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How Does Music Affect Your Workout?

man listening music

We’ve all been there. One minute you’re struggling through a set of 6 at the squat rack, then “Eye of The Tiger” comes on in your ears and you suddenly ride high on a second wind.

We all know that music can dramatically affect your performance, but have you ever stopped to wonder why?

After all, it wasn’t that long ago that popping in your earbuds was considered taboo, doing nothing more than diverting your attention from the task at hand, yet science has finally confirmed that listening music does so much more than provide you with a distraction.

In fact, cranking up your favourite tunes acts as a natural pain reliever and even releases that lovely feel good chemical dopamine in your brain, thus making the whole gym experience one to relish rather than dread.

Furthermore, having the right song play at just the right time as been shown to ramp up your energy levels – hence that second wind!

Just how music can fuel exercise is a relatively recent field of study with just two decades worth of exploration, but the conclusions have been quite remarkable.

The research shows that the components of music – the lyrics and tempo – affects a workout by acutely altering the mind-set of the individual, that’s is according to Dr Costas Karageorghis, reader of sports psychology at Brunel University.

woman exercising

And it’s not just the average gym goer that benefits from this, elite athletes have been known to use music to block out the nerves of competition and psych themselves up in order to enter “the zone.”

Indeed, in depth studies into the psyche of athletes determined that they often associate specific pieces of music with the optimum state of mind for competition. Moreover, the impact of music is believed to be so potent that countless sporting organisations actively ban the use of it during an event so to prevent some athletes having an edge over others.

That’s not all.

It turns out that the neurones in the brain can even synchronise with the tempo of music helping you regulate and maintain pace!

Depending on the tempo, this synchronisation may help you perform repetitive motions, like running or working through sets in the squat rack, more quickly. It’s not surprising, therefore, that faster paced music elicits greater workout results.

All in all, you’ll have a better workout with music than without, and you’ll feel hella positive about the whole thing too as long as you choose uplifting beats.

Think more N.E.R.D “Rock Star” remix, less Adele “Hello”…

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