Have you felt like you were “in the zone” when exercising with your headphones in? Find yourself timing your reps to a tune, running in step to a rock song, or punching in the air to a pulse-driving dance track?

Many do, and there’s a good reason for it. Research shows that listening to music has a huge effect on your workout.

Dr. Costas Karageorghis, of the Brunel University in London, is one of the leading experts in the field. For more than 10 years, he and his team have been studying the psychology of exercise with music.

Here’s what you need to know.

Turn up the tempo
In short, research shows a strong correlation between the pace of your music and your athletic performance.

Dr. Karageorghis ran an experiment that monitored how different types of music affected various weight lifters’ performance. His 2017 paper Interactive Effects of Music Tempi and Intensities on Grip Strength found that fast-tempo music “yielded the highest grip strength.”

The takeaway? Listen to fast-paced tunes for peak performance.

Play it loud and proud
Dr. Karageorghis’ research also showed that volume impacts performance too.

It turned out that the louder the music, the more easily the group could lift weights. The same lifters were also able to go harder, longer.

Scientists from McMaster University added onto this idea, with research published in October 2017, that covered people’s attitudes towards their training.

Participants in the study were found to be much more positive while listening to music. Furthermore, there was a strong link between listening to music and the likelihood that an individual would continue to exercise in the long term.

Essentially, turn up the volume so you can keep putting in those reps.

Pick the right playlists
So, how do you match the right music to the right exercise for the best results? Here’s a few recommendations based on the research.

Low-intensity exercise
Examples: walking, stretching
120 beats per minute / 80 decibels*
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
Bon Jovi - It’s My Life

Medium-intensity exercise
Examples: running, swimming
150 beats per minutes / 80 decibels*
Blink 182 - All The Small Things
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
DJ Khalid - All I Do Is Win

High-intensity exercise
Examples: cycling, weight training
170 beats per minutes / 90 decibels* or higher
Foo Fighters - All My Life
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
David Guetta - Shot Me Down

There are lots of different songs from varying genres across all BPM measures. So, the next time you hit the gym and catch yourself singing to Katy Perry, now you have the research to back up your musical regimen.

* These are recommendations based on the study. Please adjust accordingly to avoid discomfort. Decibels can be translated to percentage roughly for your smartphone or MP3 player (e.g., 80 decibels is roughly 80% volume on a smartphone).

*Allowable level dB(A):
85 for 8 hours
88 for 4 hours
91 for 2 hours