By Paulo Camacho
Different kinds of music affects all of us in different ways.
Whether it’s a rock ballad taking us back to a particularly good (or bad) memory; the screeching of violins in a horror film track filling you with a sense of foreboding dread; or a particular pop song that makes one person scream in ecstasy, while making a completely different person fill up with unequivocal rage — most, if not all, music is meant to make people feel something.
The same can be said for exercise music. Most people have a certain type of music that pumps them up, fills them with adrenaline, or just puts them in the mood to perspire and get the heart pumping for any particular amount of time. Music makes people feel, and, when it comes to exercise music, it has to make you feel like doing something physical.
Take me, for example. If I want to get the blood pumping, give me something with a strong bass line, a quick tempo and a dark overtone — usually in the realms of pop, rock, or hip-hop — and my brain lights up like a christmas tree. I feel like I can run for an entire mile without stopping (even though I am in no shape to do anything like that).
Here’s a great example of the kind of exercise music I’m into, right now — between the dark overtones and the heart-thumping beats, it’s hard not to listen to Andy Mineo’s “You Can’t Stop Me” and have the blood pumping:
I asked other members of Picardy about their go-to exercise music. And, despite each of their differing music tastes, most answers were surprisingly similar. More generally, the Picardy staff agreed that music with a faster beat is a necessity when it comes to exercising. This comes as no surprise for many who exercise on a regular basis. After all, according to prominent sports psychologist Costas Karageorghis, “a strong, energizing rhythm” is among the first criteria considered when selecting exercise music. Full Stack Engineer Tucker Bickler mirrored these sentiments when describing his ideal exercise track:
“Something with a faster beat, for sure — rock, rap, pop […] A catchy verse will usually get stuck in my head.”
Specifically, Content Developer Alex Newton, and Co-Founders Cassie Shankman and Hermes Camacho each mentioned Britney Spears’ “Circus” album as part of their go-to exercise music. Spears’ work over the past five years has fallen under the “dance” and “electropop” genres of music — genres with the kind of energetic, consistent bass lines that are necessary for exercising.
In fact, Electropop and dance are popular genres to use while exercising, as illustrated by many Picardy staff picks. Co-Founder Paul Marbach, for example, mentioned Chairlift’s “Moth” album as a good example of exercise music. Its catchy beats and modern sound combine for an energetic track:
Shankman also listed Electronica artist Flume, who shares many of the same characteristics as other more popular artists. In particular, her track “Never Be Like You”, the charged bass line and aggressive lyrics are reminiscent of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” — and is bound to evoke the kind of mood boost necessary for exercise:
And we cannot forget the internet meme-tastic tune, “Sandstorm” by DaRude — a favorite exercise track for Quality Assurance tech Joshua Alvarado, saying he grew up on techno music of the 2000s: