Does Music Boost You To Work Out Better
Different people have varying opinions about doing a workout. For some, it is a passion and a way of life while for others, it is a necessary evil to stay fit and healthy.
Regardless of your reason to workout, a common aspect among most people is that they listen to some form of music while working out. Many gyms even have their own playlists that they would turn on by request because the general opinion is that music motivates you to workout.
But, is this really true? Does music help you work out better?
Well, let’s find out.
Distraction – Good or Bad
Many studies show that music is a distraction that takes the mind of athletes from body awareness. In other words, it means that when you listen to music, you’re not aware of the body pain that comes with a workout. So, is this good?
Absolutely. When you are not aware of your pain or exhaustion, you tend to work out more. In fact, the same study concluded that a workout performance increased by 15% when athletes listened to music while doing their exercise. This is an important study because it shows how much music can enhance your workout and help you to get more out of the time you spend on doing exercises.
Beats and pace
Another study showed that when you play fast music, you tend to work out faster! Why?
For one, your body’s natural tendency is to sway to the music. For example, take dance. How will you dance when there is a fast music? Will you waltz around slowly? Never, you’ll jump and move around fast to keep pace with the beats in the music. That’s exactly what happens in a workout too.
When you listen to fast music, you tend to workout at that pace and not at a slow pace. Again, this is good for your body as you burn more energy in the same period of time. A study conducted in 2010 among cyclists show that they worked harder while listening to fast music than a slow one.
That said, working out too fast is not good either. It is best you keep the songs between 120 to 140 beats per minute for a good workout session.
In addition, you tend to more absorbed in fast music, especially the beats, and this makes you think less of the pain. In fact, you’ll be so engrossed in the music to even notice any pain. In turn, this leads to more calorie burn.
Let’s say, you’re able to do about 20 crunches with a weighted vest in one minute. With music, you can probably hit 30 and that’s good for you. (Note: these numbers are for representation purpose only).
Some instructors even ask you to bring your favorite playlist during a workout session, especially if they think your performance is stalling, Most athletes listen to music before they head into a competition because it motivates and pumps them, so they are ready to take on the challenges head-on. Think of Michael Phelps here. Every time before he enters the pool, he is known to have his workout headphones on his ears and listen to some music. probably, this is what helps him to perform so well every single time!
If it works for Phelps, why not for you? So, have a good music with pace and beats to pump out your muscles at the gym.
For many of us, songs are much more than just music. It kindles memories and transports us to a different world altogether. Let’s say, for example, you performed for a Michael Jackson song with your cousins on your grandfather’s 60th birthday. Every time you listen to this song, it will bring back warm memories of the fun you had on that day with your cousins.
It doesn’t even have to be a personal memory, it could even be something that you associated with a movie, event or just about anything else. When you bring these memories to your workout, it creates a feel-good factor. You will feel great hearing that song and you tend to be transported to a different world altogether.
Such thoughts and emotions can motivate you to work harder. it can kindle memories and as you immerse yourself in those thoughts, the pain and soreness of the workout will not even register in your brain, which means, more routines within the same time frame.
Music is often seen as a tool to change your mind, and this is most important before you head for a workout. The daily grind of life exhausts us both physically and mentally and more often than not, it makes us want to curl in bed and sleep.
Music is the only thing that can get you out of your bed and maybe even motivate you to take the gym bag hit the gym. Why? Simply because it is a mood changer as it can make you aware of yourself and the need to do something to keep your body strong.
Many studies have linked music with our moods. The general belief is that the sound waves and energy from music acts on the brain’s hormones, and in turn, this makes up feel more upbeat. So, good music can help you get out of bed and head to the gym.
Besides motivating you to workout, music is also a good tool to make you more aware of yourself. When you listen to soft music, you tend to forget your problems and focus more on yourself and your goals. This could be a motivator by itself, especially if you have specific health and fitness goals that you are trying to achieve by working out.
So, music is essential to discard laziness and to motivate you to reach your goals by enhancing self-awareness.
Take the boring factor out
Let’s face it. There’s nothing exciting about working out really. All that you have to do is repeat the same movements over and over again to help those muscles become stronger. These repetitive exercises are what will train your muscles and will help to build endurance over time.
But not many people have the patience to do the same boring job, and this is probably why we have so many people dropping out of the gym within the first few months. They believe that they can lose 10 pounds by just working out for three months. Wish it was that easy!
Unfortunately, it requires hours of pounding the same muscles to see any significant weight loss. One way to overcome this boredom is music. There are many studies that show that music helps you to perform repetitive exercises over and over again because your focus is on the music and not on your workout.
This is a good kind of distraction because it helps you to do repetitions. More importantly, it can be a big factor to bring you to the gym.
In our busy day, how many of us have the time to sit and listen to music without any disturbance. Not even a few every day. But, when you go to the gym, you can listen to your favorite music over and over again and you can get a sense of happiness when you do so.
In other words, some people come to the gym when they want to listen to music without any disturbance whatsoever, and as a bonus, they are also helping their muscles and body to become stronger. So, a double bonus for music lovers.
This is why music can take the boring aspect out of a workout and can help you to become healthier, without even knowing about the pain. So, bring on those resistance bands and groove to your music with them. You can get the best of both worlds.
Have you ever felt like dancing when you turn on a music? If so, how do you dance?
Most of the times, your movements will be rhythmic, even if you’re not such a great dancer. This is because our body and mind is tuned to be in sync with the music, and this is why your movements are synchronized when you listen to music.
The same logic applies to workouts as well. When you listen to music and work out, your movements will be rhythmic and in tune with the beats of the music you’re listening to. This way, you’ll not do the first five bicep curls fast, slow down for the next few and amp it up again towards the end. All the movements will be well-coordinated.
The obvious advantage with such synchronization is that the movements are repetitive and will hit the same muscles over and over again, thereby strengthening those muscle fibers.
If you’re wondering if it is all in the mind, well, there’s a scientific explanation to it too.
A study found that music increases the electrical activities in the regions of the brain that are responsible for movement coordination and in turn, this controls your muscles and helps them to move rhythmically.
So, if you want to have coordinated movements or if you’re a newbie trying to learn the correct way to do a shoulder press, take along your favorite music. The beats can take care of a lot for you.
Eases out a brutal workout
Anyone who has gone to a spin class knows how much of a difference music can make. In fact, you’ll know how easy a brutal workout can be when you have your music turned on. As discussed before, music distracts you from the pain of a workout, so you can do a few more reps each time.
It may even make the workout more enjoyable because you feel happy and motivated when you listen to music. One study with 34 participants showed that working out with music is a lot more effective than working out with a video that has no volume. Again, this difference boils down to the fact that you can dissociate yourself from your immediate surrounding when you immerse yourself in music. The same can never be said of other activities.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should work out yourself to exhaustion because that is not recommended by healthcare professionals. Also, you can’t completely ignore your body and go past your body’s limits.
Science explains that when your heart rate climbs into the anaerobic zone, music or for that matter, any other form of distraction becomes inevitable. The shout for oxygen from your muscles and body clearly is louder than your tunes, and this means, you will have to stop and give your body a break. Music is no match for extremely high-intensity workouts.
In such cases, you are even better off listening to your body instead of fighting it.
All this essentially means you can music to motivate yourself to do the few extra reps that are sure to be helpful for your muscles. But, if you want to really test your body’s limits, which by the way is not recommended, music will not help.
To conclude, music is a great stress buster and can be your perfect companion for a workout session. There are many benefits that come from listening to music as it motivates you to work harder, changes your mood and even eases your mind from a difficult workout.
Above everything, it transports you to a different world of music where your thoughts revolve around the music itself or the memories associated with it, so much that you don’t feel the pain of your workout. Obviously, this pushes you to do those few extra reps each time, so your muscles become stronger.
It can be most useful to motivate you to get out of your couch and go to the gym for a workout session. Another advantage of music is that improves coordination as the beats tune to body and mind to work rhythmically.
For all these reasons, make sure you take your favorite playlist with you when you want to get a good workout.