If you’ve attended many gyms, you’ll know that the majority will have music playing. But listening to music while you train isn’t a new concept and shouldn’t only be confined to the gym. Here we look at just how music helps your workouts, and why, if you’re not already doing so, you should inject a little liveliness and rhythm into your training regime. So, if you’re a little sceptical about the benefits of a good song; you thought that working out to music was a good thing but didn’t know why; or you’re wondering how you too can use music to improve your training, then read on for more.
Many of you will have witnessed the distracted gym-goer. They are either always in a conversation with another person, or staring at the phone. You’re less likely to see them training as you are taking selfies. They have no focus and far too many distractions. Music itself might be thought of as a distraction, and to an extent it is. Yet studies have shown that it distracts athletes from feeling the pain and exertion associated with their workouts as quickly as they might otherwise do – in other words it enables them to keep going for longer. Something as simple as music can do this, it can up your efforts and help you work harder. Choose your songs carefully though, think upbeat with a fast, but not too fast beat!
It may be gym speak, but you’ll probably all know what it’s like to be in the “zone”. That time when you could seemingly keep going for ever, lift anything and never tire. Music helps you enter and stay in the “zone” more readily, as it can often be associated with memories or inspirational moments from your life.
If you’re not running on a machine, it’s quite hard to keep pace sometimes without having to check Apps or smart-watches etc. Of course gyms give you the chance to set the pace on the equipment, but the beat and rhythm of a song can do exactly the same for you. What’s more is that certain songs will help you raise your pace a little bit, and even small incremental increases can bring about gains more quickly. But even when you’re not running or cycling etc. music can still set the pace for activities like lifting weights or even stretching. It’s why music is used in fitness classes, to get you going and moreover, keep you going through until the end.
Away from the gym, there will be different pieces of music that affect your mood in varying ways. You’ll probably have a “go-to” song for when you’re sad, happy or celebrating. Your training is no different. The right song can boost how you feel, perk you up and give you that energy you were lacking when you rolled out of bed first thing. A good choice of songs will power you through your workout, whilst keeping you focused and feeling good about the session. Boredom won’t creep in either, and that’s a bonus. If you don’t believe in the power of music to affect your mood, you’re probably kidding yourself a little.
Exercise and fitness is all about movement, and good music makes you want to move. The brain is engaged and encourages the body to move with the music. It’s a natural phenomenon and one that can be used to your advantage in the gym. No matter how little you’re looking forward to the gym, the music you listen to can get you through the toughest of sessions.
So, having read all of the benefits you’re probably thinking that it is the right time for you to harness the power of music. It will provide you with a more satisfying and enjoyable workout, whilst keeping you going through those tough moments when you question why you’re there at all! Your endurance levels will increase and feelings of fatigue reduce, whilst your mood is lifted and your “pain” threshold raised. You’ll feel encouraged to keep going, and will be kept to a positive pace throughout. The gains that you will see will thus be increased simply because you will be training harder.
Music will not do the workout for you, nor will it get you to the gym in the first place. What it can do however is encourage you to get up in the morning, make you feel a little better about yourself once you’re up, and finally be the best partner that you could hope for at the gym or throughout your workout. It’s clearly time to start the music!