Moe Sbihi shares his perfect indoor rowing playlist

Olympic champion and resident Caversham DJ Moe Sbihi tells British Rowing about how music boosts his indoor rowing training


Photo (c) Anthony Cullen

Listening to music while you train on the indoor rowing machine has been shown to boost performance for a number of reasons including; reducing the perception of pain, distracting your brain into working harder and helping you keep your rhythm.

British Rowing asked Olympic champion Moe Sbihi all about how music impacts his training and which songs help him row.

Why do you listen to music when you train?

“I like to listen to music when I train to fend away the boredom, especially when I am on the ergo. Listening to music helps calm me down, motivates me and just makes training a hell of a lot more fun!”


How do you chose the music you listen to while training?

“It depends on my mood, to be honest. If it’s just for my own ears, it is normally hip-hop but for the main group, I will often try to include more of a mix. We have a rule at Caversham, that on Thursdays, the music has to be the Throwback Thursday playlist on Spotify. Whatever the choice is, we have to play it. We have had Australia Day, love duets and number ones from 1999. It’s random but keeps it exciting.”


Does your music choice vary depending on the type of training session and how do you plan the playlist accordingly?

“Definitely. If it is race day, I have my set music. If I am going for a personal best or big lift, I try to have the same gee-up music. I take pride in making playlists and I will try to create a different style depending on the mood of the group.”


Do you have any music that you can’t listen to while training?

“I can’t listen to pop music when I have a test or am gearing up for a race. It is not that I don’t like it, it’s just that you need to be in the right mood to listen to certain styles of music. Sometimes, though, we listen to cheesy pop on a 16km row, it lightens the mood and makes everyone sing along. Sometimes a sing-along on the ergo is all we need.”


Do you have a song that you listen to before you race to get you energised and focused?

“There are a few, including Axwell Ingrosso – Barricade. I have seen this live in Ibiza and it’s a great song to get pumped up to. But the go-to song is DJ Khaled – They Don’t Love You No More. I don’t know why, but this is my song! Meeks verse, Rick Ross’ verse and Jay-Z kills it.”


Which five tracks would be on your ultimate erg playlist?

“It’s is so hard to narrow down. In no particular order:


What’s your guilty pleasure song?

“Too embarrassing to say. I am a sucker for movie songs, John Williams or Hanz Zimmer.”


Which song do you know all the words to?

“I am bad at remembering lyrics. I remember snippets rather than whole songs. John Collins did recite the whole of Bohemian Rhapsody on a cycle ride out in South Africa.”


Who has the worst taste in music in the team?

Ollie Cook. He was allowed to put his phone on once. Just once and never again. We had this weird DJ mix that was awful!!!! It brings me to sweats thinking about it. Everyone in the room hated it.”


Who has the best taste in music in the team (other than you, obviously)?

“To be honest, I can’t answer that. It is so subjective. I can sit here and say someone but that is their preference and it might not match what the next person likes. That is the beauty about music. If it resonates with you then it’s great.”


Listen to Moe’s ultimate playlist and see if it boosts your indoor rowing workout. It’s the perfect length for our 20-minute Go Row Indoor workout.