Ditch your workout playlist and pick up a podcast

The benefits of listening to a podcast while you workout

Courtesy+of+UMass+Campus+Recreation+official+Facebook+page
Back to Article
Back to Article

Ditch your workout playlist and pick up a podcast

Courtesy of UMass Campus Recreation official Facebook page

Courtesy of UMass Campus Recreation official Facebook page

Courtesy of UMass Campus Recreation official Facebook page

Courtesy of UMass Campus Recreation official Facebook page

By Emma Ryan, Collegian Staff

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






People always say that getting yourself to the gym is the hardest part of exercising but motivating yourself to get through your workout is arguably just as difficult. Most people resort to a playlist of their favorite hype-up songs to get them through their daily dose of exercise, but there are many reasons why it might be worth tuning into a podcast for your next sweat-session.

We all have that one playlist full of songs to hype us up at the gym, but if you make frequent appearances at the gym, the “pump-up songs” on your playlist are bound to lose some of their pump. Even your favorite music is bound to lose some of its intensity if you’re trying to log more miles on the treadmill or hit a new record for reps during a lifting session. A podcast, on the other hand, will continuously catch your attention. Being bored with your music makes it that much easier to tune it out and realize how much you’re dreading the rest of your workout. In cases like these, a podcast is the perfect distraction to get you through your workout.

Podcasts don’t only act as a distraction from your workout. Listening to a podcast while you exercise has many other benefits. If you choose one podcast which greatly interests you and if you only listen to it during your workouts, it acts as an incentive to get yourself to the gym. In this case, you don’t get to listen to the podcast unless you go workout, so it will make you more inclined to get there.

Podcasts can also act as a timer for your workout. Your goal may be to complete a longer workout, whether that may be more intense cardio or a longer lifting session. However, going into the gym knowing that you’re going to be there for a long time can decrease your motivation. If you find a podcast that runs the length of the workout you want to complete it makes it easier to reach your goals and finish strong. Podcasts can run from thirty minutes to over two hours, which makes them suitable for a workout of any length. This isn’t only beneficial for long workouts, though. If you’re on a tight schedule, you can choose a podcast that runs for a shorter amount of time. Once the podcast is over, so is your workout.

Podcasts are also just as versatile as music, so there is bound to be one that interests you. Not every podcast will  consist of a mundane voice in your ear waxing eloquent monologues about the history of ketchup. Some of the best investigative journalism being conducted today manifests on the form of podcasts. Podcasts can be found in all genres including true crime and lifestyle podcasts, where hosts tell funny stories or give advice to listeners. News podcasts can help catch you up on the world around you and there are even fitness podcasts that educate you about working out while you’re working out. Listening to a podcast, no matter what the genre, is effectively exercising your brain and your body at the same time. It might take a little time and some trial and error to find one you like, but it’s no more difficult nor different from finding music to add to a workout playlist.

If you’ve never listened to podcasts before, trying to find one that you like can be an overwhelming task. There are so many different genres to choose from, but you can try the top lists on Spotify or Apple Music to give you some suggestions.

Some casual lifestyle podcasts that might catch your attention are “Schnitt Talk” and “Berning in Hell.” “Schnitt Talk” is a Barstool Sports podcast run by two girls who just graduated college. They talk about living in NYC and figuring out how to be a “real” adult while still touching on their lives in college, making it relatable to those of us who are still in college. “Berning in Hell” is a podcast run by a woman named Hannah Berner. She was a D1 athlete and left her desk job in sales to make a podcast because she was itching to create. Berner has a variety of guests on her podcast who also work in the entertainment business. It’s comforting and inspiring listening to success stories of people who are in “unconventional” careers like fitness or television rather than a nine-to-five desk job.

If you’re more into sports, there’s an abundance of other Barstool podcasts that talk about every sport you can imagine. If you follow baseball, try listening to Jared Carrabis’ “Section 10.” Carrabis is a huge Red Sox fan, which we can appreciate here in Massachusetts, but talks about the sport of baseball as whole rather than being biased toward the Sox.

Podcasts have become so popular recently that even actors are trying their hand at them: check out Amy Schumer’s “3 Girls, 1 Keith” or Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” if you want a good laugh during your workout.

Some podcasts are even split up into segments that can give the same effect as a changing song. If you’re someone who gets bored listening to one topic, segments might be good for you because the subjects change and the podcast catches your attention all over again. More casual podcasts can even give off the effect of having a workout partner without actually having one with you. If there’s a voice in your ear casually telling a funny story or chatting with someone they’re interviewing, it can make you feel like you’re a part of a conversation rather than slogging through your third mile on the treadmill or fifth set of bicep curls.

Podcasts are definitely not the first thing that come to people’s minds when they are setting up audible distractions at the gym, but there are a lot of benefits to listening to podcasts during your daily workout as opposed to your same old tired workout playlist. It might take some trial and error to find a podcast you enjoy listening to, but once you find one it can act as motivation, inspiration or simply as a time-marker for your next workout.

Emma Ryan can be reached at [email protected]