The music in your class is just background noise…..right?!

In our last post we talked about how small percentage improvements in performance can make all the difference in your training. An oft over looked aid in gains in your training is the music you listen to whether consciously or not during a class. You may FEEL more energised or enthusiastic when you here a certain song whether it’s an old favourite of yours or just because it has a particular beat. However, do you ACTUALLY perform any better?

Yes. A 2013 study (1) concluded that listening to music when training elevated mood, reduced inhibitions and most inmportantly saw a 5 percent gain in the amount of chest presses subjects performed compared to those not listening to anything. If we turned the stereo off in your class instead of perhaps perfoming 12 push ups consecutively you would probably only complete maybe 10. Two extra may not seem like a lot but if you attend two classes a week for a month you are potentially performing 16 more push ups each month than you would without the music. In a year, that’s a lot of push ups.

We have also talked recently about isometric holds, lunges and squats etc. They are hard, they burn, but music helps you through it. How? Music lower ratings of perceived exertion (how hard you feel a movement/exercise is) even as heart rate and oxygen uptake rise (2,3). One study even found a 10% reduction in RPE for subjects training while listening to music (4). Music distracts you from the negative feelings and discomfort associated with a long lunge hold, a set of push ups or a heavy skate.

So, the music you hear during a class is actually improving your performance in that class. Volume and tempo are managed, with beats per minute kept around 120-140. As with everything in your classes there is a reason why it is happening. Our sole aim and focus is helping you continually improve and perform better.

1) Sherman, J.R. & Richmond, S.R. (2013). Listening to music prior to anaerobic exercise improves performance. Journal of Athletic Medicine, 6, 66-69.
2) