Are you a person who gets to the gym and pops in their ear buds? If so, you probably feel the music helps your weight loss goals, but have you ever considered the type of music you listen to can significantly improve your workout results and help you achieve success? Research has linked music to increases in the level of work output because music helps distract people from their body’s physical sensations of tiredness. When listening to music, you have a reduced perception of your physical efforts. But, it is also important to listen to the right songs.

Studies have repeatedly found synchronizing music with repetitive exercise, such as jogging, rowing or cycling, results in better workout performance. The tempo of the music helps control body movement and allows one to extend their output and increase endurance. A recent study concluded athletes performed better when listening to faster beats compared to those who listened to slower music. But be careful, as a tempo that’s too fast is not helpful. Music at a tempo of 120 to 140 beats per minute (BPM) allows you to get the most out of your workout and assist you to achieve your weight loss goals.

A good song to include in your workout playlist is one with which you associate a positive emotion or memory. When listening to your go-to song while working out will help, you increase your performance as the positive emotions attached to the song end up giving you a big motivational boost. Ideally, you want to start your playlist with low BPM songs to match you initial heart rate and then have a gradual increase in the BPM of each successive song as your exercise becomes more strenuous. The tempo should reach BPM of around 140 and maintain that rate when you are at the peak of your exercise routine, gradually decreasing back down to the 80 to 90 BPM range as you enter your cool down phase.

Reaching your weight loss goals requires a lot of planning and dedication. People who have done some research usually realize you need a combination of diet and exercise to achieve your targets. The more detailed the plan, the better the chances of success. Typically, music selection is not on this list, but if you really want the most out of your hard work, this is an easy and fun way to help you along the way. So, rock on (but with the right tunes)!