What’s on your playlist?

If I am in the gym training by myself then I simply have to workout to music. I was reminded of this fact when my headphones ran out of battery mid way through my session on Saturday! It helps me zone out, improves my concentration and I just go off into my own little world for the time which I am there.

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I am not the only one either, there is evidence based research (around 100 studies) on the effects of music on exercise and sport, which suggest that listening to music whilst you train will lead to a better workout!

In numerous studies, music has been shown to improve energy efficiency and lead to a greater work output. A bonus if you are trying to get those extra few reps out on the weights, or run that last 500m on the treadmill. Music has been shown to increase physical performance through delaying fatigue and/or increasing work capacity; especially during high-intensity exercise (ie weight lifting/interval training). Typically this effect results in higher-than-expected levels of endurance, power, productivity or strength (Karageorghis, 2008).

‘According to the available evidence, music captures attention, raises spirits, triggers a range of emotions, alters or regulates mood, evokes memories, increases work output, heightens arousal, induces states of higher functioning, reduces inhibitions and encourages rhythmic movement (Karageorghis, 2008; Lucaccini & Kreit, 1972; Terry & Karageorghis, 2011) – all purposes that have considerable application in the exercise domain.’

We all have certain songs which bring about different emotional responses; the songs which make us cry; the songs which make us laugh; the songs which remind us of somebody/something. Sometimes this can be a good thing in the gym, sometimes maybe not. Nobody wants to see you tearing up whilst doing bicep curls in the corner! So choose your music wisely!

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Evidence suggested that songs with a fast tempo and prominent beat (motivational music) had the largest benefits amongst participants; by increasing exercise adherence and creating a ‘pre-event routine.’ I personally have certain songs which will get me in the mood to workout so I understand what they mean by creating this routine pre-workout. Get the volume turned up on your journey to the gym to get you in the mood!

So why am I telling you this?

Inability to adhere to a workout plan, or diet is the main reason for failure to reach a goal. Sounds simple, it is. Make a plan; stick to it and the results will come. Listening to music has been shown to increase exercise adherence which means you are more likely to complete your workout; push out those extra few reps; cycle that little bit harder….and all of this in turn will lead to you achieving the goals which you have set out for yourself.

Dig out those headphones; download your favourite songs; create a playlist and see how it benefits you!!

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Above is my current spotify playlist. As I am getting back into training again, I have freshened up what I am listening to and these are the songs which have been on repeat recently! There are still a few old favourites in there which I know will always get me in the mood, but there is something about a brand new playlist which still gets me excited to hit the weights!

Let me know what your go-to workout music is!

Love Abi xxxx

References:
Karageorghis, C.I. 2008. “The scientific application of music in sport and exercise”. In Sport and exercise psychology, Edited by: Lane, A.M. 109–137.
Karageorghis, C.I. and Priest, D.L. 2011. Music in the exercise domain: a review and synthesis (Part I). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 5: 44-66.
Karageorghis, C.I. 2013. “Run to the Beat: sport and music for the masses.” In Sport in Society, 17: 433-447
Lucaccini, L.F. and Kreit, L.H. 1972. “Music”. In Ergogenic aids and muscular performance, Edited by: Morgan, W.P. 240–245.
Terry, P.C. and Karageorghis, C.I. 2011. “Music in sport and exercise”. In The new sport and exercise psychology companion, Edited by: Morris, T. and Terry, P.C. 359–380.

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