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Spotify's new Soundtrack Your Workout tool does the heavy lifting for you so you can, you know, focus on heavy lifting.

By Arielle Tschinkel
July 14, 2020
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The perfect workout playlist can be the *one* thing that motivates you to sweat, even on days when simply lacing up your kicks feels like a Herculean effort. But crafting a workout playlist that gets you pumped, keeps you energized, and fits the vibe of your sweat sesh is no easy feat. If you can relate to the struggle, get ready to thank the music gods for Spotify's newest offering: the Soundtrack Your Workout tool.

Instead of scrolling aimlessly through thousands of songs in search of just the right tunes to sweat to, Spotify's Soundtrack Your Workout tool—available in English (globally), Spanish (in Latin America), Portuguese (in Brazil), and Japanese (in Japan)—does all the heavy lifting for you so you can, well, focus on enjoying your own heavy lifting.

Here's how to use the tool: First, visit Spotify's interactive Soundtrack Your Workout page via your web browser and log in to your account. You'll then be prompted to answer seven brief questions about your exercise and music preferences. You'll note how long your workout is (ranging from 15 minutes to two hours), then choose whether you want your mix to include music, podcasts, or both, with an option to include or remove explicit content. (Perfect for those sweat sessions when you're in mixed company—say, with your little ones, or during a socially distant dance workout with the fam.)

You'll then specify what type of workout you'll be crushing: yoga, running, biking, cardio, dance, weightlifting, walking/meditation, and barre/pilates. Next, you'll note who you're working out with, whether it's a solo session, with a workout buddy in person, with friend(s) virtually, or with your kid(s) or pet(s). Then Spotify will ask about your ~workout vibe~, with options such as "totally zen" and "need motivation", or "pumped up" and "ready to dance". (Need an extra boost? Check out these workout motivation tips that will get you off the couch.)

Finally, you'll pick one or two music genres to feature in your playlist; options include rock, hip-hop, country, pop, indie, K-pop, Latin, and metal.

And voilà! Now you can hit "play" on an expertly curated list and ensure you never again stumble upon a heavy metal banger during a zen yoga session or a moody ballad smack in the middle of your living room dance break.

If this all sounds a bit complicated, trust, it couldn't be easier. As someone who considers herself extraordinarily motivated by music (and is known to drive 45 minutes to hit a Britney Spears-themed SoulCycle class with my favorite instructor), creating a workout playlist is actually my least favorite task. Personally, I just want to hit "play" and go, enjoying a guaranteed mix of motivating music without a second thought. So testing out this feature made something that's typically daunting feel pretty fun (especially now—I'm constantly looking for ways to mix up my quarantine workouts).

I'm lucky enough to have a treadmill at home, and I usually spend an hour walking on a steep incline to get my heart rate up without the intensity of a run or jog. So, I created a 60-minute pumped up walking playlist featuring pop and hip-hop. Much to my delight, Spotify served up a 16-track playlist featuring some of my favorites, including "Roses" by Outkast and "Payphone" by Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa, plus some new-to-me jams to bop along to, like "Calypso" by Luis Fonsi and Stefflon Don, and "Like I Would" by Zayn Malik. (Did you know that listening to music makes you more active in general, not just during workouts?)

It might be a while before I'm back in my favorite group fitness classes (miss you, Drew B. @ SoulCycle!), but for now, this is definitely a solid substitution.

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