The 3 Secrets to Creating a Motivational Workout Playlist

We all know that moment in a workout when you don’t think you can go on. Then a song changes or a beat drops and you find yourself pushing harder and faster towards that endorphin high.

“The right playlist can help you get further, move longer, give you confidence, and make working out so much more fun!” says Apple Fitness+ trainer Kim Ngo. “That’s why all of our playlists on Fitness+ are curated to give you the energy and motivation you need at just the right time. We love throwing in a big beat drop in the moment when we know users are going to need it the most.”

Although Fitness+ subscriptions were previously only available to Apple Watch users, Apple recently announced that all iPhone users will be able to subscribe starting this fall. An important differentiator to other digital training programs? Fitness+ class playlists that trainers create for each class. With the help of Apple Music’s curators, the teachers themselves select the songs and arrange them to correspond to each individual exercise to create a motivational workout playlist. As you scroll through the classes, you can see the genre of music that each workout offers. And if you click into a class, you can also see a list of all song choices below.

So what does it take to find the right music to get you through the toughest parts of your workout? We asked Apple Fitness+’s expert music curators and trainers for tips on creating 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 “ensure that the trainer is closely tied to each song choice. Ideally, it should feel like a personalized mixtape they designed for each workout.” So when choosing music, dig deep in your memory to find songs that you feel connected to.

Use different beats and styles to fuel each movement

However, experimentation – especially with different musical elements – is also key.

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“When I’m curating the music playlist for a workout, whether it’s a treadmill or HIIT, I like to experiment with different tempos to increase motivation and help users reach their full potential,” says Fitness+ trainer Jamie-Ray Hartshorne . “It’s natural to add tempo or intensity to fast-paced songs, but even slower music with a hard beat and lots of emotion can be just as motivating and just what you need to get through when you’d rather be holding back. ”

Other elements to play around with are genre and BPM (beats per minute). A higher BPM song is faster and may motivate you to pick up the tempo. A lower BPM song might be just the slow and steady beat you need to get you through a heavy workout.

“When we’re going through tough and challenging intervals in a bike workout together, I add songs with a heavy hip-hop or pure dance beat,” says Fitness+ Instructor Ty Désean. “On other rides, I might even look for a more emotional message through the lyrics. When I’m really in the mood to show all sides of Ty, I’ll add a few musical theater dance tracks to liven up the party and help you stay motivated and inspired.”

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Consider the mood you want to create

Also, don’t forget to set the tone of your workout. Music can play a major and often surprising role in this.

“Music is such a great tool to set and carry the energy of a workout and add all the emotion,” says Fitness+ Instructor Jessica Skye. “For example, a playlist for a slow-flowing yoga practice is all about creating a mellow mood to make users feel calm, relaxed, and centered. So I’m going to go into everything from tempo, key, type of percussion and sounds to try to create an audio experience that fits the flow.”

Think of your playlist as an opportunity to connect to music you love, experiment with new genres, satisfy your emotional needs, and add variety and drama around the corner. Then add your own personality to liven up this party. you have that!

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