The most important aspect of my workouts is my playlist. The music I stream through my AirPods depends on what kind of workout I’m going to have. This is what motivates me during the exercises that I force myself to do that day.
There obviously can’t be just one designated playlist for each workout. Depending on the intensity and the type of training, the music must adapt to it. Here are some of my top tips for creating the ultimate playlist for every type of workout.
Cardio based workouts
A motivating playlist is definitely the most important thing when doing cardio. There’s nothing worse than being on your last sprint and hearing a song like Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” There’s no time to skip songs while doing cardio, which means the playlist of choice is extremely important.
My biggest tip for cardio playlists is to include all of your favorite workout songs, no matter how embarrassing those songs might be. Shamelessly, my cardio playlist is full of several songs from the “Glee Cast” – I mean, I can’t help but their high-energy songs make me run faster.
Unlike cardio, strength training involves more breaks and time to breathe. Having the “Glee Cast” blasting in your ears while doing a series of slow squats would definitely cause some embarrassment and distress. For me, strength training is a time to listen to all my favorite songs because they help me stay motivated and focused during my workout.
Workouts based on yoga and pilates
It’s time for a more relaxing and relaxed playlist. Songs should keep you cool and present in the moment. If I’m feeling really zen and want to bring out my inner yogi, I throw the eight-hour Rain Sounds playlist on Spotify. Yoga and pilates are the only two workouts in which it’s okay to hear your own breathing – keep the volume low and stay in the moment.
One of my favorite workouts is a simple walk outside. For me, a long walk is more a time to clear my head than a workout I have to do. A walk is the perfect time to fire up your favorite podcast and immerse yourself in the conversation. One of my biggest mistakes, however, is choosing what type of podcast to listen to. There was a period when I listened 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 unwind.
My playlist has the ability to make or break my workouts. Some workouts go well with my favorite songs while others are fine with background music. It’s important not to get too caught up in what everyone else is listening to. Find out which songs drive you to have the best workout because, at the end of the day, everyone’s playlist is unique.