Lifestyle, Music

Making the ultimate workout playlist

The most important aspect of my workouts is my playlist. The music I blast in my AirPods is dependent on the type of workout I am going to have. This is what keeps me motivated during whatever exercises I’m forcing myself to do that day.

There obviously can’t be just one designated playlist for every workout. Depending on the intensity and type of workout, the music needs to adapt to it. Here are some of my best tips on making the ultimate playlist for every type of workout. 

Cardio-based workouts

A motivating playlist is definitely most important when doing cardio. There is nothing worse than being on your last sprint and having a song like “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift come on. There is no time for skipping songs while doing cardio, which means the playlist of choice is extremely important. 

A person wearing MBR earbuds before a workout. From cardio to outdoor walks, Grace Knoop provides tips to cultivating an elite workout playlist. COURTESY OF CALEY VANULAR VIA UNSPLASH

My biggest tip for cardio playlists is to include all of your favorite upbeat songs, no matter how embarrassing those songs might be. Unashamedly, my cardio playlist is full of multiple songs from the “Glee Cast” — I mean, I can’t help that their peppy songs make me run faster. 

Strength training workouts

Unlike cardio, strength training involves more breaks and time to breathe. Having the “Glee Cast” blasting in your ears while doing a set of slow squats would definitely cause some annoyance and distress. For me, strength training is a time to listen to all my favorite songs since they help keep me motivated and focused during my workout. 

Yoga and pilates-based workouts

This is the time for a more chill, relaxed playlist. The songs need to keep you level-headed and present in the moment. If I am really feeling zen and want to bring out my inner yogi, I bust out the eight-hour rain sounds playlist on Spotify. Yoga and pilates are the only two workouts in which it is acceptable to hear your own breathing —  keep the volume low and stay in the moment. 

Outdoor walks

One of my favorite workouts to do is just a simple walk outside. For me, a long walk is more of a time to clear my head than a workout I have to get through. A walk is the perfect time to throw on your favorite podcast and just immerse yourself in the conversation. One of my biggest mistakes, however, is choosing what type of podcast to listen to. There was a period of time when I would listen to news podcasts. However, my walks are a time for me to completely let go of my day and finally decompress, so the stress of listening to the news was not an effective way to relax.

My playlist has the ability to make or break my workouts. Some workouts go well with my favorite songs while others are suited for background music. It is important to not get too caught up in what everyone else is listening to. Learn what songs push you to have the best workout because, ultimately, everyone’s playlist is unique.

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