Great article from the American Council on Exercise about how to pick music for your fitness class. Good timing, too, since Shape magazine included a rowing playlist in their January 2012 issue. ACE says there are four factors you should consider in putting together the playlist for your class, and they are all important when you’re teaching indoor rowing:
1. Role of the Music: ACE says to begin by looking at how important music is in your class. In rowing classes, as in Spinning or most anything else, it can be a great tool for building intensity. Keep in mind, though, that it’s important that people not get so lost in the music that they forget their rowing technique – or miss out on the chance to hear the melody the group rowing class creates when all the flywheels are whirring together.
2. Musical Phrasing: ACE points out that beats per minute (BPM) is the primary component of musical phrasing. For most people, rowing workouts work best when they’re paced at no more than 25-26 strokes per minute, which equates to music in the range of 110 to 130 BPM.
3. Music Selection: Music can make or break your rowing class or rowing workout – We all know that cranking the tunes can help you hit that PR or break through a motivational wall. For indoor rowing classes, familiar songs with great lyrics are fine for the warmup and cooldown, but for the meat of the workout we prefer instrumental music (Spinning music is a great resource) that makes it easier for people to stay focused on the work and their rowing technique.
4. Volume is the last key factor in ACE’s article, not just for the music but for the instructor. In rowing it’s at least as important to get the mic right for you so you’re heard over the flywheels as it is to adjust the volume on the songs.
So are you ready to rock and row? Here’s a 45-minute playlist to get you started, one of our favorites for learn-to-row classes and general audiences:
Rise Herb Alpert
Something Got Me Started Simply Red
Rock Your Body Brainbug (remix)
Bom Bom Bom Living Things
Bright Lights Bigger City Cee Lo Green
Spirit in the Sky Norman Greenbaum
I Like the Way Bodyrockers
That Feeling DJ Chus
Got to Give It Up Marvin Gaye
Use Me Bill Withers
What’s your favorite song to row to? Got a playlist you’d like to share? We’d love to see it!