If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I hate cardio: cycling, HIIT workouts, running–you name it, I hate it. And there’s nothing in the world that can make me do it willingly…except Taylor Swift apparently. When I first saw the Taylor Swift treadmill workout trend on TikTok, I thought to myself “That looks fun,” then immediately questioned “Who am I, and since when does cardio look fun?” But because I’m a Swiftie and I do enjoy walking, I decided to ditch my usual strength training workouts to give the Taylor workout a try for a week. Read on to find out what the workout entails, what happened when I tried it, and whether it’s worth trying for yourself.
The workout, created by TikTok star Allie Bennett, is simple. All you have to do is walk (or strut, according to Allie) to the beat of her carefully curated playlists. Each playlist starts off with upbeat warm-up songs, then continues with a couple faster-paced songs perfect for running or fast walking, and ends with a slow song or two for the cool down. Pro tip: Make sure the playlist isn’t on shuffle so that the songs play in the correct order. Find your pace to the first song and increase your speed by .1 MPH every time the song changes. The result is a half-hour workout with a mix of low and high-impact exercises customizable to your fitness level and music taste.
I started off with Allie Bennett’s original Taylor Swift treadmill workout playlist. At first, I was nervous to strut in front of a bunch of strangers at the gym and had trouble finding the right speed for the first few songs (because not only am I a treadmill amateur, I also have no rhythm), but once I heard “Better Than Revenge,” I started hitting my stride. Despite the fact that the running songs on this playlist—“Shake it Off” and “…Ready For It?”—are some of my favorite hype songs, I was still too nervous to try running, so I kept my pace at a fast walk. The best part of the workout? Strutting to “Style” for the final song. Talk about main character energy.
Allie recently released a Midnights treadmill strut playlist, so I knew I had to try that one next since I’ve been listening to the album non-stop for the last two months. I was able to find my pacing much quicker and easier this time, but I still found it hard to stay on beat when each song would slow down during the bridge. This made me think the Midnights album might not be the best to strut to, but I pushed through and even tried (emphasis on “tried”) running to “The Great War.” All the TikToks I’ve seen make it look so fun and easy to run along to Taylor Swift songs, but in full disclosure, I only lasted about two minutes before I had to go back to a fast walk. I was proud of myself for trying though, since I can’t even remember the last time I ran.
I rounded things out by trying Allie’s hour-long Taylor Swift treadmill strut playlist. The idea of an hour-long cardio session seemed daunting at first, but after a successful first two days I was interested to see how this workout would go. And it didn’t disappoint. Before I knew it, I was three songs in and reminiscing about high school while strutting along to “Picture To Burn.” I didn’t look at the tracks beforehand, so it was exciting to anticipate what song would come on next, especially when I was surprised with a “Delicate” remix I’d never heard before. This playlist had two different options for the running portion: either “All Too Well (10 minute version)” or “Haunted,” “Out of the Woods,” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” Because I’m a true Swiftie, I chose to run during “All Too Well,” but I did more of a five-minute version because, again, I’m out of practice.
While I won’t be training for a marathon anytime soon, I can confidently say I’m a cardio convert thanks to Allie Bennett and her Taylor Swift treadmill strut workout. One of the reasons I’ve shied away from the treadmill in the past is because I easily get bored on it, even if I’m watching a show or listening to my favorite podcast. After five minutes, I’d find myself checking the clock to see how much time I had left, but that wasn’t the case with this workout. Focusing on walking to the beat and singing along to some of my favorite songs helped me think about something other than the fact that I was working out. Not only did that make the workout more enjoyable, but it also made it feel like time flew by.
I also enjoyed how customizable the workout was. Since the intention of them is to walk to the beat, there’s no pressure to walk at a specific speed because everyone’s pace will vary based on their height. Similarly, I like that the running songs can also be fast walk songs if you’d prefer. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the other treadmill strut playlists (crossing my fingers for a Reputation version), and I’ll definitely be incorporating this workout into my gym routine.