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”


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Women’s Health Magazine Comments on The Best Workout Songs for Spinning

What are the best workout songs for your spinning routine?  Thanks to researchers at Brunel University in London, you are one step closer to finding out!

Recently, Women’s Health Magazine ran this article entitled, “Workout Playlists: Spinning Songs,” which explained that “fast music inspires you to move.”  The article referenced a 2007 study by Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., a professor sports psychology at Brunel University in London.

Karageorghis’s study noted that matching a running stride to a music tempo between 120-140 BPM was helpful to runners. Women’s Health Magazine notes that Karageorghis also pointed out that when cycling, “you’ll work up to 7% harder while grooving to music synched to your pedal stroke and not feel any more fatigued.” 

According to Karageorghis, the optimum pedal stroke for cycling ranges from 120 BPM for medium to high exertion to 140 BPM for higher intensity.  In case you’re used to counting pedal strokes in rotations/minute, this BPM range equals 60-70 RPM. 

Based upon this information , the best workout songs for spinning probably land up around 120-140 BPM, depending upon your fitness level.  Whenever PaceDJ rocks the spin class, which is about twice a week, he lands up spinning between 60-80 RPM.  This equates to 120-160 BPM.  When spinning at 120 BPM, PaceDJ usually is pushing heavier gears than when spinning at higher rates.

Here’s some information 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 about workout music.

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Can workout music make you feel less tired?

Recently, Salon.com writer Thomas Rogers spoke with author Don Campbell about his book entitled, “Healing at the Speed of Sound,” which is about the relationship between music and the brain.  Here’s a link to the article.

They touched upon how exercising while listening to music makes us feel less tired “because of our natural tendency to fall into a pattern.”  Interestingly, Campbell points out that repetitive work songs were important to the process of constructing the railroads, a process where teams of workers sometimes drove spikes with mallets in rhythmic sync.

Commenting on the book, Roger’s notes, “Fast-paced music actually has real effects on your ability to work out. In one 2009 study…college students biked faster or slower depending on what kind of music they were listening to — and it made it easier for them to push themselves.” 

Recently, PaceDJ has seen other articles like this one, which explain the science behind how workout music can influence our physical efforts.  How about you?  What workout music helps you perform your best when running, walking, or cycling?  Do you use workout music to set your pace?

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In Search of the Best Workout Songs: Ezia Human Performance Puts PaceDJ To the Test

Watch the video:

Isaiah and Bianca, outstanding trainers at Ezia Human Performance in San Diego, recently put PaceDJ to the test at their elite training center.  In search of the best workout songs, Isaiah and Bianca used PaceDJ to set the tempo for their workout.  They created circuits of various activities that can be done at a consistent tempo including, walking, running, squat thrusts, “mountain climbers,” and spinning. 

Their first circuit started out at 130 BPM, which was a moderate walking speed.  Isaiah and Bianca walked on the treadmill to warm up and then decided to increase thier walking pace to 140BPM.  It was cool to see how their walking cadences synced up with the workout music provided by PaceDJ.  After getting their heart-rates up a bit, Bianca and Isaiah moved to the floor to do some squat thrusts with dumbells and mountain climbers at 140 BPM.  All the while, PaceDJ was supplying the best workout songs to drive the intensity of their workout.

Later, Isaiah and Bianca cranked PaceDJ up to 160 BPM, a great running tempo, and hit the treadmills once again.   They both seemed to have a great time grooving to the beat of their playlists as they ran.  After a while, they moved to the spin cycles and found that 160 BPM was also an excellent cycling tempo.  Cycling measures cadence in rotations per minute.  In this case, 160 BPM = 80 RPM (the half-tempo).  PaceDJ helped make the transition from treadmill to spin cycle relatively seamless, since Isaiah and Bianca’s feet were moving at the same pace on both.  

After Isaiah and Bianca finished on the spin cycles, they did a tough-looking core workout, using a “wall-ball.”  You’ve got to see it! PaceDJ was impressed with their super powers!

Check out this PaceDJ blog posting to get started finding tempos for the best workout songs for running, walking, and cycling.

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Via Lifehacker – Pedal faster for better cycling efficiency and to burn more fat

If you like to spin or cycle, this article explains how you can achieve better results by pedaling faster.  Hooray for science! 


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Via NPR – Maximizing Your Workout With the Right Tunes


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Here’s an interesting article about the benefits of aerobic exercise if you’re looking to slim down.



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Fitbottomedgirls.com features PaceDJ!

 Thanks to the folks at fitbottomedgirls.com for featuring PaceDJ in their blog.  Check it out!  http://fitbottomedgirls.com/2011/07/fitlinks-healthy-coupons-foods-that-shouldnt-be-refrigerated-more/

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JillWillRun Reviews PaceDJ!


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Frappster gives PaceDJ a 4 out of 5 rating!


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