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What is the Best Music to Workout to?

Rock, Rap, or House?

Is there a scientifically proven “best” type of music to work out to? Is rock better than rap? Or maybe fast-bumping house music? - DAN S., TOPEKA, KS

There is an ideal workout music, says Costas I. Karageorghis Ph.D., a sport psychologist at Brunel University London and author of Inside Sport Psychology—but it’s not really a question of genre.

Rather, if you want to motivate yourself, the best workout music touches you personally—such as, say, the theme from your all-time favorite action movie. “When I hear Bill Conti’s ‘Gonna Fly Now,’ the theme from the Rocky film series,” Karageorghis says, “I feel as though just about anything’s possible in the gym.” 

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Of course, you can’t go wrong cranking up a playlist of “fast, loud, rhythmical, percussive, bass-driven music,” Karageorghis adds. “It’s particularly good for psyching yourself up before a weight-training session.” Also good: music of 130 to 140 beats per minute, such as Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment.” And go for upbeat lyrics, too.

To recap: Use what moves you and steer clear of any broody Radiohead. Got it?

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