The Ultimate Guide to Music for Gyms

Getting the best gym music playlist can be an essential part of the gym experience.

From gym motivation music to sourcing essential music for gym training or top music for gym exercise, many workouts and personal fitness sessions can benefit from an inspirational soundtrack.

Not only does this keep gym users motivated and ensure they return again to your business but also helps maintain staff morale and enhances a gym’s brand.

Research from top academic Dr Costas Karageorghis shows how listening to music can reduce a gym goer’s perception of effort while upping their performance.


Your Guide to Gym Music and Curating Gym Music Playlists

As part of our ultimate guide to selecting the best music to workout in gyms, we’ll answer some of the essential questions behind choosing inspiring gym workout music.

  • Why do Gyms Play Music?
  • What Music is Best for Gyms?
  • Where do Gyms Get Their Gym Music From?
  • Do Gyms Need a Licence?
  • Can I Play Spotify in my Gym?

We’ll also provide you with an overview of how Open Ear’s expert team of music lovers can help you avoid breaking a sweat when it comes to sourcing the best gym music playlists for your business.

Get in touch with our Open Ear team to find out more and start your free trial.

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Why do Gyms Play Music

Exercise and workouts are enhanced by a great soundtrack. Playing gym music doesn’t just keep your mind busy. If you can put together a carefully curated gym music playlist, then this can help improve the quality of a workout and give gym goers the energy and motivation to keep going even when the going gets tough.

Our in-house gym music curation expert Oscar Arroyo says:

Music can be the difference between enjoying your workout and not. It could make you go that extra mile and be rewarded with extra endorphins. Music can be a trigger for positive memories which can keep you going when you feel like stopping.

A study by sport psychologist C.I. Karageorghis found that gym motivation music helped exercisers push through fatigue and increase their endurance during a workout.

Here are some more reasons why you should invest in sourcing the most suitable gym music for your gym:

- Motivation for gym users

Workout music can give a gym goer the impetus to keep exercising, even when they might be feeling fatigued or low on energy. Sometimes the best gym music can include motivational lyrics or messages via an uplifting or anthemic verse, chorus or melody. Other types of gym motivation music can burst with energy thanks to an upbeat tempo and high bpm.


If you are in a spin class or undertaking a session on the weights, then focusing on the music can sometimes help you move through any pain to achieve your workout goals.

- Distraction from other sounds

The gym is often full of users all giving it their all in a workout or as part of an exercise regime.

With so many pushing themselves to train hard, gym motivation music can be one way for people to zone out of what is going on around them. Focusing on gym music can help users ignore their immediate environment and instead keep their minds on working out and enhancing their own personal fitness.

- Keep gym users engaged and on site for longer

Endurance can be key for a successful gym session. Not only does the best workout music help ensure users are in the right frame of mind to get energetic but also keep them motivated to exercise for longer periods of time.


- Soundtrack classes

The gym is often full of different classes providing a range of activities all aimed at helping gym goers enjoy a workout.

The best music to workout in gyms can be used by instructors to help their class participants remember certain routines or exercises or even associate certain workouts with specific songs. Gym music, the tempo and volume that it is played at can be hugely important if an instructor is looking to raise or bring down the energy level of a class.

- Radio won’t enhance your brand

Gym owners, managers or staff members might be tempted to play the radio in a gym. But doing so will not offer the same benefits as choosing a specifically curated playlist.

Ideally, as a gym owner, you want to use gym music that you can control to respond to what is happening in your space. With radio, this is out of your hands, meaning you have no say over what is played or the atmosphere created in your business. However, by curating playlists or working with a music curation service such as Open Ear, you have the chance to influence what is happening within your business.


What Music is Best for Gyms?

A gym music playlist will usually look to raise the energy levels in a room to match the behaviour of gym members. The majority of gym motivation music will be fast-paced and be taken from upbeat tempo musical genres such as techno, rock or pop music. However, if a workout is coming to an end, then more downtempo beats could be appropriate.

Where do Gyms get their Gym Music?

The workout music source can differ between businesses. Many gyms will have an idea of how they want their gym to sound when it comes to their brand and how they want it to be portrayed. The playlist is an essential part of this and you can work with a music curation service such as Open Ear Music to make the most of this opportunity.

Our in-house team is full of music experts capable of curating gym music playlists that not only engage customers but also expose them to new and exciting sounds to ensure your business stands out from any competitors.

Do Gyms need a Music Licence?

Yes. Any business that plays music in a public space such as a gym will need to arrange a music licence with PRS and PPL. This is the only way you can legally play music in your business.

You can find out more here.

Can I Play Spotify in My Gym?

No, the terms and conditions that you agree to when registering for an account with the streaming service states that these services are for personal, non-commercial use only. This means you are not legally allowed to play music from this service in your space.

Visit the Spotify website to find out more.

Gym Music Case Studies

Our team has worked with several major gym and exercise brands to curate the best gym music to enhance their brands.

JD Gym + Logo

JD Gyms

Since 2018, our team has ensured that the gym music heard in JD Sports’ gyms covers the needs of all their members, helping to motivate them, enhance the customer experience and ensure they return for more exercise sessions.

For a business that attracts such a wide age range of members, thoughtful and flexible selection of music is essential to ensuring consistent customer satisfaction. We have worked closely with their teams to provide a suitable soundtrack across multiple locations.

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Hotpod Yoga

Open Ear’s team worked with Hotpod Yoga to create a new song licensing model for music, working directly with artists from around the globe who provide unique content for the app.

A bespoke Hotpod Sounds app was subsequently developed for instructors to play during their classes, creating new flows of music in response to the type of class being taught.

Meet our Expert Team of Gym Music Curators

Our leading professionals and music industry playlist curators can help your gym harness the power of music. Doing so means that your gym music soundtrack is always on-brand and your customers maximise enjoyment from their training experience.

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