Whether you’re looking for a playlist to fire you up or tunes with metronomic rhythm, we’ve got it covered.
We’ve all felt it; the rush of energy and inspiration that a groovy beat or motivating melody can give you as you pound the pavement. It’s no illusion. Fact. Music helps you train harder and longer.
Research by Professor Peter Terry, a sports psychologist at the University of Southern Queensland, has proven there is a scientific link between music and performance, both in terms of being a motivator and a distraction. His research suggests the right magical melody helps you “get in the zone”, improve energy efficiency, improve your mood, heighten arousal, lessen pain and inspire activity.
Are you A, B or C?
A – You’re looking for a playlist to fire you up as you pound the pavement. Forget a leisurely jog, you want to be pushing for your personal best.
B – Are you thinking it’s time to tone up and work on your muscular strength? Or maybe you’re looking for music to block out the blokes in the weight room and get you in the zone.
C – You’re walking your way to weight loss and a wonderful mood.
If you’re an A:
1. Around the World – Daft Punk
2. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
3. Firestarter – The Prodigy
4. The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim
5. Cry for You – September
WHY: Inspired by The Brunel Music Rating Inventory, research found 36 runners cut an average of half a second off their 400-metre times when they listened to music in a certain tempo range. Choose tunes in the BPM sweet spot – 120 to 140. To kick into high gear when you need it most, pick one fast-paced song (at least 130 BPM) whose lyrics fire you up and position it to play at the point you start feeling like giving up the ghost.
If you’re B:
1. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
2. Lose Yourself – Eminem
3. Umbrella – Rihanna
4. Gotta Get Thru This – Daniel Bedingfield
5. Kanye West – Stronger
WHY: A 2006 study at York St John University in the UK found that students could hold a 2.4 pound weight straight out in front of their bodies at shoulder height for up to 10 per cent longer when they listened to a workout playlist that had motivational pop or rock music for the entire torturous session.
If you’re C:
The choice is yours! You probably want a tune with metronomic rhythm that propels you to continue, but maybe orchestral symphonies are more your style. Pick a playlist that suits your mood and motive; low BPM for a leisurely stroll and high BPM for that brisk power walk.
WHY: Music will give your movement rhythm and stop you from getting bored. Talk about time management too – walking the dog might be the first chance you have to listen to Foster the People’s new album or the dreamy vocals of Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
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