Why does Music get us Pumped during a Workout?
Updated: Aug 31
For me, music is part of my everyday life. If I’m getting ready for college or tidying my room, I whack the music on and get to work.
Right now, I’ve got my earphones in while typing this and it’s purely because I know I can focus on what I’m doing. I get distracted way too easily and I’d say that my earphones are my best friends. I tested myself a few times and discovered that I work much faster when listening to music. But types of music depend on what I’m doing. For example, If I’m typing up coursework or tidying the house, I have something calm on. I believe this lets me concentrate more and finish what I’m doing much quicker. When I’m working out, I have something heavier on to give me a pump. It works effectively when I need to get those extra 3 reps out.
With exercise in particular, music works in several different ways. When listening to music, our mood will change to however the music sounds. If the music or singer is aggressive, we tend to train more vigorously. Music induces positivity and happiness (depending on what you listen to) and makes us excited to exercise. Stress on the muscles will be more tolerable and we are more motivated to perform better. Personally, without music I start to think in my head, ‘this weight is quite heavy, I’d better put this down’. But this thought never arises when I have a beat to move to. Having a tempo present keeps the reps continuous, we feel like we must keep time with the song.
Paces of songs also affect performance. On the treadmill, songs with a faster tempo prove effective. The governing body for USA’s Track & Field team actually banned the use of iPods when endurance runners were in an event, due to the runners “having a more competitive edge”.
Jack-less, Bluetooth sport earphones like the Dr. Dre brand are very effective when exercising for many reasons. I don’t have to worry about accidentally getting the cable caught on the squat rack and my phone being wrenched out of my pocket. Or having my phone fall out of my pocket while I’m bench pressing. These devices also tend to have great quality sound. For runners, just wrap your normal Apple earphones around your ears before putting them in. This not only stops them from falling out but it also saves you about £50!
Moving to the beat can be for any movement. From strolling to running, there are all types of music that can encourage us to make the most out of our activities. When asking my mother about the use of music, she told me she had never listened to it while carrying out her daily chores. So, I introduced her to the iPod with her favourite music on. We don’t need to make things any more mind-numbing than they actually are.