A lot of recent studies support what has long been suspected. It is useful and useful to listen to music while exercising. Even beyond the obvious motivational effect, the right music during training can lead to a measurable increase in performance. This applies to both your strength training and your endurance training . In this article I would like to explain to you why this is the case and how you can benefit from it.
In this article you will learn, among other things:
- 6 reasons why music is so useful for exercising
- What to look out for when training with music
- When you should definitely not listen to music while exercising
- Which music is the right one for your training
After reading, you can benefit even more from the power of the beats for your training in the future and be able to use music specifically for training. Above all, you also know which playlist to use for which workout in order to achieve the best possible results. It starts on the first. 😉
6 good reasons why you should listen to music to exercise
There are some positive aspects to listening to music while exercising. Some have a direct effect, while others have an indirect effect on your training. However, all of the aspects described below have a positive effect on the quality of your training and / or your performance during training. Therefore, take the following positive arguments for the right music for training to heart.
1) Consistent performance and longer breath
The beat of the music helps you to bring the necessary constancy into your training processes. This happens in different ways, depending on the type of training.
When running , the ability to synchronize the music with heart rate, step rate and breathing is crucial. Here the music acts as a fantastic pacemaker. It can be used to maintain higher speeds or to slow yourself down so that you don’t use up your reserves too early.
Even with strength training, it makes sense to exercise evenly and can be improved with the right music for training. This helps to make the movements and their speed more even, which with the right timing can lead to an optimal load curve. With the beats of music, the desired ratio of the concentric (= overcoming) to the eccentric (= yielding) part of the movement can simply be maintained much better. This is especially useful for strength endurance training and hypertrophy training .
In both strength and endurance training, the controlled demand for performance means that potentially more energy is available for a longer period of time.
2) Music enables greater strength development
With the right, motivating music, many people are able to develop even greater powers than they would be without music. This can have different causes. Studies examining the psychosomatic effects of music have found that positively associated music leads to increased adrenaline levels during exercise.
Another exciting finding that was made is that the state of tension in the muscles is directly influenced by the type of music. This can result in a higher rate of activation of the muscle fibers.
In addition, the well-known training scientist Professor Alexander Ferrauti from the Ruhr University Bochum found in studies that the body’s sense of stress and pain can be significantly reduced by music. The tolerance is apparently increased because the corresponding feedback from the body is partially faded out by the superimposition of the music.
All of this means that with the right music, you can potentially move more weight during your training with more repetitions. Or that you can run longer distances faster. The music drives you on and helps you to go beyond your pain threshold.
3) Music before training can be used as a pre workout booster
Do you take a training booster every now and then before training ? Did you know that you can trigger some of the positive effects of such an energy drink with the right music? After all, music is a completely natural energy booster .
Positively associated music leads to arousal of positive emotions. This in turn leads to the release of happiness hormones and thus an increase in motivation. High-energy, fast music also leads to an increased release of adrenaline. This makes you more alert, motivated and focused … many things that you might want to achieve with the help of a (different) booster. All of these effects can also be brought about by music and all of this naturally without any side effects. All you have to do is listen to two quick songs that you love to hear.
The right music, for example, is also a way of motivating yourself to exercise in the evening after work .
4) Unwanted distractions can simply be hidden
Sometimes it is easier and sometimes it is harder to get up to exercise. In the second case, one is often particularly susceptible to distractions of all kinds. These distractions lead to poor concentration, less focus on the training and thus, under certain circumstances, poorer execution of the exercise.
However, if you listen to music to exercise, it will be much easier for you to block out those distractions. Regardless of whether it is other people, animals or other sources of noise, if the music is just loud enough, nothing will get you out of your tunnel that easily. As a rule, someone with headphones speaks much less often when training in the studio. 😉
5) Music keeps your mind clear when exercising
A clear head is extremely important for effective and safe training. However, after a long and stressful day at work, this is often easier said than done. Often all sorts of things still haunt you in your head that keep you from a good and effective training. A little music before and during training can be the surprisingly easy solution here.
Positively associated music can call up positive memories and feelings that can help you to quickly find an inner relaxed state. So the next time your head is buzzing because you can’t stop thinking about problems before training, you’ll know what to do. Just put on your sports headphones and let all the heavy thoughts of your favorite tracks play out of your head.
6) It simply helps to push the limits
In order to regularly make rapid progress with your training, you have to repeatedly push yourself to your personal performance limits and beyond. Music can help you with that. On the one hand, this is of course due to the increased motivation and the more adrenaline that you can pour out with the right music. In addition, however, it is also very useful that the body’s first warning signals can be more easily suppressed. Of course, these have their purpose, but the body sends them very early. Some people let themselves be deterred from continuing with the first early warning signal and therefore never even come close to their performance limits.
