Workout Music: Time to get pumped!

Working out is important for everyone, not just athletes. Sometimes, though, we may not look forward to doing them, or we may just not feel motivated to finish, or to even get started. This is where music plays a vital role in our workout regime.

Whether it’s rap, rock, hip hop, jazz, classical, country, dubstep, electronica, techno, mariachi, salsa, samba, or Tibetan throat singing, everyone has a preference when it comes to workout music. Running to the steady beat of Daft Punk; lifting weights to the heavy chords of Metallica; it’s all the same in the end. Music gets our blood flowing and our heart pumping, getting us ready for a workout, or helping to get us through one. Music acts as a distraction and a motivator for our workouts, and the science will agree with me.

In multiple studies done using trained athletes and untrained laypeople on treadmills throughout the US , music has been found to significantly improve tempo, pace, and heart rate. In one study where blood was drawn to gather further data, researchers found that when athletes did not listen to music during their workouts, their blood data reflected higher values for hemodynamics and lactate, while oxygen consumption was the same as those who listened to music, which suggest greater metabolic demand. In other words, workouts are harder without music.

At this point, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Duh! I could’ve told you that music has a psychobiological impact on the exerciser demonstrated by changes in perceived effort, lactate and norepinephrine!”

And you’d be right. But I suppose that the type of music that works best will vary between athletes. My workout playlist consists of heavy doses of Daft Punk and rock music from Japan. In high school, a friend of mine on the wrestling team would get pumped up listening to Nickelback. Odd, yes, but it worked for him. Just like Daft Punk and J-Rock work for me. Just like I’m sure different bands and artists work for you, too.

Right now, my biggest motivator song is “Just Awake” by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a Japanese rock band that blends synthesizers, auto-tuning, and heavy metal.

What about you? Is there any particular song that gets you psyched and ready to work out? Share with us! You never know, your song might help someone lift a heavier weight, or sprint a little harder, or turn the cranks at a higher cadence!

Thanks for reading!


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2 Responses to Workout Music: Time to get pumped!

  1. Gina says:

    Somehow ska has turned out to be my perfect running music. I love running to Streetlight Manifesto or Reel Big Fish (but when I’m trying to keep it in Zone 2 I have to choose something more mellow!).

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Prong: Snap your fingers. Dokken: Mr. Scary. Metallica: Battery and about a dozen others. Cycling is no place for music though… For that, I enjoy the rhythm of my breathing and trying to keep control of it. I did a 21 mph TT tonight with a few sprints and a couple of miles above 22 and one at 23.5 – all I had was my breathing and it was awesome. Great post.

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