Does Music Maximize Your Workout?

Common sense tells us that music, more often than not, makes people respond positively. Especially when the music is upbeat, has a high tempo and is loud! Incorporating good music into your workout offers multiple benefits, from physiological to bio-mechanical and neurological.

There is a plethora of research available that proves that music improves cardiovascular endurance. The Science Daily published an article featuring a study from the U.S. periodical Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology that music can enhance endurance by 15%! Incorporating music into your running or workout routines can also improve the ‘feeling states,’ helping you derive much greater pleasure from the task. According to the study, music can also help exercisers feel more positive even when they are working out at a very high intensity – close to physical exhaustion.

It’s very simple: When we workout at a higher intensity, we burn more calories, resulting in weight and fat loss which best of all – allows us to get closer to our fitness goals! Whether you are doing a group fitness class, jogging, spinning, weight training or simply riding on a bicycle, as I encourage all of my personal fitness clients & physical therapy patients, I encourage you to incorporate positive up-beat music into your exercise routines.

The key to a successful workout session is reaching a maximum heart rate zone anywhere from 65-95% of your maximum heart rate! For over 10 years, playing exciting and up-tempo music has been a key ingredient to my group fitness classes. By incorporating high energy house, hip hop, dance, alternative and pop music into each and every one of my group fitness classes, my clients and patients have become more motivated to reach their maximum heart rate zones! Check out the YouTube video attached in this blog post of my choreographed hip hop dance routine to one of my favorite high-energy pop songs by Justin Bieber and Will.i.Am!

In addition to music increasing the intensity of a workout, it can also help you work out longer! Plus, great music combined with the endorphins that naturally occur during and after a workout lead to an improved mood and focus while reducing stress, ultimately leading to a more joyful life. At the end of the day, that’s what we all want, right? To be fit, healthy and happy! Whether you want to distract your mind, reduce anxiety or simply burn more calories, working out with music does all of the above and more!

Here are some quick & important tips to consider when selecting your next workout music playlist:

• Select up-tempo songs for high intensity workouts. I recommend anything greater than 130 beats per minute.

• Select appropriate warm-up, workout, and cool-down songs to help keep your tempo at the appropriate pace.

• Create your music playlist in advance as this will prevent you from stopping throughout your workout to find the next best song on your iPod.

• No matter what genre of music you traditionally listen to at home or in the car, keep an open mind and selecting fast paced and different kinds of music for workout purposes. Even if you traditionally don’t listen to pop or techno music, you may surprise yourself and enjoy it for working out!

• Try using the up-tempo parts of each song as a way to interval train.  For example, “when the bass drops,” use this as a way to run/walk faster, cycle with greater cadence, increase the incline, or turn up the resistance!!

• Finally, like my Facebook page and check out the frequent song playlists that I post – it’s guaranteed to help you get the most out of your workout!

To learn more about Maria Pontillo and her personal fitness or physical therapy services, visit

3 thoughts on “Does Music Maximize Your Workout?

  1. You were moving girl! Calories definitely burned!

    For me, not having music in the gym is like watching paint dry. Creed, Evanescence, Otherwise are rockin nonstop

  2. You were moving girl! Calories definitely burned!

    For me, not having music in the gym is like watching paint dry. Creed, Evanescence, Otherwise are rockin nonstop

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