The Effects of Music on Exercise Motivation and Performance

by | Aug 28, 2019 | Fitness, Healthy Lifestyle | 0 comments

Inside Scoop: Find out how the right musical motivation can help you get the most out of a workout. And, scroll till the end for an awesome infographic on the full effects of music on exercise.

This post was submitted by My Fitness Boutique, a no-contract, pay-as-you-go gym based in London, UK.

Motivation is an absolute essential when it comes to getting a sweat on. Whether you’re an athlete or an amateur, the right song at the right time can give you the extra push you need to achieve your fitness goals and more.

Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London is a leading expert on the subject, once characterised music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.” This infographic investigates what gives music its power to supercharge our workouts.


The Effects of Music on Exercise Motivation


Does Musical Accompaniment to Exercise Actually Work?

Research makes it clear that music helps to give us the stamina and motivation boost needed for a successful workout. For example, one 2017 study from the International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology compared the performance of people who worked-out with and without music. It was found on average that the subjects who exercised with music outlasted those who didn’t by 15 minutes.


What Happens to Our Bodies When We Listen to Music While Working Out?

Research has uncovered some fascinating revelations about the physiological effects of music on someone who’s exercising. Musical accompaniment to exercise increases heart rate and reduces blood pressure. Music also has the ability to increase your metabolism and this means that your body’s energy is used in a more efficient way. Furthermore, a 2018 study in the International Journal of Psychophysiology found that listening to music while exercising engaged a certain region of the brain which means that participants experienced fewer feelings of fatigue. Check out these best trainers for everyday motivation.

It’s All About the Rhythm

When compiling your workout playlist, it’s important to choose songs that will match up with the speed and intensity you’re aiming for. Studies have found that a song’s tempo can have a profound effect on your performance. This is because you can synchronise your movements with the beat of the music. Your choice of music will depend on the exercise you’re doing. For example, the optimum tempo for enhanced performance on the treadmill is typically between 123 and 131 beats per minute (bpm) whereas the best tempo for cycling is between 125 and 140 beats per minute.


The Psychological Impact of Music

One major benefit of listening to music is that it can block out distracting noises which might otherwise demotivate you such as heavy breathing or the sounds of the machine. The immersive nature of music may also mean that you don’t notice feelings of pain or tiredness as much. What’s more, the lyrics of the song might give you the motivation you need to push yourself harder.


Is Silence Ever Golden? 

While listening to music while working out can have plenty of positive effects, there are some instances when it is not advisable. For example, some exercises require complete attention (e.g. rock climbing, golf) and so music would prove to be an unwelcome distraction. Music could also be distracting if you are trying to develop a challenging new skill. You should also avoid listening to music if you’re working at high intensity and need to pay full attention to your physical limits.


Learn More About the Relationship Between Music & Exercise


“Sports without music, it’s nothing but a game. Music adds the emotion.” – Ice Cube


If you are curious to learn more about the interplay between music and exercise, then you may want to check out the below infographic explainer which comes courtesy of the team at My Fitness Boutique. This super informative graphic looks into the science behind musical motivation and gives some top tips to help you compile the perfect workout playlist.

Scroll down to the infographic below to learn more.

  The Effects of Music on Exercise

My Fitness Boutique

My Fitness Boutique is a no-contract, pay-as-you-go gym based in London, UK offering numerous fitness classes to suit all levels from beginners to professional athletes. Its classes include barre, spinning, Zumba and Muay Thai, along with many more.


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