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Weight Room Workouts Made Interesting with Pandora Radio


Keeping our athletes engaged in the weight room and making it fun for them is a challenge we face every year. Music has always been one of the ways to do this, but putting together a playlist of high-energy music with clean lyrics can be time consuming. We can task our athletes with putting something together, but their music isn’t always school appropriate.

This year, we’ve starting using Pandora Radio for music, and it’s become an awesome hands-off way to bring music into the weight room. The best thing is that it’s free, which fits into my coaching budget nicely.

What’s Pandora?

Pandora is free, personalized internet radio. By selecting your favorite artist, song, or genre, Pandora will create a personalized station that plays music from similar artists in that genre. You can rate music by giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down, allowing it to better suit your music tastes. You can use it on your laptop or use their mobile app.

Here’s how we use it in the weight room:

Search Specific Genres

Rather than choosing a specific artist or song, we use the ‘workout’ genre, and it’s been great. It has a good variety of workout stations from pop and hip hop to classic rock. No one has to get sick of listening to one type of music (like the athletes did before when they had to listen to our ‘oldies’ music).

Search for an artist, song, or genre in the top right corner to choose a station.

Disable Explicit Content

Pandora gives you the ability to filter out explicate content so you can make sure all the songs are school appropriate. It’s simple to enable:

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Click your email address in the top right corner and select Settings.
  3. Select “No. Do not allow explicit content.”

We recently started letting our players connect their smartphones to the stereo and listen to their custom Pandora stations too. I just make sure they disable the explicit content on their account.

Provide Music for Events and on the Field

We’re going to use Pandora for our lift-a-thon in the spring and for pre-game music in our stadium. We’ve also talked about getting big speakers to put on the field so we can have music going during practice.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • The music is streaming from the internet, so you’ll need an internet connection if you’re using your laptop, or good cell service if you’re streaming from your phone.
  • If you’ve been using a stereo for your music, most modern stereos have a USB connection or if you have an even older stereo with a tape player, you can buy a cheap cassette adapter that plugs into the audio jack on your smartphone, or iPod touch.
  • They occasionally have short commercials on the free version of Pandora. But you can pay $36/year or $4/month to be commercial free.
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