When creating a Functional Fitness program for yourself, there is plenty to think of. Are you working out at home or a gym. How many days a week are you working out? How intense will your workouts be? How long will each workout be? But I suggest you ask one more question – what music, if any, am I going to listen to?
There typically is two different styles of music you hear in a lot of gyms. A gym that has a higher percentage of body builders and weight lifters may steer more to the heavy rock area. I know when I had done that for a while I liked the heavy music because I needed to get “pumped up” for my next set of reps. I needed to get the blood going and get all psyched to bench press the next set with heavier weight. Dance type music just wasn’t going to cut it.
But if you are doing any circuit style or Functional Fitness program, you are not taking breaks, waiting for muscle recovery, just to go intense again with a few reps of heavy weight. You are doing circuits, usually in high intensity, with breaks only long enough to catch your breath.
So the choice seems simple – upbeat music is the answer. Maybe more along the lines of hip hop, electronic, decade oriented such as 80’s, or some types of alternative music.
However, there is research out there that suggests that you need to get more in depth into your music choice. For example, my certifying training suggests that the beats per minute (bpm) are up to 130 for Core conditioning and for older adults, where as it should be up to 132 bpm for sports conditioning.
How do you figure out beats per minute? Beats me. 🙂
Actually, bad puns aside, there is an easy method. Most of the above described songs come in a 4 by 4 pattern, which means each loop has four steps marked by two bass drum hits and two snare hits: boom clat, boom clat and so on. There are some slight variations, but that will be the reality for most of the music. So you can count each hit like: one, two, three, four, one, two, three and so on.
Now, tap along with the drum beats for 15 seconds. Now you know that in those 15 seconds there were, let’s say, 32 drum hits. Then multiple that times four, which will give you a count of 128 bpm.
So now that you figured out the songs that have the appropriate beats per minute (bpm) for your program. But there is one final thought here. How about no music at all?
There are many out there you swear by doing exercise alone and with no music. The reason being is that you listen to your body instead of the songs being played. You are more in tune with yourself and you can take the mental game to a whole other level. If that sound like you, then try it out. As for for me, my mind is not that powerful and a good hip hop song is needed to keep me going. You know, a little Black Eyed Peas and I’m off!
So what type of music do you listen to when you work out? And why? Let us know, just leave a comment on this post.