ZONED IN: The key to finding the perfect music for a workout is choosing songs which align to your work-rate.
You’ve overcome the tough part - you have gone to the gym.

But from the treadmill to the weights to Pilates and yoga, it can be overwhelming deciding what to focus on - more so when you lack motivation.

Anyone who has exercised knows the music you listen to while training can be the difference between feeling like a professional athlete versus struggling through a workout like an average Joe.

Finding the perfect workout song, let alone a whole playlist, can be tricky.

“Music plays a key role in fitness,” said Richard Lee, a Virgin Active music producer.

“It is the heart and soul of any workout and without it, the class will lack motivation and is often reduced to nothing more than a few exercises performed with a lack of effort or desire.”

The key is choosing the right music which aligns to your work-rate, Lee said.

“Motivational tracks inspire you to push yourself further and work harder to achieve your goals," he added. "But if the music choices are wrong, then equally the workout can fail.

“As a music producer for the fitness industry, it is my job to select the right music for my clients and their projects and by working together, we can achieve the perfect music solution.”

Jazzercise - an online community of instructors, franchise owners and fitness fanatics - dissects the “anatomy of a great workout song” as having the following factors: motivational factors, optimal beats per minute and motivational lyrics.

“Mind Body/Yoga classes are often made up of slower, more controlled exercises and the music needs to complement this," Lee said.

"Some instructors favour a traditional music solution that uses ambient tunes, often instrumentals, ranging from classical to more contemporary tracks, while others prefer to push to the boundaries and use tracks from more modern artists or new music genres.”

High-intensity training required upbeat music, he added, as the workouts can be tougher and his class members often need a motivational boost.

“The BPM range is much higher, usually 140-155, which makes dance music a huge favourite, especially classic trance anthems as the tracks were often without vocals, or very few vocals, and focused more on uplifting beats and riffs to carry the song through making them perfect for these type of classes,” Lee said.

In a similar way to how a DJ motivates a crowd on a dance floor, so a fitness instructor can motivate a fitness class, he added.

“It’s the same principle for both... play the wrong song at the wrong time and the audience stop dancing; play the wrong song during a workout and the energy in the class is lost," Lee said.

"By the time you have found a track that works it is often too late!”

Music planning and a basic understanding of what songs to use in a fitness class must not be underestimated, he added, regardless of your musical preference.

Lee said music programming was an “essential tool and a great skill” to have, adding: “Whatever the fitness workout, it is the music that matters.”