“Music is like is a legal drug for athletes.What’s on your iPod workout playlist?

Today I cranked through a leg workout with a crazy combo: Audioslave, Skrillex, U2, Pitbull and Rage Against the Machine.

I know for a fact that the music made me go harder and faster. In fact, I am not sure I’m capable of a hard workout without a musical soundtrack.

And based on what you tell me, I’m not alone. Studies show that the right music can help you not only work out harder, but also make it seem like that extra work is not so hard.

Music does this in three different ways, according to researchers.

First, it makes us want to MOVE. Then it makes us want to move in time with it — which means faster music makes us want to move faster/harder. And then, because it helps distract us from the “pain” or discomfort of exercise, it helps boost our endurance by as much as 15 percent. And then the music itself is a distraction from the pain of exercise. (Want a quick rundown of some of the latest studies? Check this out from the American Council on Exercise.)

Here’s my playlist from today’s workout, which was influenced in part by new music I received for two fitness classes I instruct, Sh’bam and CXWORX.

Audioslave – Cochise
Skrillex – Squad Out!Rage Against the Machine — Renegades of Funk
U2 – Vertigo
Skrillex – Bangarang
J-Lo – Booty (don’t judge me! 🙂 )
Pitbull — Celebrate
Megan Trainor — Bang Dem Sticks
U2 – God Pt. 2

My playlists change every day depending on my workout and my mood.

What’s on YOUR current playlist(s)? Tell me in the comments … I am in the middle of a free trial of streaming music and would love some suggestions.