So if we listen to music to train, it helps us to train consistently and cleanly, to last longer and to perform better. The head remains free, we don’t let anything distract us and are motivated to give our best and are even able to go beyond our limits. All of this just with a little music. One wonders a little why some people spend so much money on supplements that are partially ineffective ( which supplements are still useful ).
What to look out for when training with music
While music can be extremely useful when exercising, it can also have disadvantages in certain situations if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. For this reason, you should consider a few things so that you can benefit optimally from the use of music for your training without suffering from its disadvantages.
It is very important that you always listen to your body’s signals during training and do not ignore them. With music, it is potentially easier to block out your body’s warning signals. To a certain extent, this is absolutely fine, as it allows you to get a little more performance. But as soon as you completely stop paying attention to these warning signals, you may overexert yourself and overwhelm your musculoskeletal system. This also increases the risk of injury during training significantly.
In addition, cleanliness and stability should always come first when performing the exercise. A good athlete knows that the principle of effective and healthy training must always be “shape before weight” or “shape before speed”. If you are motivated and excited by music, then it can happen that you are over-motivated and think you have to perform even better. The form often suffers as a result. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Basically, I advise against listening to music in unknown, demanding and potentially dangerous situations during sport. The opportunity to perceive important things and thereby protect yourself is always more important than the chance to get a little more performance.
This means that you should rather do without the music for training in the following cases:
- You are performing challenging new exercises or techniques that you do not yet feel confident doing
- The roads on which you are traveling are heavily frequented and it is important that you actively perceive your surroundings (e.g. wherever there are vehicles)
- You train with a very high weight in the limit area, where every feedback from your body is extremely important
- You have already noticed performance degradation with music because you cannot concentrate properly on execution
You shouldn’t use music to work out with sore muscles either . Here you deliberately block out the (important) warning signals from your body. Even if you get cheated through your workout like this, you won’t end up making any progress. You will just get more sore muscles and then wonder what you can do about the sore muscles .
If you take all of this to heart, you should be on the safe side when training with music.
According to how experienced you may not have to do without your music completely, but it should always be clearly in the background so that you can consciously perceive your body and your surroundings. When in doubt, the music stays off.
And even if you train in situations where you shouldn’t be listening to music, you can still use it to push yourself before your training and / or during your warm-up . 🙂
How to find the right music for your workout
You should be familiar with the many benefits of listening to the right music to exercise by now. You should also know about possible risks and dangers. But one crucial question is still open: Which music is actually the right one for your training?
First of all, one can generally say that it is above all important that you choose music that you like and that you enjoy. Songs with which you associate positive emotions are ideal.
Basically, you can also say that faster music is usually better than slower music. It pushes you more and rather calls up your motivation and useful feelings such as strength, perseverance and willpower. A fast rhythm also helps you to stay in time and to go beyond your limits. If the music is too slow, it can slow you down. However, it shouldn’t be too fast either, otherwise you run the risk of overwhelming yourself. However, no later than 1-2 days after training you will find out if the music was too fast.
In addition, it mainly depends on what type of training you are going to do. Depending on the situation, you can then put together a playlist in advance.
The best music for your strength training
In strength or interval training, you should rather choose relaxed music with a slow beat in the break or slower parts and choose fast tracks for the work sets or the load intervals that really heat you up.
The right music for your endurance training
For longer endurance runs, you should choose your music as evenly as possible in terms of tempo. You will notice how you synchronize with the beat quite quickly. So try to choose a beat that is in your desired speed range. To find the right one, you have to try a little bit. For shorter runs I would start at around 150-160 BPM to find the right beat. If the route gets a little longer and the pace a little slower, you might find it at 140-150BPM.
Especially for intensive interval training, such as a tabata workout , it is advisable to choose the right pieces of music in advance and to assemble or cut them into a suitable playlist. There are now apps that can take over the switch from soothing sounds to heated music for you.
Your conclusion on the music during training
Those who refrain from using the right music for training also forego numerous advantages of the musical training background. The excuse of ignorance no longer counts for you from now on. Because you now know the advantages of the right training music and you know what to look out for in order to be able to benefit from it to the maximum.
All you have to do now is put together the right playlist for your next workout, put on your headphones and get started.
The best thing to do is to get yourself a pair of good in-ear sports headphones , if you don’t already have them, they’ll hold up properly during training.