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Playlists of the fit and famous: Celebrity trainer Nicki Waterman’s tips for picking perfect workout tunes

nicki-watermanFitness expert and and trainer to the stars, Nicki Waterman, reveals her top workout tunes and has tips for making your playlist pay (in motivation, that is)

‘I run five to ten miles every single day on Hampstead Heath. I’ll go first thing in the morning, around 8am. It sets me up for the day and then I can come home and write or work. My running buddies are Nic and Nat Appleton and Liam Howlett from the Prodigy. In the afternoons I’ll run with Denise Van Outen, a couple of times a week. There’s all sorts of terrain on the heath and it’s quite hilly. The one album I always listen to when I run is the Prodigy, Omen. Liam is one of my best friends and that song is awesome for running.’

‘I go on the cross-trainer most days because of my knees. Katy Perry, Roar is good mental preparation for it – I hate the cross-trainer! I’m bored with it but it’s important because I’ve got bad knees. Then I’ll do some stretching to Jason Derulo, Talk Dirty. R’n’B is great for stretching. I’ll do a few squats too. If you do a squat, a press up and a plank after a run, then you’re done. You’ve worked your whole body. I’ll listen to Daft Punk, Get Lucky and Little Mix, Move.’

‘I vary my playlist every two weeks because I get bored. There are ways of putting a successful playlist together: it’s all about the beats per minute. You can go to a website, type in, say, tracks with 90bpm and they’ll come up. A good warm up song for me is a killer track that grabs your attention with a moderate tempo. You don’t want to be rushed either, so I choose songs that are at least four minutes long, like Michael Jackson, Rock With You.’

‘The second song on my playlist has a slightly faster pace so you get your heart rate up to a moderate workout level. You want a strong, catchy beat that you match with a power walk, or on the elliptical trainer, which I use a lot for my knees. The Black Eyed Peas, Let’s Get It Started is a really good one.’

‘I do a lot of interval training. HIIT training is brilliant. I’ll go flat out up the hills on Hampstead Heath. I need pump up songs for this – when you’ve got a really fast song you naturally pick up your speed. Some of my faves are Outkast, Hey Ya  and Lady Gaga, Applause.’

‘After going flat out, it’s important to have a recovery song lined up. It needs to be moderate to slow paced but still motivating enough to keep your workout strong. After I’ve done my hills, a song like Des’ree, You Gotta Be, will slow you down.’

‘When I’m on a long run it’s got to be pop music for me. It’s my guiltiest pleasure. So every time I head out for a long run, I jampack my iPod with songs like Britney Spears, Toxic. Gwen Stefani is great too. To inspire my last few minutes before cooling down, I always pick a finale song. It has to inspire your workout when you’re most tired – it should be the mother of all songs! I like Survivor, Eye of the Tiger.’

‘I’ll cool down with walking and stretching. Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror and Christina Aguilera, Beautiful are really lovely.’

Nicki’s Playlist:

  1. The Prodigy, Omen
  2. Katy Perry, Roar
  3. Jason Derulo, Talk Dirty
  4. Daft Punk, Get Lucky
  5. Little Mix, Move
  6. Michael Jackson, Rock with You
  7. The Black Eyed Peas, Let’s Get it Started
  8. Outkast, Hey Ya
  9. Lady Gaga, Applause
  10. Des’ree, You Gotta Be
  11. Britney Spears, Toxic
  12. Survivor, Eye of the Tiger
  13. Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror
  14. Christina Aguilera, Beautiful

More playlists of the fit and famous:

Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Jackson

Team GB gold medallist Victoria Pendleton

Dancing On Ice star Suzanne Shaw 

Retired Olympic Gymnast Beth Tweddle


Interview by Eva Caiden

Eva Caiden

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