Let’s get ready to rumbleeee!

I know you can hear the synth beats from this 90s classic blaring in your head right now (you’re welcome).

“Get Ready” instantly takes me back to the days when fitness was synonymous with Jock Jams. I despised doing suicides in gym class, but whenever the cool PE teacher threw on “Whoomp (There It Is)“, I somehow had no problem sprinting for my life in a pair of oversized gym shorts, clutching my waistband to avoid being pantsed by Jessica M*.

*Jessica’s name has been changed, but gurl, you know who you are.

The truth is, we all have our own version of Jock Jams — after all, music has a universal ability to move us and to get us moving. Scientifically speaking, music has serious motivation and performance benefits, and I bet you’ve felt the difference when your song comes on and suddenly you’re kicking higher, squatting lower, and running farther.

As an ACE-certified group fitness trainer, I’ve learned that this music-body connection can be measured and implemented during exercise to maximize results.

While every person has their own musical preference (don’t ask me why “Betty Davis Eyes” hypes me up SO much), there’s a specific tempo/beats-per-minute (BPM) formula that is guaranteed to harness the beast inside and help you get the most out of your workout.

Unsurprisingly, the optimized number of BPMs varies based on the type of exercise you’re doing. Here’s a rough guide that can help you stack your playlists based on your workout of the day:

  • Pilates, yoga, and stretching: 60 to 90 BPMs
  • Cycling: 80 to 122 BPMs (Use for “on the beat” pedal strokes.)
  • Low impact aerobics and hip hop dance: 100 to 122 BPMs
  • Strength training: 120 to 140 BPMs
  • Dance and mid to high impact aerobics: 130 to 160 BPMs
  • HIIT and anaerobic exercise: 130-plus BPMs

Without digging into upbeats, downbeats, meters, and measures, just know that these general guidelines will help you match tempo to output. (And if you’re wondering how the heck to calculate BPM, read this or check out this handy site).

Below, I curated my ultimate workout mix, designed for sustained plyometrics and cardio. All the tracks are between roughly 100 to 180 BPMs to get your heart rate up, and they are some of my personal favorites that consistently light my fitness fire (full disclosure, this mix is about to take you on a journey).

Here’s hoping it turns up the volume on your next workout, too!

31 songs, 1 hr 56 min

  1. “Get Ready” by 2 Unlimited — 125 BPMs
  2. “Imagine” by Punctual — 122 BPMs
  3. “Stupid Feelings” by 220 KID — 124 BPMs
  4. “Power” by Little Mix — 174 BPMs
  5. “Level Up” by Ciara — 153 BPMs
  6. “Savage — Major Lazer Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion & Major Lazer — 125 BPMs
  7. “Uproar” by Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz — 100 BPMs
  8. “Cool Off” by Missy Elliot — 139 BPMs
  9. “This Is Real” by Jax Jones feat. Ella Henderson — 122 BPMs
  10. “Wig” by Todrick Hall — 133 BPMs
  11. “Chemicals” by Tiesto, Don Diablo, & Thomas Troelsen — 126 BPMs
  12. “Umbrella” by Rihanna & Jay-Z — 174 BPMs
  13. “The Price of Agony” by Fit for A King — 188 BPMs
  14. “My Way” by Limp Bizkit — 97 BPMs
  15. “Ready Fuels” by Anberlin — 169 BPMs
  16. “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!” by Vengaboys — 138 BPMs
  17. “1999” by Charli XCX, Troye Sivan — 125 BPMs
  18. “Come Forward” by Crux Pistols & Lazee — 125 BPMs
  19. “Potatoes” by Slaptop — 126 BPMs
  20. “The City” by Madeaon — 125 BPMs
  21. “Work Hard, Play Hard” by Wiz Khalifa — 140 BPMs
  22. While We’re In Love” by Viceroy feat. Ghost Beach — 126 BPMs
  23. “What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?” by Twin Atlantic & Skrillex — 174 BPMs
  24. “Take U There” by Skrillex, Diplo feat. Kiesza — 160 BPMs
  25. “Mi Mi Mi” by SEREBRO — 126 BPMs
  26. “Yes” by LMFAO — 128 BPMs
  27. “Only You” by Ellie Goulding — 100 BPMs
  28. “Partition” by Beyoncé — 186 BPMs
  29. “CAN’T STOP THE FEELING” by Justin Timberlake — 113 BPMs
  30. “Gimme More” by Britney Spears — 113 BPMs
  31. “Go Get It” by T.I. — 77 BPMs
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