A new concept in athletics and sport regarding the effects of music with exercise has me all tingling and itching to get down and jiggy with it. I decided to take a closer look and see if that song that I’ve been shaking my ass to every time it comes on the radio could actually get that well-rounded behind in shape.
Music has the power to lift spirits, generate emotion, change or regulate mood, increase work output, evoke memories, reduce inhibitions, and encourage rhythmic movement – all of these having great applications in competitive sport but also regular exercise.
Music is your personalized powerbar
Studies of the effects of music with exercise on cardio workouts performance have found that obese children and adults could run better while they were listening to music. Introducing rhythmic up-tempo music to exercise programs has a significant psychological and biological impact on the exerciser. The practitioner showed changes in perceived effort, lactate and norepinephrine levels.
This study clearly demonstrated that different types of music can act as an effective distraction during exercise and are associated with lower levels of fatigue. Exposure to music during endurance exercises such as running marathons can yield in significantly longer endurance times, a faster recovery time and a higher satisfaction level during and after the effort.
The best way to observe the effects of music with exercise is to utilize motivational tracks. They include beat with a high tempo (>120bpm) and a strong rhythm; best examples I can give you are : Pendulum – ‘Slam’, Survivor – ‘Eye of the Tiger’ , Lock, Stock and Barrel – .‘Rise above it’. If those will not get the blood pumping I don’t know what will. But on a serious note, tracks that include highly influential characteristics such as musicality, rhythm response and cultural impact are found to be optimal for increasing performance for moderate intensity exercise.
The effects of music with exercise used in sports
Recently studies on the effects of music with exercise have extended the research to the possibility of manipulating emotional responses with music in competitive sports. Researchers suggested that certain music can be used to ‘psych up’ in order to better prepare for performance, shift focus, to encourage mental imagery and boost self-efficacy.
It is clear that using appropriately selected music could enhance athletic performance through both physical and mental paths. But hey if the science does not convince you, just ask the pros. Elite runner, Heile Gebreselassie, used a high-tempo popular music song to synchronize his strides in order to optimize his pacing in winning a 5000 m race in 2003.
However, the scientific evidence I have come across has conflicting results when it comes to investigating the effects of music with exercise regarding anaerobic routines. Anaerobic exercises are short-lasting, high-intensity activities, where your body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available. Anaerobic exercises rely on energy sources that are stored in the muscles and, unlike aerobic exercises, are not dependent on oxygen from the air.
The literature that I have come across show that music has no enhancing effects during anaerobic exercises. While it did help the practitioner keep a highly motivated attitude, it had no influence on the overall performance. Allas you cannot have it all I guess.
So next time you hit the gym bust out that Bieber song that has never left the confinement of your apartment. If it you get the good feels from it, you will have a higher quality workout and the experience will leave you with a big smile on your face.
If you would like more details on the subject or if you have any questions, objections, hateful comments or highly deserved praises to offer please do not hesitate to leave a comment.
Also if you have a product that you would like me to review and research, I gladly welcome the challenge.
Research sources: hiindawi , ncbi , biomedcentral .