Best Types of Music to Play at the Gym

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  • Best Types of Music to Play at the Gym

As a gym owner, you would already know that the music you play at your gym defines the ambiance and affects the level of motivation for your members. With different personalities coming to your gym, you are probably having a hard time trying to keep everyone happy with the type of music you play. While hardcore bodybuilders are likely to prefer rock and heavy metal, others might be more comfortable listening to pop and blues. The choice of workout music can also differ a lot according to each type of exercise.

When deciding which music or radio station you should play throughout the gym, your safest bet at pleasing everyone is to take a poll. Every member can submit their vote on their favorite workout music genre. You can even try using the most voted genre for 2-3 months and then hold another poll for the next cycle. However, playing a uniform music throughout the gym may not be the best option especially if your gym offers a wide variety of exercises.

Music for Different Types of ExercisesMusic notes

If you have a dedicated room for each type of exercise in your gym, you can play a different kind of music in each room. This way, you can ensure that a majority of the gym members get optimum motivation through the music your play. Here are a few ideas:

Endurance training – According to researchers at Brunel University, working out to the right music genre can result in a 15% increase in endurance. Since endurance training involves high intensity exercises, your gym members will benefit the most from music with 135 or more beats per minute. Choose fast tempo music genres such as techno, upbeat pop music, or hard rock. "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons, "Applause" by Lady Gaga, "Lonely Boys" by The Black Keys, "The Fixer" by Pearl Jam, and "Everybody Talks" by Neon Trees are some of the popular options for endurance exercises.

Strength training – For strength training exercises such as weight lifting, look for songs with repetitive rhythm and about 115 to 135 beats per minute. Try playing songs from artists like the Black Eyed Peas or AC/DC, as their music usually comes with repetitive tempo that is ideal for weightlifting and other strength building exercises. You can also try songs like "Appetite for Destruction" by Guns ‘N’ Roses, "Let it Go" by Dragonette, and "Feel so Close" by Calvin Harris.

Balancing/stretching – Balancing exercises and other low-impact exercises require calm, soothing music with minimal or no vocals. This would include music with 90 to 115 beats per minute. Genres like rhythm and blues, alternative, indie rock, and soft rock are highly recommended for these exercises. Try "It’s Time" by Imagine Dragons, "Come Together" by The Beatles, and "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap.

Cardio – Like strength training exercises, cardio exercises are also effective with powerful, quick, and repetitive beats. You can find some of the best cardio workout songs in genres like pop and heavy metal. Try "Domino" by Jessie J and . Electronic dance music and pop remixes are also your ideal choice. "Nothing bu the Beat" by David Guetta and "Alive" by Daft Punk are great choices for this type of exercise.

Swimming – Many gyms fail to play music in the area that needs it the most – the swimming pool. Playing the right music in the swimming area can minimize the distracting echo and noises to keep your gym members motivated. Try music with at least 90 beats per minute but don’t go over 130 bpm. Try "Titanium" by David Guetta and Sia or "Shake it out" by Florence and the Machine.

These are just some of the recommendations for the types of music you can play at your gym. Always remember to prioritize on the preferences of your gym members but make sure you still have a strong voice, so everything stays in order.

Over to you…

How do you handle member requests for music genres?

What are some other good songs for each type of workout?


Lawrence Fagan
December 13, 2017

Thanks for commenting and sharing the information. Your app sounds like a great addition to any gym for the owner and the members! Great job!

Jeff Sheerin
December 7, 2017

Nice Job Lawrence. Love how you break down diff. types of training and match them up with specific artists/genres. My company does that type of work professionally, and we provide music to thousands of gyms across the U.S.

Speaking of member requests, we actually have a cool mobile solution called Social Mix – allows members to view the gym’s playlist and vote up the songs they want to hear next from their smartphones.

Makes it a whole lot easier on the gym owner and more fun for the member. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been beneath a 300+ lb bar wishing I was squatting to something other than Kings of Leon.

Anyway, definitely check out Social Mix. We have dozens of gyms already using it and loving it. Just thought I’d share.

Great job again on the article. Awesome read.

Lawrence Fagan
August 22, 2017

Thank you for your feedback. We wish you much success in your website and blogging ventures.

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Lawrence Fagan
April 14, 2017

Thank you so much for letting us know and for the share!

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