Dubai Fitness Challenge: Can music help as you workout? Yes!

After all, the ultimate workout playlist can put you in the mood, serve as the best motivator, and boast your overall performance


In a couple of weeks from now, all of us will join hands to make the sixth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, a huge success once again. Come October 29th, we’d vow to complete 30 minutes of activity for 30 days (until November 27). Yes, that’s the simple goal of the Challenge – to inspire everyone to create a fitness-focused mindset and seek healthy, active lifestyles. And we all know that music offers plenty of inspiration when it comes to moving, whether we’re on the treadmill in a gym, running at Kite Beach, or having a Zumba catch-up with friends. After all, happiness is music and a good workout.

Music for the majority of people is the ultimate motivator, it can be the complete difference between having an amazing workout or a rubbish one.

TJ Gray and Dylan Eiffe, co-owners, BARE DXB

Experts at The Platform Studios recommend selecting songs where the BPM will match the heart rate you are wanting to achieve

How much does music affect one's fitness regime?

“Music is what puts most people in the mood to work out and carries them through their session. A great benefit is that it can shift your actual focus to working out. For some people, music helps them to completely change their mindset from work, say, to be in the gym smashing their specific fitness goals, a sort of leaving your outside stresses at the door if you will, ” said TJ Gray and Dylan Eiffe, co-owners, BARE DXB, a Dubai's Nike-sponsored fitness hub in Business Bay, aimed at young, fun individuals. “Music is a vital part of one’s workout/ fitness regime. It not only puts you in a great mood and increases your motivation, but also helps to improve your stamina in a workout,” said Stewart Miller, founder and CEO, The Platform Studios, a boutique health club experience in Dubai Hills. He added, “Music is also known to elevate your mood and is an excellent distractor from fatigue, helping to boost overall performance. It is a big part of bringing the joy of exercise to your everyday life. The Platform Studios offer electrifying classes run by world-class instructors, who have been handpicked and trained by the best in the business. “Great music can elevate your mood and impact your workout. Music helps you achieve that by tuning out the external distractions,” said Raj Pagarani, founder, Iron Tribe, a UAE-born athleisure wear brand, that was imagined for the “social” athlete i.e. the millennial urbanite, who wants to save time and create a look that can take them from yoga to after hours.

Music that is synchronised with your workout can lead to higher levels of endurance, power, strength and overall enjoyment.

Stewart Miller, founder and CEO, The Platform Studios

The team at Iron Tribe vouch that in multicultural Dubai, an ideal playlist encompasses genres from all over the world from Afro beats to Arabic pop, Deep House to Bollywood, and beyond

Is there an ideal workout playlist?

“This will differ depending on the type of discipline you are participating in (for example, yoga vs. a HIIT workout). You will want to choose a playlist that is long enough to get you through your workout and beyond so that you stay focused and motivated the entire way through,” said Stewart. TJ and Dylan remarked how they don’t think there is one playlist that is typically ideal for everyone, and it completely depends on an individual's music taste, “For instance, we know of someone who likes to work out to classical music.” At BARE DXB, known as an edgy gym (with blacked out and neon lights, where a HIIT session meets night out with the ultimate party workouts), they transition between phases of different levels of energy needed for that part of the workout and therefore change the energy of the music to match this. The duo elaborated, for example, if it is a strength phase, they’d play something that is a little calmer, a few Hip Hop tracks, “People are still very vibe-y with this but they're trying to focus on lifting weight correctly as opposed to as fast as possible. On our sprints at the end of the workout, we would use something which is a lot fast-paced and high energy as our energy output is fast-paced, dance or EDM tracks.” Raj too agreed that music playlists are a very personal choice with his preferred choice being Deep House, but at the same time, I am not opposed to listening to a motivational podcast while doing cardio. (Deep House is most commonly played a little slower than House music), and we all have our favourite genres, “A lot of the music apps already offer tailored playlists for different options say from the gym to running, and yoga to cardio. Dubai is a hub of mixed nationalities, we are lucky to hear music from literally all over the globe right here. An ideal playlist should reflect that, from Afro beats to Arabic pop, from Deep House to Bollywood, and beyond.” Stewart advised, “Depending on the workout, it is recommended to choose songs where the BPM will match the heart rate you are wanting to achieve. For example, faster songs for high-intensity and slower songs for lower-intensity workouts. Maximise your workout and mood with your favourite, uplifting and positive songs to get the most out of it and leave with a strong sense of accomplishment.”


At BARE DXB, the music matches the different levels of energy needed for various parts of the workout

Anyone in fitness will vouch for the importance of the mind, body connect while working out. If you’re already pumped up for a great workout, listening to an epic playlist gives you an added push. Similarly, a horrible music compilation can also kill your buzz!

Raj Pagarani, founder, Iron Tribe


This piece was first published in Khaleej Times








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