the power of protein here.READ ARTICLE
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER AFTER EXERCISE
Your go-to guide to understanding the importance of proper post-exercise recovery and how to do it right. Learn how to prevent muscle damage and build up your fitness in a healthy and constructive way.READ ARTICLE