While you may have a particular ‘type’ of music you prefer when working out, most of us also have a ‘song’.
You know, the one that takes you from ‘mediocre’ to ‘mighty’; from ‘ready-to-give-up’ to ‘raring-to-go’.
We spoke to five women who train hard, to find out which songs motivate them most.
Runner and former elite athlete, Brooke Williams
When it comes to workout music, Brooke prefers calming tunes.
She says that it “fools” her body into thinking it’s not working that hard. Her go-to track – ‘Is this Love’ by Bob Marley – fits the bill nicely.
While she’s had a long-standing love of that song, that amped up a notch during a recent holiday in Greece.
Brooke was completing a nine-kilometre run from the town of Fira to Oia. As she ran, one of the hotels she passed was playing her song.
“The scenery and the song just made me feel like exercising was effortless and I was running on clouds.”
It also came through for her when she was running a trail (as opposed to flat-surface) half-marathon.
She was in a “deep level of fatigue” when she turned to Bob Marley. His track helped her “focus on the now” and push through.
Not only did Brooke power on through, she was also the first woman to cross the finish line.
Exercise physiologist, Anna-Louise Moule
For most of this year, Anna-Louise had one training goal in mind: to run the New York Marathon.
In the lead up to the big event, she zeroed in on one song in particular: ‘Empire State Of Mind,’ by Alicia Keys.
While she admits it’s “not your traditional workout song,” it resonated with her goal.
As Alicia crooned about how, in New York, “There’s nothing you can’t do,” Anna-Louise pounded the pavement with the same thought driving her on.
Every time she heard it, she pictured herself running in New York, which was all the inspiration she needed to “push through the pain”.
Naturally, Anna-Louise had the song on her playlist for the big day.
During the marathon, live bands and singers lined the course. As Anna-Louise puffed through Brooklyn, she perked up when she heard someone singing her favourite tune.
“It lifted my mood, made me feel great, and very excited, proud and privileged to be running.”
Personal Trainer, Kylie Anderson
As a personal trainer, Kylie is pretty much always on the go. She also tries to cram in four workouts a week.
While she’s usually raring to go, that’s not always the case. When she needs that extra motivation, she pops on her favourite tune – ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, and “all those [negative] thoughts fade away”.
Because it has such an effect on her, Kylie is wary about playing it too often.
“I want to keep it fresh and be able to turn it on when I need it most.”
Kylie fell in love with the track the first time she heard it.
“It’s such a funky beat and makes my body want to move as soon as the song begins.” It also makes her feel “powerful” and able to take on any workout.
But the main reason Kylie lists this track as her ‘number one’ is because of its effect on her enjoyment levels.
“It really lifts my mood and puts a smile on my face, which is really important when it comes to exercise.”
Sport Psychologist, Dr Joann Lukins
A few years ago, Dr Lukins was competing in a Marathon Outrigger Canoe Race in Hamilton Island.
She was standing at the front of the canoe while 2 metre swells thrashed around her.
It was a 42-kilometre changeover race, meaning that every twenty minutes, two paddlers jumped into the canoe, while two jumped out.
“It was tough,” Dr Lukins notes.
While the monster waves whipped her canoe, Dr Lukins sat at the front, singing her favourite workout song – in her head.
She credits that song – ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim- for helping her stay centred in the midst of chaos.
“That song was part of what got me through,” she says.
The song also comes to her rescue when she’s on dry land.
Dr Lukins exercises every day and always opts for high-energy tunes to “distract” her from the discomfort.
But her favourite song stands out from the pack because of its lyrics.
“It fits in with the message I send professionally about being in the moment when you perform,” she says.
“No matter how many times I listen to it, it has an impact for me.”
Competitive rifle shooter, Rachael Ross
Rachael trains hard. And, when she’s training, she likes her music to match her workouts.
For that reason, she listens to top 40’s beats when doing cardio sessions. For yoga, she prefers instrumental tunes. And, during shooting training, she keeps the radio blaring.
But regardless of the workout, Rachael always turns to one song in particular when she needs that extra kick of inspiration: ’Till I Collapse,’ by Eminem.
“It’s my number one because it’s a reminder to push through the struggles if I want to succeed and reach my goals.”
While she says the song is “catchy”, it’s the lyrics that “speak” to her. She says they’re about finding your inner strength and getting up when you’ve fallen down.
“It makes me feel strong and more determined when I hear it. It definitely reminds me to push myself to my limits, instead of giving up just because something is a little difficult.”
Songs to add to your workout mix:
- ‘Is This Love?’ by Bob Marley
- ‘Empire State Of Mind’ by Alicia Keys
- ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
- ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim
- ‘’Till I Collapse,’ by Eminem
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Find out more at tomtom.com/fitness