Music is probably one of the most important things about my workouts. The right music keeps me on point every single second while I am at the gym – when reps are getting tough, if I’m feeling sluggish, or when I’m starting to feel exhausted during a high intensity cardio or weight-lifting session, it’s there to pick me up, always – every single time.
Now I am not one of those people who ‘if I forget my earphones, I must go home to get them to workout or will skip the gym if I don’t have music’ kind of person. I show up and still stay dedicated – sticking it out and fighting the good fight through the eternal sadness of echoing silence, the boring gym speaker music, the sound of people grunting weird and all the dumbbells dropping constantly.
One thing I do know is that my workouts do suffer slightly when I have no music. They also will suffer if my workout routine stays the same for too long. It gets boring and that’s what I try to avoid.
Luckily for me, I usually never forget my headphones and I always keep the right music spinning on my gym playlist – constantly. These habits have helped me stay dedicated to my workouts for almost 10 consecutive years. The rest of my success is due to a persistence of growing and learning throughout my fitness journey. I am hungry to keep pushing limits.
Once a week I set some time aside to plan my playlist, downloading new songs and pitching the songs I’m sick of. This makes all of my workouts always seem fresh and new. I also like to change up my workouts every few weeks depending on my goals, rotate my focus muscle groups or give a certain move a break for a little while and add it back in when I’m ready.
“I have never quit a workout early, EVER and it’s totally because I crank up the right music and plan my workouts accordingly. I make sure I always have a plan ready to go before my workout.”
My Secret to Staying Motivated and Persistent while Working Out
If I say I am going run high-speed for 20 minutes, I do just that. If I’m going to do 15 reps, that’s what I do. I don’t do 12. I stick it out until I get to 15 – no matter what.
During any cardio exercise I don’t ever quit early or turn the speed lower if I feel tired. I hang on and sometimes it’s miserable, but I don’t ever throw in the towel. There are plenty of times I kind of think about how I am tired but then I always reset my mind in motion. It’s almost like a self-talk… I think to myself “Kelly… you can’t think about the end, you are here now and have 2 more miles to go.” And like a burst of fresh air, I am back in the game and my mind is ready to kick it hard until the finish line.
If I’m not feeling the gym that day (doesn’t happen much), I always turn to music as a boost. I listen to it right before I start my workout. I pick the right song that will pump me up. It gets me going right from the start!
“It’s hard to believe that I actually stay on point for my entire workout every single day I’m at the gym, but I do.”
I always think I am giving it 1000% during my workouts until I get further along in my fitness journey and look back. That’s when I always realize how much more efficient I have gotten by seeing the results from all the exercises I have explored.
For instance, I just started lifting serious weights 2 years ago and only recently finally learned how to build the exact muscles I want through the right exercises and focus. Before I was all caught up in how many sets and kept repeating the same stuff. Now I know better. I know what it takes to build a muscular and toned physique and it took me 10 years! Talk about a fitness journey.
It’s your knowledge of how your body works that builds muscle, not doing 40 minutes of cardio and some core work. You gotta know your shit and stay persistent.
Music is my Secret Weapon at the Gym
While at the gym, if I start to feel tired or if I’m about to attempt to kill some serious reps – I turn it to a current favorite song for that extra kick of motivation to power through and it absolutely helps me hit my goals. I can’t stay there has ever been a day where it didn’t work and that’s pretty darn impressive!
I am also am a huge music person, so this natural boost of energy also comes from my passion for music! Not everyone may enjoy music like I do that and that’s cool – but they should!
Not a music junkie? Find something that motivates you – like a podcast, a friend, a show or just read and divert yourself from your workout. Do what works to get you started to to keep you wanting to go to the gym.
The Kind of Music that Motivates Workouts
When I am curating a playlist, I always look for songs with the right tempo or raw emotion that tiggers my “motivation” or “good memory” part of my brain.
Someone of us have old classics, songs from the top 40 charts growing up or hip hop beats that brings us back in time and floods our brains with feel-good hormones. Those work great too.
I spend a lot of time on Apple Music’s search tab – trying to find new artists, upbeat playlists and some of my all time favorite songs to keep adding to my playlist. Since I am in my 30’s – it gets harder to find good new music because I have a tendency to prefer music from 10-20 years ago.
Here is my Top 5 Tips on how Music can Help Light up your Workouts
1. Dull playlist = duller workout. Just delete them!
2. Music is key to getting in the zone to actually build muscle and to ignore/fight back the uncomfortable pain of muscle exhaustion. This is when music acts like your very own superhero.
3. Always keep your playlist fresh. Blend in the new with the old – constantly.
4. Match the rhythm of your music to the rhythm of your body movements. Getting in sync keeps your heart-rate up and your body wanting more!
5. Step out of your normal music comfort zone. You might very well surprise yourself and get hooked on some new music which is good for you!
Here’s a list of 27 songs that fricken fuel me up.
It’s a good mix of everything. There’s no doubt a few songs won’t get you all fired up.
Now go get to work!