Kick Out The Jams: The Effects of Music On Working Out
We've all been there. You're struggling through your treadmill workout and you're ready to call it quits when it happens; that one song comes on your playlist and everything changes. As if by magic, you find yourself with a new well of energy, and all of a sudden you're pushing even harder towards the finish line.
But it's not magic. It's science. We all have different 'go to' workout jams (I recommend 'Unchained' By Van Halen) and there's a reason the right song can help power you through a grueling workout. Here are a few reasons it's crucial that you have the right soundtrack/station for your gym members to 'sweat it out'.
1. The Right Song Acts As a Natural Pain Reliever
Music can release 'feel good' chemicals in the brain, which can help to push you through a workout in one of two ways. According to Dr. Daniel Levitin in an interview with Huffington Post, "Either music acts as a distractor (and distractors are known to modulate pain levels — this is why combat soldiers don't always realize they've been shot until after a busy maneuver is over) or music acts as a mood enhancer (because the release of endogenous mu-opioids and other mood-enhancing chemicals raises the pain threshold)."
2. It's All About Tempo
There's a reason your 'go to' workout playlist is usually made up of songs with a faster beat. The fact that physical output increases with faster musical tempos is something mankind has known for centuries. "You go all the way back to rowers on the Roman Galleys," says Carl Foster, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, Exercise and Health Program. "The guy is sitting there beating on his drum and he drives the basic rhythm of the rowing. Part of that is coordination—you want the rowers to row together—but part of it is that people will naturally follow a tempo. It's just something about the way our brains work." (Credit: American Council of Exercise)
3. Limitless Possibilities
With the power of having nearly every song ever written at our fingertips, we can now bring new life to our workouts like never before. Pro-Tip: build different playlists for different types of workouts. Working cardio intervals? Electronic Dance Music with a high tempo might be a good fit. Getting in some functional training on the TireFlip® 180? We recommend hip-hop or metal music with the right lyrics to push you through for one more rep. No matter what your style, with so much music at your fingertips, your workouts will NEVER get old.
Looking for the perfect fitness equipment to pair with your gym's new playlist? Be sure to check out the HIIT Zone™, exclusively from The Abs Company.