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Create Your Perfect Workout Playlist!

That’s right, the perfect playlist for you; based on your target heart rate.   

Don’t believe me?  You achieve the best results during a workout when your target heart rate in beats per minute (BPM) matches a song’s tempo (also measured in BPMs), making the music feel like a natural, organic extension of you.

By using new technology available to us, we can continue to stay motivated in new and fun ways! Check out these steps for creating a music playlist that’s individually tailored to your body, heart rate, and level of intensity.

First, you need to calculate your target heart rate. The American Heart Association provides this chart of age-specific target heart rates, or the zone in which our bodies are most geared toward burning fat:

  1. Age Target HR Zone 50–85% Average Maximum HR 100%
    20 years 100–170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
    25 years 98–166 beats per minute 195 beats per minute
    30 years 95–162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
    35 years 93–157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
    40 years 90–153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
    45 years 88–149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
    50 years 85–145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
    55 years 83–140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
    60 years 80–136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
    65 years 78–132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
    70 years 75–128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute



Now, just calculate the BPM of your music. Wait, huh?

Yes, that’s right, there are programs that do that for you now too!


In its endless wisdom, Apple® has conveniently added a BPM tag to the description of each song in your library. You can access this feature by highlighting the chosen song and either right-clicking it to access the “Get Info” option on the menu bar that appears, or finding “Get Info” on the “File” pull-down menu at the top left of the screen. Once you’re in the “Get Info” pop-up window, select the “Info” tab. Here, you’ll find all available details about the song, including BPM. Sound too easy? Sadly, it is. Most digital music files contain no BPM information at all, and if they do, it’s probably inaccurate.

In all likelihood, you will need to download one of these lovely applications:


Windows® XP and Vista users should try downloading this free application, which will automatically analyze all the music in your library to detect the BPM. What’s more, BeatScanner is specifically designed for the exercise enthusiast, and will change the pace of any song you select (without altering the pitch or quality) to your desired BPM, so that you can export it as a new MP3 file, and walk, jog, run, or bike at your preferred speed, and still listen to your favorite tracks! How cool is that? And, there is more! Creating a playlist with BeatScanner is very easy, and it also allows you to insert your own interval cues at desired points in the playlist so that you’ll know when to step it up a gear, or slow it down a notch. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this application!


Mac® users are advised to try Tangerine!, which is a program similar to BeatScanner, but is much more integrated with iTunes itself. The only catch here is that Tangerine! costs $24.95 to download. Because Tangerine! is synced with your iTunes, it will automatically analyze your entire library, as well as any new music you add to it, in a matter of minutes. The playlist creation feature is also very convenient, and allows you to organize songs according to your desired BPM range. However, it doesn’t allow you to alter the pace of songs the way BeatScanner does. However, there is a 15-day free trial option that should give you enough time to decide if it’s worth the money.

Keep your workout in high gear using the above applications! There is no reason your workouts should be boring and for those who love technology (like myself) this is an excellent way to keep your workouts rocking!


Sources: http://www.beachbody.com


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