Create Your Perfect Fitness Playlist with These 5 Easy Steps
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Identify your workout style
  2. Select your favorite music genres
  3. Choose songs with the right tempo
  4. Organize your playlist to match your workout
  5. Test and refine your playlist

Whether you're pounding the pavement or lifting weights, the right soundtrack can turn a grueling workout into an exhilarating challenge. While popular fitness apps offer pre-curated playlists, nothing beats a personalized fitness playlist that pumps you up and keeps you in sync with your routine. Here are five easy steps to create your own ultimate fitness soundtrack.

Identify Your Workout Style

Before we dive into selecting songs, it's important to pinpoint your personal workout style. Not all workouts are created equal, and what works for a relaxed yoga session might not be the best choice for an intense HIIT class. Identifying your workout style will help you create a personalized fitness playlist that enhances your performance and enjoyment.

Cardio Workouts

If you're someone who loves a high-energy cardio session, your music should match that energy. Think about songs that make you feel like you can run a marathon or dance all night. You want tracks that keep your heart rate up and your feet moving. Your personalized fitness playlist for cardio might include fast-paced pop, dance music, or upbeat rock tracks.

Strength Training

On the flip side, if your workout involves lifting weights or strength training, your music should help you concentrate and feel powerful. Look for songs with a steady beat and inspiring lyrics — they'll help you push through those last few reps. Hip hop, rock, or even classical music can work wonders for strength training playlists.

Relaxing Workouts

Perhaps your workout routine leans more towards yoga, tai chi, or other calming activities. In this case, your personalized fitness playlist should help you relax and focus on your movements. Genres like soft instrumental, new age, or even ambient sounds of nature can be perfect for these workouts.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fitness music. The most important thing is to select songs that make you feel good and motivate you to move. Once you've identified your workout style and the kind of music that suits it, you're one step closer to creating the perfect personalized fitness playlist.

Select Your Favorite Music Genres

Now that you've identified your workout style, it's time to dive into the fun part — selecting your favorite music genres. Your personalized fitness playlist should not only complement your workout but also reflect your personal music tastes. This is your playlist, after all. It's all about what makes you feel pumped, empowered, and ready to conquer your fitness goals.

Pop and Dance

If you're a fan of catchy tunes and pulsating beats, pop and dance music might be your go-to genres. These genres are known for their high-energy tracks that can help you keep up the pace during cardio workouts. Examples might include songs from artists like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, or Calvin Harris.

Rock and Metal

For those who prefer something more intense, rock and metal music can be an excellent choice. These genres often feature powerful guitar riffs and pounding drums — perfect for powering through strength training sessions. You might include bands like Linkin Park, Metallica, or Nirvana on your personalized fitness playlist.

Classical and Instrumental

If words distract you or if you're looking for something calming for your yoga or stretching sessions, consider classical or instrumental music. The soothing melodies and harmonious compositions can help you focus on your movements and breathing. Artists like Ludovico Einaudi or Max Richter are ideal for these playlists.

Remember, the beauty of a personalized fitness playlist is that you can mix-and-match genres. Maybe heavy metal gets your blood pumping for the weightlifting portion of your workout, but you prefer pop hits for your post-workout stretch. That's the beauty of personalization — you get to call the shots!

Choose Songs with the Right Tempo

With your preferred music genres in hand, it's time to drill down to specific songs. But how do you choose? Here's a tip: consider the tempo. For a personalized fitness playlist that truly enhances your workout, the tempo of the songs should match the intensity of your exercise routine.

High-Tempo for High-Intensity

If you're into high-intensity training like HIIT, sprinting, or heavy lifting, high-tempo songs can drive you to push harder. Typically, these songs have a beats per minute (BPM) count of 120 or higher. Examples might include "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis or "Stronger" by Kanye West.

Mid-Tempo for Moderate-Intensity

For moderate-intensity workouts such as jogging, cycling, or circuit training, mid-tempo songs work best. These songs usually clock in between 90 to 120 BPM. "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran or "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga could fit this category nicely.

Low-Tempo for Low-Intensity

For low-intensity exercises like yoga, pilates, or stretching, you'd want to opt for low-tempo songs. These typically have a BPM count of less than 90. "River Flows in You" by Yiruma or "Clair de Lune" by Claude Debussy are examples of calming, low-tempo tracks.

Curating your personalized fitness playlist based on tempo might sound a tad technical, but once you try it, you'll feel the difference. The right tempo can truly elevate your workout experience. Ready to give it a spin?

Organize Your Playlist to Match Your Workout

With a selection of high, mid, and low-tempo songs at your fingertips, you're almost there. The next step to creating your personalized fitness playlist is to organize these songs to align with your workout routine. Let's get into it:

Start with a Warm-Up Song

Setting the tone for your workout is crucial. Consider a song that's energizing but not too fast-paced, something that can prepare your body for the intense workout ahead. For instance, "Wake Me Up" by Avicii could be a good warm-up song.

Go Full Throttle with the Main Workout

For the main workout, line up your high-tempo and mid-tempo songs. They'll help keep your energy levels up. Do you have a particularly challenging part in your routine? Place the most energizing song at this point — it will boost your motivation when you need it the most. A song like "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor could work wonders in this part.

Wind Down with a Cool-Down Song

After the intensity of the main workout, your body needs to relax. This is where your low-tempo songs come in. They help bring your heart rate down gradually and put you in a relaxed state. Something like "Gravity" by John Mayer could be a perfect cool-down song.

Organizing your personalized fitness playlist this way ensures that your music is in perfect harmony with your workout — setting the pace, boosting your energy, and aiding recovery. On to the final step, shall we?

Test And Refine Your Playlist

Now you've got your personalized fitness playlist lined up and ready to go. But how do you know it really works for your routine? The answer is simple: test and refine.

Give It a Spin

Take your playlist for a test run during your next workout. Pay attention to how each song affects your pace and mood. Is there a song that disrupts your flow? Make a note. Do you find yourself skipping some tracks? Jot that down too. The goal here is to observe and gather as much feedback as possible.

Make Necessary Changes

After your trial run, you'll likely have a few notes on what worked and what didn't. Maybe "Eye of the Tiger" wasn't as motivating during the squats as you thought it would be. Or perhaps "Gravity" was a bit too slow for your cool-down. That's okay. Your personalized fitness playlist should be a constant work in progress. Don't hesitate to swap out songs or change their order to better fit your workout.

Never Stop Refining

Just like your workout routine, your playlist should be dynamic, adapting to your changing fitness goals. Maybe you're training for a marathon now, but a few months later, you might switch to HIIT workouts. As your workout changes, so should your playlist. Remember, the key to a great personalized fitness playlist is regular refinement.

With these steps, you're well-equipped to create a playlist that not only aligns with your workout routine but also keeps you motivated and pumped. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get those tunes rolling!

If you're passionate about fitness and music, and looking for ways to build a strong personal brand around it, check out 'Time to Create your Personal Brand' workshop by Karen Oldhoven. This workshop will provide you with the tools and insights you need to develop a unique and authentic brand that resonates with your target audience.