Interval Training Music For Higher Performance

by Jeff on November 12, 2010

Did you know that listening to the right kind of music can increase your performance?

The right kind of music can improve your performance in Interval Training. Check out my post on HIIT for different ways to do interval training.

If you’re interested in learning about how to increase your performance through music, read the next part. Otherwise, you can skip to the end where I have included some of my favorite Interval Training Music.

In a 2009 study, twelve (12) students were chosen for an experiment. They were put on an exercise bike and listen to six (6) songs. The study showed that when the tempo increased, so did the student’s output. These students were not told about the following changes in tempo

There were 3 trials in total:

  • First Trial: The songs were at their normal speed
  • Second Trial: The songs tempo was lowered by ten percent (-10%) during the second trial.
  • Third Trial: The songs were sped up by ten percent (+10%) during the third trial.
  1. When the tempo was decreased by 10%, performance decreased by 36% AND the students did not find the trial to be easier.
  2. When the tempo was increased by 10% , their performance increased by 3.5%

The music played a significant role on the performance. Just a 20% difference in the tempo created a difference of 39.5% in performance.

To read the details of this study, go to:

There was another study that showed how basketball players performed poorly under high amounts of pressure. However, when there is a catchy song playing, their performance increases dramatically. It’s almost as if the music helps distract you from your own thoughts. This allows your body to function more optimally.

Besides distracting your mind, music also works for your body on an unconscious level. Music can increase your heartbeat , excite you, and increase your motivation. Music works on both your body and mind.

What kind of music increases your performance?

  1. Music with a faster tempo (Higher BPM – Beats Per Minute)
  2. Music that you really enjoy
  3. Music that pumps you up and motivates you

Here below are some of my favorite interval training music. I’ve included music from various genres.


Dubstep generally has a very high BPM. If you like dubstep, check these guys out. The song below is called ‘Crush’, one of my favorite songs by them. If you like it, you can check out their album called Immersion. Along ‘Crush’, there are other awesome songs on it.


I put Thunderstruck down below. All of their best songs are on their Iron Man 2 album.

Linkin Park

Pretty much every song on their first 2 albums are great, Hybrid Theory and Reanimation. I put One Step Closer below

Benny Benassi

If you’re into dirty electro dance music, you’ll like this guy. My 2 favorite albums by him are ‘Best of Benny Benassi’ and ‘Rock and Rave’. I put Bring The Noise below.


This song is called Yes. La La La and I’m In Miami Trick are also great.

Daft Punk

Stronger Featuring Kayne West is great.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Raymond - ZenMyFitness November 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm

great post, I think music is integral to life and working out. I cna listen to music when I run and I tend to run to the beat ( if its slower I go slower, if its fast I tend to go faster).
I like up lifting music with great lyircs and clever rhythm.
But I can’t listen to music when I weight lift it seems too distracting and I like to concentrate on the lifting.


Jeff November 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I agree, music is great in other areas of life as well. I’ve recently started putting on music while cooking and I love it.


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