Despite the burgeoning group fitness class trend (and I’m guilty of going to every yoga and barre class in a five-mile radius), it would appear that 77 percent of Americans still prefer to exercise alone. But just because you’re all by your lonesome doesn’t mean you don’t want some sort of company. For many, after all, Justin Bieber in your ear at the gym seems like a pretty sweet combination.
So to check out just what we’re listening to while we’re getting our cardio on, Elliptical Reviews massaged some Spotify data to determine which artists and songs are the best for not only keeping us entertained, but helping us burn through our daily calories.
Of all the many workout stations available to Spotify users, the “Cardio” mix has the most followers, with well over 1.5 million listeners. Elliptical Reviews describes it as “more pop-heavy,” presumably relying on familiar tunes and predictable beats to keep your jogging pace on point. The second most popular is the “Power Workout” playlist, which is comprised of an ever-changing list of “the latest tracks in hip-hop.” The number three spot is taken by the “Dance Workout” playlist, which appears to be a favorite among female listeners, especially given the popularity of aerobics among women.
But which songs actually get our heart rates up the best? Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean? appears an impressive 10 times on Spotify’s workout playlists, while the appropriately named Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon and Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body are both in the top five, with seven appearances each.
But when it comes to artists, the Biebs doesn’t rank quite as highly (though he’s still in the top 20). Rather, it’s Jay Z and Skrillex who are the most popular among workout enthusiasts, and rap and hip-hop as a whole are by far the most popular genres for exercise. Little surprise there, given the beat and bass-driven nature of the genres.
But perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that the top song choices for the most popular artists are all from the “forgotten grooveyard” annals of their repertoire. In fact, Elliptical Reviews notes, “All of Jay Z’s represented hits are at least a decade old, and Kanye’s Stronger was released in 2007 — far from the “latest tracks” at this point.” That said, however, “nearly all of Spotify’s top exercise albums are brand spankin’ new,” and curiously, from exclusively male artists.
So if you’re looking to put a new spring in your step at the gym, consider checking out what’s getting others to move, and spruce up that playlist for your next sweat session.