What are relevant tempos for the best workout songs or running songs?

Figuring out the right tempo for your exercise can be difficult.  After all, most people don’t count the number of steps they take in a minute when walking or running or their rotations per minute when cycling.    How do you find the best workout songs or running songs if you don’t know the right song tempos?
 
PaceDJ makes the process easier for you!  When you first launch PaceDJ, you tell the app whether you are a runner, walker, or cyclist.  PaceDJ then sets the default BPM for your chosen activity.  You can speed up or slow down the target pace using the up and down arrows in the main screen. 
 
Song tempos are marked in beats per minute (BPM).  If you are wondering what are typical BPMs for running, walking, or cycling, check out this article , written by James Sundquist, explaining the typical BPM zones for running walking or cycling.   Using this chart as a guide, you can hopefully begin to figure out the right tempos for the best workout songs or running songs.
 
Here are some excerpts from the article, illustrating typical pace zones in BPM.   
 
Walking Pace Chart:
  • Very Inactive: 80-100 steps/minute (roughly 2 mph)
  • Lightly Active: 120 steps/minute (roughly 3mph)
  • Moderately Active: 130 steps/minute (roughly 3.5mph)
  • Active: 140 steps/minute (roughly 4mph)
  • Very Active: 150 steps/minute (roughly 4.3mph)
  • Exceptionally Active: 160 steps/minute (roughly 4.6mph)
  • Athlete: 170-190 steps/minute (roughly 5-6mph)
 Running Pace Chart (Recreational to Athlete):
  • Very Active: 150 steps/minute (roughly 6.0mph)
  • Exceptionally Active: 160 steps/minute (roughly 6.7mph)
  • Athlete: 170 steps/minute – 190 steps/minute (roughly 7.5mph – 11mph)
Cycling Pace Chart:
  • Very Inactive: 50 RPM (100 beats or steps/minute)
  • Lightly Active: 60 RPM (120 beats or steps/minute)
  • Moderately Active: 65 RPM (130 beats or steps/minute)
  • Active: 70 RPM (140 beats or steps/minute)
  • Very Active: 75 RPM (150 beats or steps/minute)
  • Exceptionally Active: 80 RPM (160 beats or steps/minute)
  • Athlete: 85-95 RPM (170-190 beats or steps/minute)

Want to see how our partners at Ezia Human Performance tested PaceDJ?  Check out this blog posting: “In Search of the Best Workout Songs: Ezia Human Performance Puts PaceDJ To the Test”

 

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. In Search of the Best Workout Songs: Ezia Human Performance Puts PaceDJ To the Test | PaceDJ - November 14, 2011

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  2. Women’s Health Magazine Comments on The Best Workout Songs for Spinning | PaceDJ - November 15, 2011

    […] on PaceDJ.com about typical BPM zones for walking running and cycling that help you find the best workout songs. « This is a facinating article about how music changes our brains. What are relevant […]

  3. NPR.org features research about the power of workout music | PaceDJ - November 15, 2011

    […] Team PaceDJ concurrs with Mr. Karageorghis!  We love to run to the tempo of our workout music, and couldn’t agree more with his assessment of the motivational power of music!  Now go get started! Start here to find BPMs for your workout music. […]

  4. Women’s Health Magazine Comments on The Best Workout Songs for Spinning | Pacing Technologies - November 30, 2011

    […] on PaceDJ.com about typical BPM zones for walking running and cycling that help you find the best workout songs.  Here is a link if you are interested in learning more about Costas Karageorghis’s research […]

  5. running to your own beat | Hi! Runner - December 21, 2011

    […] You could also do it the harder way by researching what songs fall into different BPM categories, getting those songs into your iTunes playlist, and organizing them to plan out your pacing. If you’re not sure of the best way to identify your ideal BPM, here’s a pretty good starting point from PaceDJ: […]

  6. Running to music may improve some runner’s performance by up to 15% | PaceDJ - May 9, 2012

    […] about you?  Looking for tempos for the best running songs for your workout?  Looking for a motivation boost?  Try out PaceDJ to use your own music to […]

  7. NPR features research about the power of workout music. | Pacing Technologies - September 14, 2012

    […] Team PaceDJ concurrs with Dr. Karageorghis!  We love to run to the tempo of our workout music, and couldn’t agree more with his assessment of the motivational power of music!  Now go get started! Start here to find BPMs for your workout music. […]

  8. Running to music may improve some runners’ performance by up to 15%. | Pacing Technologies - September 14, 2012

    […] about you?  Looking for tempos for the best workout songs or running songs for your workout?  Looking for a motivation boost?  Try out PaceDJ to use your […]

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