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Music and training: three playlists for each moment of your workout

by Gabriele Ferraresi / LUZ
For at least a century medicine has been studying the link between sports performance and music: but only in recent years have we had a series of tests and research that have shown how music acts on our body and especially on our minds during training.


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More music, less tiring workouts

Research at Brunel University di Londra n London, for example, found that trainers listening to Marvin Gaye's classic Motown I heard it through the grapevine, felt less fatigue and perceived the training session as shorter than the actual duration.

Music is, therefore, a fundamental stimulus to train for longer and to help us stay in shape.


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So what kind of music is best? The key to everything is the bpm, that is the beats per minute, the rhythm: listening to Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde doesn't have the same effects on our brains as Cardi B's last single. To make our efforts less hard in the gym - either running or cycling - it's better to choose songs with a time ranging from 120 to 140 bpm.

Music is therefore a fundamental stimulus to resist longer and help us stay in shape.

Beats per minutes under 120? They are useful maybe for preliminary stretching sessions, but they wouldn’t help us much if we needed to do to a high energy workout or run the 100 meters. Going over 140 bpm - the norm for genres like punk hardcore, drum’n’bassspeed metal - doesn't seem to produce any sensitive effects on our bodies.


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Researcher Costas I. Karageorghis in Applying Music in Exercise and Sport goes further into those mechanisms that govern our performance and music. Moreover, he shows how our performances improve by listening to music while we train. According to Karageorghis between 15% and 20%, adding that those who listen to music while training need about 7% less oxygen than those who listen to nothing and keep the "white noise" of the gym as a background.
The home of Motown, home to the historic label of Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5 and many other icons of soul and black music
To stay in the right range of bpm both pop and rock are perfect and there have long been playlists designed specifically for training. The ideal? Match the soundtrack to the mood and activity for which we are about to train, avoiding rhythms that are too syncopated, or that change within the same piece.

The best thing is to have a constant rhythm section, able to accompany our fatigue in a fluid way, and above all, to make us feel less.

Side effects and small precautions to listen to music

Side effects? Not really: but with headphones or earphones it is always better to pay attention to volume, especially if we perform physical activity in roads with heavy traffic where it is essential for our safety to maintain contact with the sounds that surround us.
Another undesirable effect, underlined by Marcelo Bigliassi, a researcher at Brunel University, is that listening to music during physical exertion gets us so used to "natural doping" that we can no longer do without it. The risk?

Not being able to train anymore without the right music to lighten our efforts. But that's a risk we're willing to take.

Three BPM workout playlists

So, as we wrote recently, bpm is very important in defining the concept of playlists.  The Beats Per Minute are in fact used to define the metrics of music (in simple terms as a song "pushes"), the same unit of measure also serves to specify the heart rate, so the two concepts are so closely linked especially in cardio activities (such as indoor cycling, running or elliptical in the room).
Training and music: a combination confirmed by science
Our reference, however, at this time remains that of the songs to listen to for training, so the BPM are referred to the music and not to the heart rate.

Keeping this context in mind, we have selected a series of Spotify playlists suitable to keep the right pace according to each workout situation.

Pop Warmup (130 BPM)


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A very successful playlist on Spotify, with almost 100,000 followers, it was made for those who want to keep up with the times and with their own training. The songs are mainly electronic music, music in which the drop is designed to boost your workout. The presence of artists like Armin Van Buuren ensures the right amount of progression, if necessary.

Runner’s Club (160 BPM)


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Runner's Club
This is also a very popular playlist, in Runner's Club where you touch the strings of nostalgia and memories to use the best of yourself in the workout.
Running is an activity with which music goes perfectly together

Running to Rock (170-190 BPM)


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Running to Rock
The most followed official Spotify playlist is the one with one of the highest BPM ranges (170-190). This is because scientific research demonstrates how intense and energetic music helps athletic performance.

It was found by research from a Georgia Southern University research that most of the best performing athletes did so with music from the high number of BPMs.

Girl with earphones runs to the park
This type of music allows at certain times of the workout and with the right mood, to improve performance but also to improve the mood of the athlete, as well as significantly increase the level of excitement before a competition. Intense music, therefore, puts positive energy into the athlete's mind. Not only that: it is able to change the mood of the athlete if he is not prepared to focus on their workout. The selection of Running to Rock collects up-tempo pieces of contemporary rock by Papa Roach, In Flames and Within Temptation and others is exactly what it takes for a shock of energy marked by the straight case.

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