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Having the right workout music makes a big difference. Science agrees.
Most anyone who’s ever exercised with their iPod knows what a powerful motivator music can be, but choosing the right music isn’t always so easy. In one study published last year, a group of Australian researchers found that basketball players who listened to Monty Python’s “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life” before taking free throws tended to shoot better. In case Monty Python isn’t your thing, we’ve collected playlists from five athletes at the top of their sports, from swimming to skateboarding. Here’s what gets the superhumans into the zone: 1. Alex Honnold Rock Climber Out of all the insane climbs that Alex Honnold has done, his free solo of Moonlight Buttress has to be the most badass. As if climbing a 1,200-foot-high sandstone tower without a rope isn’t impressive enough, he did it all while listening to his iPod. Afterwards, Honnold dished to Alpinist about the bands that had been on his playlist. New Dark Ages – Bad Religion Humanoid – Chevelle Fuck Authority – Pennywise Can’t Repeat – Offspring Something Wrong With Me – Pennywise 2. Michael Phelps Swimmer Ever since Michael Phelps picked up a sponsorship from waterproof headphone makers H2O Audio, I’ve wondered what he’s listening to with those aquatic buds. Judging by this playlist Phelps put together for Rhapsody, mostly hip-hop. Overnight Celebrity – Twista Burn – Usher Roses – Outkast ‘Till I Collapse – Eminem Smile – G Unit 3. Sarah Haskins Triathlete Sarah Haskins competed in her first professional race in 2004 and her first Olympics in 2008. Here’s an excerpt from a playlist she put together for Women’s Health. Crazy in Love – Beyonce Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson Welcome to the Jungle – Guns ‘N Roses Eye of the Tiger – Survivor Hey Ya! – OutKast 4. Lindsey Vonn Skier Vonn put together this playlist for Rap-Up. Much like Johnny Weir, the Olympic gold medalist has a weakness for Lady Gaga. Sweet Dreams – Beyoncé Anything on Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne Dead and Gone – T.I. feat Justin Timberlake Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys Poker Face – Lady Gaga 5. Tony Hawk Skateboarder The Birdman has definitely slowed down, but for a guy who was a legend a decade and a half ago, he’s had a pretty good run. This selection, from a playlist Hawk put together for The Adventure Life, definitely has an old-school vibe to it. The Beginning of the End – Nine Inch Nails Clampdown – The Clash Strange Times – The Black Keys Mr. Brownstone – Guns N’ Roses White Unicorn – Wolfmother

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