Music can make or break your workout. When I was a fitness boxing coach at a studio in Santa Monica, we used to curate a new 45-minute playlist every day, and box to the beat of the music--kind of like SoulCycle, but for boxing. At first, I thought it was kind of corny, but ultimately, I learned that music does enhance the workout.
The ebbs and flows of a thought-out playlist invoke emotion and energy. That is when I learned how to create a playlist with an arch to it, meaning, we start with a song that has a “warm-up feel to it”, build up to a fast-paced set of songs mid-workout, and then slow down the tempo for the cool down. To do this, I pay attention to the BPM (beats per minute). Certain movements work better with certain BPM.
Once you learn to count the BPM, you can start adding a movement to it (like a jumping jack) and practice syncing movements to the beat. Moving to the beat of the music adds an element of choreography to the workout, and honestly - it’s just fun!
To count the beats of the song, download an app called “Tap Tempo” and just tap the button to the beat as you listen to the song. You can count beat half-time or double-time and match movements accordingly. To curate a playlist, I prefer Apple Music, but Spotify is great, too. I recommend organizing your music based on BPM or by genre because it will make it easier to curate playlists in the future.
Let's get started! Here's an example of how to make a workout music playlist for a 6-round workout.
Warm Up: 120 - 130 BPM
Raise the heart rate with an active stretch
Engage the muscle groups that will be used during class
Get boxers accustomed to moving with the beat of the music
Recommended exercises: Active stretching, band work and stretching bar work
Recommended music: Pop workout songs
Round 1: 130 - 155 BPM
Demonstrate and teach the 6 punches, kicks, and 2 defensive moves
Create a “push” with calisthenics that help to spark the heart rate
Recommended exercises: Introductory drills and basic boxing punches, kicks, defensive moves, calisthenics
Recommended music: Anything that energizes you
Round 2: 135 - 160 BPM (Climax)
Start to create simple, 2 - 3 punch / kick combinations, option to add in footwork (1-2-3, 1-2 step, 1-2 slip, 1-2 rolls)
Build in calisthenics during the push of the song
Introduce kicks if it’s a kickboxing class
Recommended exercises: Simple 2 - 3 punch and kick combinations, footwork drills, basic kicks, calisthenics
Recommended music: Remixes
Round 3: 150 - 160 BPM
Review the 6 punches and kicks on the bag with a catchy, easy-to-keep beat
Half-time to double-time / high and low punches
Keep it on the heavy bag, no plyos during this song
Work both stances (southpaw / orthodox) for advanced boxers
Recommended exercises: Basic boxing punches and kicks, boxing stances
Recommended music: EDM
Round 4: 170 - 180 BPM
Faster-paced 3-punch and kick combos (1-2-3 / 2-3-2) or 2 punches + 1 defensive move
Incorporate sets of plyometrics and calisthenics: Squat jumps, jump switch lunges, etc.
Recommended exercises: 3-punch and kick combos, defensive moves, plyometrics
Recommended music: Classic rock
Round 5: 140-180 BPM (Climax)
Depending on the length of your songs you may have 2 or 3 additional bag songs
6 - 7 punch / kick combo (should be built up)
Off-beat punching sets work great for certain songs where the beat fades away
Bring boxers back on the beat when the music suggests
Practice syncopated combinations (sharp punches, fast)
Continue to incorporate plyometrics and think about varying from strengthening to cardio
Make it heroic!
Recommended exercises: 6 - 7 punch and kick combos, fast and sharp punches on the boxing bag, plyometrics
Recommended music: Remixes
Round 6: Cool Down
Play something calming and chill to cool down
Calm the nervous system
Recommended exercises: Static stretches (held for 10 seconds)
Recommended music: R&B or reggae
Making music playlists can take time, but it does make a difference in the workout. The more you do it, the easier that it gets. Now, when that beat drops, I want you to go HAM! I am excited to see how this adds to your FightCamp workouts. Keep going!
How Can I Stream Music For My Workout?
Follow these 6 steps in the FightCamp App to stream music through Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and SoundCloud for your workouts.
1. Go into the FightCamp app and select the workout that you'd like to do.
2. At the top of the screen select the music icon.
3. The Music Drawer will open and you'll have the option to choose FightCamp Radio, Music Apps, or No Music at all. That's right, FightCamp radio is still available for you.
4. Now, if you'd like to choose your own music select the "Music Apps" icon. This will open up the compatible apps that you already have installed on your device.
5. Select the Music App you want to use, choose your playlist and start your music.
6. Trackback to the workout screen and begin your FightCamp workout.
》You can also find the Music Streaming options by selecting "More" and "Music Selection" under "Settings."
》One more thing... we've also added the capability to control the audio with Music Leveling. Tap the screen during a workout to choose more Trainer, more music, balanced or no music.
Keep these directions on hand by saving this blog post or bookmark our help center: https://bit.ly/3h1KF18
Are you ready to train like a fighter to your favorite workout playlist? Get access to hundreds of boxing, kickboxing, strength, conditioning, recovery, and stretching workouts that will push you mentally and physically. Download the FREE FightCamp App and train with real fighters from the comfort of your own home.
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