Beats Per Minute: Why BPM is your New BFF

Are you letting your workouts get the best of you due to boredom? Routines are great, but sometimes you get stuck in a rut. Aside from alternating work out routines or adding new activities to your active lifestyle, like climbing or TRX, we’ve discovered one easy fix to getting that heart rate up as well as jazz up any repetitive work out regimen!

The CYS Solution: Pump Up The Jam

Doctors and researchers have spent decades analyzing the effects of music on heart rate and have come to a very interesting interesting conclusion. When choosing your playlist to get your sweat on studies have shown that the most important element influencing your work out and increasing your heart rate is the song’s tempo. The music must be between the range of 120 to 140 Beats Per Minute, B.P.M., which roughly corresponds to the average fit adult’s heart rate during a work out. Maintaining this B.P.M. range in your music selection can greatly influence the pace & your mental readiness to push yourself your limits.

Most commercial dance music or rock songs fall in that range. For instance,  “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” by the Black Eyed Peas is 130 B.P.M. and “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers 150 B.P.M. Furthermore, songs with high B.P.M. help cue the body and allow us to naturally utilize rhythm to coordinate movement.

…as anyone who has heard Metallica blasting from a weight room stereo knows, music is a motivator in strength training, too. “The vast majority of bodybuilders are fans of heavy metal, if not in their personal life at least in the gym,” said Shawn Perine, a senior writer at Flex magazine. Loud, aggressive music, he said, “keeps you elevated, especially in between sets.”

However there are a variety of different motivational qualities of a song depending on the physical activity. Dr. Karageorghis writes that a song “evokes a state of optimism and excitement in the listener.” We all can relate to that! Even I enjoy a good Rage Against Machine or Britney Spears throwback to boost my energy during a long run.
Tips on selecting your effective fitness playlist:

1. Select a song between 120-150 B.P.M. Not sure if your song falls in that category? compare it to the examples we gave above. It should be reasonably decipherable if you just give it a good listen or test it out during a work out & ask yourself, “Does this song really get me excited, both emotionally and physically, about the activity I’m doing?”

2. Check out for albums used in group fitness classes that could be a great addition to your playlist. They are tailored to certain physical activities, such as spin, cardio, or aerobics, so some albums may be great for your cycling routine or that tough cardio interval sprints training you do.

3. Continue to mix it up & refresh your playlist. New & motivational songs can greatly influence your work out, so be sure to dedicate time to compiling a powerful playlist to keep your active lifestyle on track. Whenever I download a new song I’m a little too excited to try it out on my morning run!

What are you waiting for?!… Download those power house tunes for your next work out!


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Categories: Athletics, Fitness, Music


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