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Music & workouts – what’s the ultimate tune to sweat to?

Music & workouts – what’s the ultimate tune to sweat to?

I don’t know about you, but if I leave my headphones at home when I go to the gym, I have a mini tantrum and consider going straight back home and right into bed. Music is a huge motivation for working out. Not only have studies found that it improves general workout performance, it also relieves boredom, increases stamina and puts you in a better mood. A 2012 study found that when people listened to music they found ‘pleasing’, they had higher levels of serotonin (a chemical hormone that makes us happy). Therefore, listening to your favourite song can get you in a good mood for your workout. Different sounds motivate different people, some even find listening to the sound of zombies chasing you can keep you moving in a workout (no thank you!). But have you ever wondered what the ultimate tune is to vibe to when you work out? Rock? Drum and bass? Pop? Classical?! Auro have done the research for you and have found some pretty interesting answers…


Rock n’ Roll

Interestingly, research by Brunel University concluded that rock music should be avoided during workouts due to the frequent change in tempo which could affect your rhythm. However, if you are a hard rock lover or heavy metal junkie, anyone could guess that the music genre is so packed full of energy that it is hard not to feel pumped when you listen to it. The powerful lyrics and use of repetition can make you feel un-stoppable and get you fired up for your work out. We would advise you to use the change in tempo to your advantage. For example, if you are doing a spin class or interval sprints, use the change in tempo for the chorus to really push yourself to run / pedal faster, then when the tempo slows again, lower your speed to match this. This interval style training is a great way to increase your metabolism and burn fat.



Pop music is upbeat, fast paced, catchy and has a good rhythm. A 2010 study claims that fast-paced tunes can encourage you to push yourself and work harder. Sometimes, the emotion and lyrics of a song can affect your workout more than the actual tempo of the music. The lyrics of a song can alter your mood as you may empathise with what the artist is saying. Listening to songs with empowering lyrics can give you a positive mindset. Pop song lyrics usually describe the ups and downs of relationships, therefore, whatever the mood (or relationship status!), you can throw on a pop song to lift your spirits and push you through that tough workout.


Rap / Hip Hop

Hip hop music is hugely popular right now. Its boss lyrics and fast rhythm can definitely get you hyped up to do that final set of reps. Sports psychologists at Brunel University analysed the beats per minute for the most popular workout songs on Spotify and found rap and hip-hop provide the best beats for stretching and running. Alternatively, dance music was found to be ideal for strength training, whilst pop is good for cooling down.


Alternative Rock

The foundation of a lot of alternative songs are about overcoming obstacles, making them perfect for working out. Additionally, the consistent beat helps with breathing and reps. Research suggests music with a slower rhythm can help aid quicker recovery time, lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate, making alternative style music better for cooling down or gentle exercise like yoga and pilates.



There are so many awesome music genres and songs to listen to. The bottom line is, we all have different music tastes, and at the end of the day, you should listen to whatever makes you happy and releases those endorphins to keep a positive attitude inside and outside of the gym.

Whatever you like to vibe to when you work out, Auro have the perfect playlist for you. Check out our Spotify for tons of great playlists created for every workout and music taste! We have also now integrated with Apple Music and Amazon! So, you can listen to your favourite tunes whilst listening to our expert PT’s take you through your workout. Start your free trial today.

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