Music can enhance performance or it can detract from it, radically. If you’re the sort who prefers music while training, here are a few ideas to keep in mind before you slip in your ear buds and get busy.
Know What Works
Like everyone, you have a favored style of music to get pumped up. Some people like hard rock, the whole time. Some people prefer indie rock. Classical music really fires some people up. Experiment, find what’s right for you, and if you don’t find it right away, keep listening and being attentive until you do.
Set the Mood
What emotions do you like to tap into when you train? Do you like to feel empowered? Angry? Mad? Tranquil? Blissed out? Think about what state of mind you find to be most useful when you enter the zone, and select songs that help you to slip into this mental space. Again, experimentation will help you find the right mood for your training music, and your preferences may vary from week to week or month to month.
Keep Time in Mind
You can also use your playlist to keep track of time during your workout. If you’re doing five-minute rounds, select songs that are five minutes long. If you’re using a sets and reps scheme and don’t want to break your flow, think about a continuous DJ mix that will give you wall-to-wall music without any breaks during the course of your session.
Remember Your Cool Down
You should know roughly how long your workout will be before you start. Keeping this in mind, the end of your playlist should have music that will help wind you down while you engage in some low intensity movement and stretching.
If you have a playlist you’ve been using for a long time and have grown tired of it, budget time before your next workout to sit down at the computer and draw up a new, more inspiring playlist. Like fitness and everything else in life, our musical preferences and what motivates us musically are not unchanging things etched in stone.