Study: Burn more calories by working out with music

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- We all know listening to some music while we exercise can help take our minds off the work, but a new study says it can help you burn off more calories as well.

“So if you have a very upbeat tempo, it literally raises your heart rate,” said Lisa Larson of Rhythm Cycle in Scottsdale. “And you respond to it by, actually, your calories burn more.”

Larson has been using music to pump up workouts for years. The idea is to find the right beat to maximize the routine.

“You have to make sure the beat of the song is going to match the rhythm of your body,” she told 3TV.

And a new study out of Canada shows Larson is on the right track.

Participants in the study took part in high-intensity workouts, short bursts of high energy followed by periods of rest. They first exercised without music and then with a custom playlist of their favorite songs.

Subjects reported that both workouts felt the same, but the power output recorded was substantially higher when they were listening to their favorite songs.

Every participant worked harder with music without realizing it, which Larson says is exactly the idea when she creates workout playlists.

“It allows riders to be able to stay on point, where they need to be," she said.

And riders at Rhythm Cycle say music is what gives their routine that extra burst.

“I have taken spin at various places, and the music is what sets the pace for the class and keeps you motivated to come back,” Kerry Tishuk said.

Another believer is Danielle Goldstien. ”Because right when you feel like you can't move any more, that song comes on and it kind of takes you to that next level that you didn't think you could get to," she said.

But as the study showed, you do need to find a playlist that works. So build yourself a group of songs that match your workout, whether you are walking, running, cycling or pumping some iron.

Larson says it all works to give your routine a boost.

”When you are putting together your playlist, you are focusing on, what type of ride am I going to create today for my riders?” she explained.

Now, you do not need to do a cycle class to get the benefits. Researchers saw the same benefit in other high-intensity workouts.

Larson shared this playlist for a medium-intensity walk exclusively for

1. Vampire Weekend, I'm Going Down (iTunes Session), 3:04
2. Imagine Dragons, On Top of the World, 3:12
3. The Hit Crew, Hey Ya!, 3:45
4. Phillip Phillips, Home, 3:29 
5. Feist, 1234, 3:09 
6. Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill, 4:21 
7. Estelle, Do My Thing (feat. Janelle Monáe), 3:28
8. Yes, Owner of a Lonely Heart, 4:30
9. Alanis Morissette, Crazy, 3:42
10. The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony, 5:58
11. Neon Trees, Everybody Talks, 2:57
12. Eric Church, Springsteen, 4:23
13. Rolling Stones, Under My Thumb, 3:43
14. Mashups:Lynyrd Skynyrd Vs. Nelly, Sweet Home Country Grammar, 4:27
15. OneRepublic, Feel Again, 3:06
16. Billy Joel, It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, 2:57

And here is a spinning workout from instructor Adam at Rhythm Cycle:

1. Never Let you go, Third Eye Blind
2. Doom and Gloom, Rolling Stones
3. I Love It (Solidisco Remix), Icona Pop
4. Space Jam, Space Jam Soundtrack
5. Sail, Awolnation
6. Locked Out of Heaven, Bruno Mars
7. Don’t Stop the Party, Chani and Paulette
8. Dare, Gorrilaz
9. Tongue Tied, Grouplove
10. Wobble, VIC
11. Sex on Fire, Kings of Leon