10 Songs to Rock Your Cardio Playlist

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Kanye West doesn’t have you “sweatin’ to the oldies” in “The New Workout Plan,” but that is exactly this playlist wants to do. This isn’t the place to find the latest and newest, instead it is old time rock ‘n’ roll that is on tap. Using jog.fm, we’ve found ten songs that will rock your workout, divided up by how many beats per minute (BPM) each has.

Why the focus on the BPM? Good question. ”A suitably motivational playlist can help to ‘colour’ the symptoms of exercise-related fatigue, like breathlessness and a beating heart, in such a way that they are interpreted in a more positive manner,” Dr. Costas Karageorghis, Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Sport and Education at Brunel University, London, told The Daily Telegraph. “This means that at the point when your body is shouting ‘STOP’, the music has the power to lift your mood and beckon you on.”

A song that has around 120 BPM is ideal for low-intensity cardio, in the 130s, you move up to moderate intensity. High, and very high intensity are songs with more than 140 BPM. Increasing the tempo of your music a few BPM above where you normally workout can cause you to increase your intensity, Karageorghis stated. So not only can your mood be lifted by music — making it more likely you’ll stick with the workout — but you can also get a harder cardio session in when you amp up your playlists. Using this method will have you working out smarter and harder. Keep reading how the songs break down and add them to your playlist to get your heart beating to some classic tunes.

1-4: Warm-up and Cool Down: 120-139 BPM

Old Time Rock and Roll,” by Bob Seger has 124 BPM, and you can use this classic tune to get your workout started. Or try shaking up the start of your workout with The Beatles and their 1960s hit, “Twist and Shout,” which has 127 BPM. You could always take a “Run Through the Jungle” with Creedence Clearwater Revival (136 BPM). Of course, after a workout filled with high-intensity, heart pumping music, you need to come down from your cardio high. Ease into a slightly slower pace, and remind yourself of the importance to cool down with The Eagles’ 139 BPM in “Take it Easy.”

5-7: Moving and Shaking: 140-159 BPM

As you head into the second part of your workout, use the Rolling Stones’ 145 BPM in “Get Off My Cloud” to transition into the 140s. Next, jam out with Bruce Springsteen during your workout, so the boss can get you “Dancing in the Dark,” and elevating your cardio to the next level with 148 BPM. That is of course, unless you’d rather “Runaway” at 153 BPM with Bon Jovi.

8-10: High Intensity: 160 BPM and above

You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates is a great transition, with its upbeat tempo and 167 BPM. Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” really will get you sweating and moving. There are a whopping 173 BPM, ideal for any high intensity portions of your cardio series. The Clash kick it up a notch higher with 175 BPM from “Complete Control.”

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