Fitness Articles

How to Create the Perfect Workout Playlist

Boost Your Exercise Mojo with the Right Music

3.2KSHARES
 
4. Recovery Songs
After any pump-you-up song, it’s important to have a moderate- to slow-paced song after it to recover. Because you’ll usually be out of breath from the previous song, choose a track that you really enjoy and find meaning in. During these songs you want to slow down your pace, but still stay motivated enough to keep up your workout. Songs like “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor and “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree are perfect picks.
 
5. In-Between Songs
Unless you plan to do a full workout of intervals (in which case you’d just need a warm-up, cool down and multiple pump-you-up and recovery songs in the middle), you’re going to need some songs that hold your interest and keep you motivated. For these in-between songs, your absolute favorite moderate-paced tracks work best. For example, my guiltiest pleasure is pop music, so every time I head out for a long run, I jam-pack my iPod with Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani. My husband, on the other hand, loves Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis, so he lifts to that. A friend of mine loves Garth Brooks when he cycles. All of our workout playlists are so different, but they all work to motivate us. No matter the genre or guilty pleasure, just make sure that the beat keeps you moving. And try not to sing along too loud!
 
6. Finale Song
This is the mother of all songs on your playlist. The finale song is basically a pump-you-up song times 10 because it has to inspire you at the time in your workout when you’re the most tired—the very end! This song should remind you that you just have a little bit left to do and then motivate you to give it your all. “The Final Countdown” by Europe or “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor are sure to inspire your last few minutes.
 
7. Cool Down Track
The cool down track should be slow and give credit where credit is due—to you, of course! “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera is always a good one to play, as is “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. Be sure to cool down for at least five minutes—you may need more than one song to cool down to, which isn’t a bad thing since it gives you more time to enjoy music that you love. 
 

You may already have a go-to workout playlist, but structuring it in this way is guaranteed to push you harder and faster! And remember, it doesn’t matter what genre of songs you choose, it just matters that you enjoy them.
 
Looking for Song Ideas?
Check out SparkPeople's Workout Music for pre-made workout mixes availble for purchase, or get more music ideas from Coach Nicole here:
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
‹ Previous Page   Page 2 of 2  
3.2KSHARES

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

More Great Features

Connect With SparkPeople

Subscribe to our Newsletters

About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • CHENABEEBEE
    The problem I have with these workout song lists is they are always oriented towards the young crowd. It would be great to post a list for the older generation - music that we love. - 10/25/2014 12:39:16 PM
  • Good ideas. - 8/8/2014 5:29:09 AM
  • GRATEFULLUZ
    Great article. Thanks for the guidance- I'm off to revamp my playlist! - 8/7/2014 9:56:19 AM
  • I just created a new playlist based on this idea. Great idea!! - 8/7/2014 9:21:27 AM
  • My gym playlist, entitled "RAAAAAAAAH!!!" is nothing but METAL.
    \m/ - 8/7/2014 8:35:37 AM
  • I too also randomize my playlists. I also don't mind adding and subtracting songs once in a while...if it becomes repetitive, it's less motivating. - 8/7/2014 4:43:29 AM
  • I pretty much do the same thing - 6/23/2014 5:57:45 AM
  • MMGAGE1701
    I think the key to building a good workout playlist is to pick songs that make you feel good. They might not ever make a suggested list on a website or be something that anyone else would choose, but if they make YOU feel good then put 'em on your list! - 6/22/2014 11:06:51 AM
  • ETHELMERZ
    I'm not sure I want a "killer" track............
    ......;) - 2/9/2014 1:52:17 PM
  • Good article - music can be the key to pushing through a workout when you want to give up. - 11/28/2013 6:19:16 AM
  • workout playlists arent just for working out... my job at work is ALOT of very repetative computer work lengths of time with very little human interaction. i listen to my workout playlist in the morning to wake me up. :) later on i switch my ipod to play all songs. - 9/6/2013 8:06:47 AM
  • "My" music will likely never be featured on a playlist other than my own. I tend to have a lot of Irish stuff, old swing music. The most "pop" I have is U2 (the bulk of which is from the 80's). I also have hours worth of music so it doesn't repeat often. I think it just has to be whatever works for you, but I totally agree about that last song being the big push/motivator for the end, particular when I was doing C25K stuff. - 9/5/2013 7:01:03 AM
  • AZURE-SKY
    I copied all my favorite music onto my MP3 player, and put it into random mode when I exercise. I hate listening to the same playlist over and over again - it gets really boring. I don't exercise to the beat of the music anyway.

    This way, I get a mix of everything from ABBA to the Beach Boys to ZZTop, with a little Mozart and Wynton Marsilis thrown in for variety.
    - 1/22/2013 12:55:41 PM
  • SMAIDA
    my favorite finale song is 'End of the Line' by the Travelling Wilburys.... really helps me get through that last bit - 9/26/2012 11:11:13 AM
  • I listen to Fitradio when I am running on the treadmill. Awesome workout music... never gets boring. - 9/25/2012 8:37:30 AM
Popular Calories Burned Searches: SparkPeople Cardio Blast DVD: Jump Rope (Coach Nicole)  |  SparkPeople Cardio Blast DVD: Cardio Bootcamp (Coach Nicole)  |  Wii Fit exercise (beginner or low intensity)

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 31! Get a FREE Personalized Plan