Who knew? Research has proven that the right music can assist people in getting more from a workout. And not just a little more.
I have always had an idea that humans subconsciously get motivated to match the tempo of the music while exercising, and that this acts as a stimulation for picking up the pace. It gives us a safe kind of high.
BEST GYM SONG EVER
After listening to track lists of over 28000 songs, researchers found that it was rap music and hip-hop songs that are at the top of the list used by gym goers to assist them when exercising. The song that came out tops in serious athletes’ playlists to help them through a hectic workout, is a song by Eminem and Nate Dogg titled ‘Till I Collapse’. This song features in at least 15% of every gym bunny’s playlist.
TOP 10 WORKOUT SONGS 2020
The songs that make up the rest of the top 10 list for regular gym goers are Middle Child by J. Cole, Suge by DaBaby, Money In The Grave by Drake ft. Rick Ross, Sicko Mode by Travis Scott, Wow by Post Malone, Humble by Kendrick Lamar, Going Bad by Meek Mill featuring Drake, Power by Kanye West, Highest In The Room by Travis Scott and All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA featuring Rick Ross. The fierce energy injection provided by music from these singers and the results thereof is very uncanny. It is as if these singers motivate people to give it their all for the last few minutes of a routine.
Could it be that the explicit lyrics have something to do with it? Or could it be that rhythm effects the algorithm of humans? A bit of both, I am told emphatically. Music ‘speaks’ to the centre of our beings. Always has, always will. Does the term ‘itchy feet’ when we hear a song that we can or want to dance to sound familiar?
After reading up more information on this interesting topic, I have come to one conclusion: music that reflects anger is the kick in the butt required for doing our utmost best while exercising. According to studies done in the USA, music that works best for ANY exercise should contain the following: danceability, positivity, explicit lyrics, energy, and tempo. And the track should be around 3 minutes long.
Vision affects how we exercise, and how well we exercise. Let me give you an example. If you work on a timed schedule and you are dead tired, but see that you have two minutes of exercise left, what happens? What goes through your mind? ‘There is only 2 minutes left, I may as well give up.’ Or do you forgo watching the time, and pump up the music with renewed gusto?
Just like there are genres for different types of dance, there are genres for the different exercises in a gym. People react differently to different music, and tastes vary. What do YOU like to hear from your headset when exercising? Rap? House or dance music? Hip hop? Rock? Or do you prefer pop?
Bottomline is that music makes anything more enjoyable. Why should workouts be any different? Whether you are a jogger, a gym fanatic, or into cross-fit strength training, music WILL enhance your training experience and make it seem easier. Listening to music while exercising can increase your endurance by as much as 15%. Who wouldn’t want to experience that heave-ho?
BETTER MUSIC = BETTER LIFTS?
Understanding how music affects humans during exercise has only a recently peaked interest all over the world. A new team of researchers at the University of Southern Queensland and Brunel University did a paper on “Effects of Music in Exercise and Sport: A Meta-Analytic Review”. Their aim was to collate all the available research from the last 100 years to discover all the ways in which music can help us during exercise.
Their research proved that music indeed boosts the human mind. Music triggers positive feelings and helps humans associate good memories with certain songs. It also dis-associates the brain from feeling the pain and fatigue that is normally experienced while exercising and makes it easier to continue.
Music can also enhance physical performance by helping to increase output, because we naturally synchronize our movements to the beat of the song. It also increases blood flow thereby improving our physiological efficiency. In general, music has a positive effect on humans.
After reading this, I will not visit the gym again without headphones blaring out some foul language upbeat songs. I will make music my gym associate. One that can carry me over the threshold when I want to succumb to pain. One that can motivate me to do better. And one that I can change when I get tired of it without feeling guilty…
And if you ever are in doubt, turn the music UP!