How Much Does Music Really Matter?

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There’s nothing like pulling up to the gym ready to run through a brick wall. Your pre-workout is just about to kick in and you watched a couple motivational videos before you step in to realize you forgot your headphones. How are you suppose to bang out 50 box jumps at the end of the workout without a little help from your favorite artist? God knows there’s no way you’ll be able to with Jason Mraz playing overhead. It’s almost as if the gym uses Wal-Mart’s radio station.

I used to be like this with my headphones. I actually turned my car around and drove 10-15 minutes back to my house just to go get them a couple times. That is until I broke my headphones and I was took my sweet time to order another pair. I noticed a couple of my workouts were just as powerful, if not more powerful. Was it because I was more focused on lifting and not what music options I had on my iPhone?
It’s obviously “all mental” but what kind of psychological advantages does a good playlist entail? It turns out to multiple studies that music serves as a distraction to some. Wait, a distraction is good? Yes, because those that tend to dwell on pain or the strain on the final reps can trick the brain while focusing on something else. This is where music comes in!

Music can also make you feel good at the gym. Go figure! Music can effect all moods, including triggering memories of happiness, sadness or modes of motivation. The University of New Mexico studies have suggested that it’s important to listen to beats with a certain interval to assist with heart rate but it is more important to find music that puts you in the right “zone.”

Music does actually make you work harder according to an in vivo laboratory controlled study. In a nutshell, they tested the effects of music on a sample size of males. It was evident with measurements of heart rate and a few other variables that music made them work harder! Turns out that the ten minute drive back home is definitely worth the trip.


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About the Author

Nate Davis

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