We've said it before, we'll say it a hundred times. The base of an awesome workout is the playlist you choose.
Whether you like to thrash it out to Black Flag or bop along to Crazy In Love, a playlist can be the difference that decides whether you spend the next hour and a half strengthening your body while your heads in the clouds, or staring at the space in front of you counting the seconds till you can stop.
We've all had those workouts where you feel as if you've spent 70% of your time stood skipping through songs wondering where all the good music gone. It's no fun at all.
So we've had a go at figuring out a workout playlist equation that ensures a great workout every time you hit the gym.
Break It Up
You know in High Fidelity when John Cusack makes the perfect mixtape to get the girl? Making a good workout playlist follows pretty much the same guidelines.
You want to start off with a good one, something that always gets your attention to kick it all off. Make sure it's a moderate speed and do your warm up stretching to this track.
(Our current favourite is Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk...No shame. None at all.)
After that song, the secret is to break up the rest of your workout. Instead of making one playlist, the best way to do it is to make three, for all different elements of a good workout. The warm up. The hard bit. The cool down.
If this all sounds like too much effort, don't fret - you can always cheat and pinch the Cooler playlists straight off this article.
A good warm up playlist will start light and work up slowly in tempo till you're ready to start going full out.
We usually put our new favourite songs in here that build up intensity and make sure we're properly in the zone before moving on to the heavy stuff.
End this playlist with a fun up-tempo song. We chose A Skillz' Tricka Technology.
Yes, it's pretty cheesy, but it's great to get you jumping around..
Now, for the main event, this playlist is the one that can make your workout infinitely more fun when done right.
You need the playlist for your main exercise, whether it be weight training or a heavy cardio session, to be good enough that you don't get distracted and want to skip songs at any point.
The easiest way to do this is to go for those ol' faithful favourite tracks.
For our Cooler playlist that seems to be a lot of old hip hop, but if that isn't your bag, just take the theory and apply it to your own taste.
Take the intensity down towards the end of the article and throw in some mid tempo fun tunes to keep you going when you feel yourself lagging.
We've relied on good old Destiny's Child to keep us running at the end!
And the hard part is over!
We like the cool down playlist the best. This is the place where you can put your best chill out songs.
You can just do your end of workout stretches to these songs, but we normally do a slow run, bike or walk for the first few songs.
Because you’ll usually be out of energy by this point, choose a track that you really enjoy and find meaning in.
During these songs you want to slow down your pace, but still stay motivated enough to keep up your workout
Cool downs don't take very long so skip around this playlist to choose the track you fancy each day.
We're feeling today's a Mos Def day for sure...
Getting Appy With It
There's plans by Spotify to create a function that will use information based on a sensor's on the listener's body or in their smartphone, to measure their heart rate and then use that to select appropriate music.
Until this comes along to revolutionise our workouts, there are already some pretty awesome apps out there to control your workout tunes.
PaceDJ monitors your running/ cycling pace and matches the tempo of the track your listening to match it.
Fitradio chooses your tracks for your workout through genre and mood, which you can change every time you hit the gym.
With all these new services, we may never be stuck running to a dud song ever again...