Music is an excellent way to add some extra pep in your step as you blast through your power walk, and it can give you the stamina and determination to push that much harder at every workout. It’s hard to find a workout routine that’s not improved with the right soundtrack: From jogging to rowing, lifting to spinning, a steady rhythm and some catchy melodies make your workout time something fun rather than a necessary evil that you have to suffer through.
Since music is a form of art, everyone has their unique taste and preferences; the genre that makes a great pumped-up workout playlist for one person might not have the same effect at all for someone else. Some people seem physically incapable of holding still when they hear ’80s dance music while others get their best workout from a well-curated hip hop playlist.
There is a massive genre of music that’s often overlooked when athletes, trainers, and gym owners are putting together their playlists. It might be surprising to hear, but an excellent addition to any workout routine’s musical accompaniment comes from the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
But why classical?
Some will certainly meet this claim with skepticism. Even those who know nothing about music theory can easily tell that there’s just something different about classical, romantic, and baroque pieces that don’t have the same driving force that modern music does. Not to mention the fact that they’re generally much harder to sing along to, and if they have lyrics, you’ll need to take some lessons in Italian, German, or Latin first.
All this aside, classical pieces carry a timeless beauty that still evokes powerful emotions in people today. And in spite of the classical music clichés that spring to mind for some, there’s a wide selection of driving, fast-paced and intense classical music that can turn a simple jog into an orchestral journey.
After the hard workout is done, you can add an extra soothing layer to your cool-down session with some of the calmer and more relaxing pieces. Bach’s choral and organ work is great for soothing the mind as well as the muscles. Harnessing the musical and emotional prowess of these classical masters, you can make it much easier on yourself when trying to transition from intense workout mode to something a bit more mellow.
Why does music help a workout?
Part of the appeal of jamming out while breaking a sweat is simply the way it takes your mind away from the gym. Time seems to go by quicker when you’re enjoying yourself; if you’ve got the music that you love in your ears or blasting from your stereo, you’ll have less mental capacity to even think about how much your muscles are burning, how winded you are, or how you might prefer to be reclined in a cushioned chair with your feet up and a cool beverage in hand.
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to understand the primal instinct that human beings have to move their bodies when they hear music. No matter what the meter is, you’ll probably find yourself timing your steps, lifts, or punched to the beat – even if you don’t consider yourself musically inclined at all. For many people, an intuitive understanding of rhythm comes out when going through their workout playlist.
Whether you’re a pro athlete or someone who just wants to stay healthy, knowing where your source of inspiration is coming from helps you keep pushing through the most rigorous workouts. No matter how much you plan out your fitness goals, something will always feel like it’s missing if you don’t truly feel the joy and inspiration along the way. When a person listens to music, the synapses firing in the brain look like a firework show, which drives home just how broadly music activates the brain, sometimes inspiring people in ways they didn’t expect.