A glimpse into the Coach’s Oats office culture: We plank (or perform another core exercise) for 3 minutes every hour.* During one particular plank, Coach decided to jam-out to a 6 minute live version of Katmandu by Bob Seger. The entire office couldn’t help but bop, tap or somehow move along to the tune while holding a pose. That plank spurred this post and the benefits music has on athletic activity.
Have you ever been in the middle of a workout and hear yourself breathing, feel the discomfort in your legs or been aware of how hard a physical activity is? Music helps distract the brain from your body’s exertion. Costas Karageorghis, an expert on the psychology of exercise music, stated, “Given that exercise is often tiresome, boring and arduous, anything that relieves those negative feelings would be welcome.”
Not only is music distracting, but also enjoyable. It is often linked to fun memories, experiences and feel-good emotions. Listening to music while exercising can fire you up and help extend the sweat-sesh time. “Listening to music is an incredibly pleasurable experience and certain songs open the mental floodgates with which people control their emotions in everyday situations.”¹
Moving to the beat (efficiently)
Finding that sweet rhythm can help your body sync to the beat and “may help the body use energy more efficiently.”² Whether the workout is a long run, aerobic HIIT class or beneficial stretch music can be an additional tool for fitness success.
We did a little more digging into the specific rhythms or beats that were found to be most beneficial while exercising:
Songs at 120 beats per minute (bpm) are found to be most common to start moving and “unconsciously settle into a rhythm.”³ Songs in this range are beneficial for lifting weights, and faster paced running.
Songs at 120 bpm (Jog.fm):
- Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
- All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers
- I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett
- Sugar – Maroon 5
- Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepson
Songs at 145 bpm (the ceiling effect beat, where songs with higher bpm don’t necessarily affect additional motivation Jog.fm):
- We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel
- Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
- My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
- Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
- Shake It Up – The Cars
Songs at 160 bpm were found to be beneficial to when running on the treadmill (Jog.fm):
- Hey Ya – Outkast
- Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
- The Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy
- Don’t Lose my Number – Phil Collins
- La Grange – ZZ Top
Want to run a 7-minute mile pace? Some runners were found jamming to songs with 180 bpm (Jog.fm):
- Ramblin’ Man – Allman Brothers
- Mahna, Mahna – Cake
- Rock and Roll – Led Zeppelin
- Tusk – Fleetwood Mac
- Paris (ooh la la) – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Don’t forget a cool down or a long run and steady distance pace which are found at 110 bpm (Jog.fm):
- Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
- Let’s Get it Started – Black eyed Peas
- Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
- Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
- Whenever Wherever – Shakira
Favorite Songs from the Coach’s Oats office:
Thunderstruck – AC/DC 134 bpm
Whatever it Takes – Imagine Dragons 135 bpm
Lights Out – UFO 142 bpm
A Town Called Malice – The Jam 102 bpm
Katmandu – Bob Seger 140 bpm
Happy Dance – MercyMe 125 bpm
Sucker – Jonas Brothers 138 bpm
Look What God Gave Her – Thomas Rhett 113 bpm
Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder 125 bpm
So, find your favorite songs and get excited about getting your sweat on. You may even find you run in cadence with the beat. And eat a healthy breakfast of Coach’s Oats, of course.
Find your workout playlist or songs with the right beat here.
*Not bragging! The office started with planking for 1 minute and increased to 3 minutes over time.
**Safety: Please be aware of your surroundings while exercising with music.