3 Secrets to Creating an Inspiring Workout Playlist

WEveryone’s been there: That moment in the workout when you don’t think you can. You can keep going. Then, a song changes, or a beat drops, and you find yourself going harder and faster towards that endorphin high.

“The right playlist can help you go further, go longer, give you confidence and make work more fun!” says Apple Fitness+ trainer Kim Ngo. “That’s why all our playlists on Fitness+ are designed to give you the energy and motivation you need at the right time We prefer to make a big bit drop at the moment when we know users will need it the most.”

While Fitness+ subscriptions were only available to Apple Watch users, Apple recently announced that all iPhone users will be able to subscribe starting this fall. A major differentiator from other digital workout programs? Fitness+ class playlists, created by instructors for each class. With the help of Apple Music’s curators, teachers hand-pick the songs and order them to match each exercise to create an inspiring workout playlist. While scrolling through the classes, you are able to see the type of music each workout features. And when you click on a class, you can also see a list of all song choices at the bottom

So what does it take to find the right music to push you through the toughest parts of your workout? We asked expert Apple Fitness+ music curators and coaches for tips on how to create a motivational workout playlist—especially when you need that extra boost.

Choose songs that take you back to good times

Jesse Blake, Apple Music’s global fitness editor, says his approach is to “make sure the trainer is intimately connected to each song choice. Ideally, it should feel like a personalized mixtape they’ve designed for each workout.” So when you’re selecting music, dig deep into your memory to find songs that you feel a bond with.

Use different beats and styles to execute each movement

That said, experimentation—especially with different musical elements—is also important.

“When creating music playlists for workouts, whether treadmill or HIIT, I like to experiment with different tempos to drive motivation and help users reach their full potential,” says Fitness+ instructor Jamie-Rae Hartshorne. “It’s natural to add speed or intensity during high tempo songs, but slow music with hard beats and lots of emotion can be just as inspiring, and have what you need to help you when you want to step back. “

Other elements of the game include genre and BPM (beats per minute). A higher BPM song will be faster, so it can motivate you to speed up. A low BPM song might just be the slow and steady beat you need to get you through a heavy lifting session.

“If we’re pushing through hard and challenging intervals together in a cycling workout, I’ll throw on a heavy hip hop or music with a pure dance beat,” says Fitness+ instructor Ty Désean. “On other rides, I might look for a more emotional message through music. If I’m really in the mood to show all sides of Ty, I’ll add a few musical theater dance tracks to help liven up the party and keep you inspired and inspired.”

Consider the mood you want to create

Don’t forget to set the tone of your workout. Music can play a large and often surprising role.

“Music is a great tool for setting and carrying the energy of a workout, as well as adding all the feels,” says Fitness+ instructor Jessica Skye. “For example, a playlist for a slow flow yoga practice is to create a mellow mood to help users feel calm, relaxed and centered. So I try to create an audio experience that matches the flow with tempo, key, percussion style and Lean on everything from words.”

Think of your playlist as an opportunity to connect with the music you love, experiment with new genres, tap into your emotional needs, and add variety and drama to the corner. Then add your own personality to bring that party to life. You got this!

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