How To Make Your Own Workout Playlist

Recently, I suffered through one of the most devastating experiences ever: having my iPod die on me while I was on the elliptical.  As I struggled through the remainder of my workout without any songs to keep me motivated, I realized that the key to a great workout is a great workout playlist.  I have had my own personal set of songs for about three years now, and I rarely deviate from it when I go to the KAC.  For those of you who have spent all of your lives without workout music, or if you’re thinking about starting a work out routine and are unsure on how to pump yourself up, look no further than these helpful hints!

1.  The Warm-Up.  Just like when you start working out, you don’t want to get too intense too quickly.  I keep my beginning songs low-key, but they still have a quick enough beat to get my heart ready.  Some of my favorite warm-up songs are “Shuffle” by Bombay Bicycle Club and “Good Day” by Nappy Roots. 


2.  The Rising Action.  As you may have heard in middle school English class, all good stories need rising action that helps carry the plot to its climax.  It’s the same with good workouts.  Listen to songs like “Here I Come” by Fergie or “Pressure” by Paramore to help you reach a higher level of intensity.


3.  The First Milestone.  This is a period of celebration!  Maybe you’ve passed the first mile, or burned the first 100 calories, or did whatever it is that makes you feel accomplished.  Celebrate all the hard work that you’ve done so far and all that you still have to accomplish with tunes such as “Pumpin Blood” by No No No or “Vegas” by All Time Low.


4.  The “Period of Pain”.  This period of the workout occurs a few minutes after your first milestone.  Your muscles are starting to burn, your breath is more labored, and maybe you’re starting to get a little bit bored.  So, I really pile on the power chords and the quick bass-lines here to help bring my mood back up.  I especially like songs such as “A Certain Shade of Green” by Incubus and “Work B**ch” by Britney Spears, because even their lyrics inspire me to push harder.


5.  The Hard Part is Over.  As you end the most intense part of your workout and start heading for the cool-down, keep your songs of choice upbeat, but maybe a little less peppy than the ones you used to help you through the “Period of Pain".  I find that “Schizophrenia” by Jukebox the Ghost and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” by Ed Sheeran do just the trick.


6.  The Cool-Down.  Bring the beat to a slower pace and maybe turn the volume down a little bit as you start slowing down and ending your workout.  Use the cool-down period as a period of mediation; think about all that you have done, even when you said that you couldn’t do it.  I like to cool down with “Cali Dreamin” by Kid Ink “Closer to the Sun” by Slightly Stoopid. 

Of course, my songs are just suggestions.  But no matter how you construct it, your workout playlist should be something that inspires you to push boundaries and accomplish goals.  So surf through Spotify or YouTube and start finding songs that will inspire you!


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