Use Music to Drive Your Workouts

Eric C. Stevens
Martial Arts, Sport Psychology, Boxing

I’ve taught several thousand exercise classes in my 16 years in the fitness business. The success of those classes was determined by several variables, from safe and effective programming, to the flow of class, to high-level coaching and communicating. But in addition to nuts and bolts of exercise selection, perhaps the most underrated and important variable in developing a successful fitness class is music.


Costas Karageorghis, a leading psychology expert on the effects of music on exercise, calls music “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.” When it comes to programming a great workout, music matters, and it matters immensely. Think of watching a movie without a soundtrack. Whether we realize it or not, music significantly contributes to the feel of a film. Similarly, the entire mood, emotion, and energy in an exercise class has much to do with the ‘soundtrack’ of your class.


At face value, putting music on to exercise to seems fairly straightforward. After all, how hard can it be? Go to Spotify, pull up an up-tempo playlist, and hit play. All good, right? Not necessarily. Here’s how to make to most of your music for a successful exercise class and a killer workout.


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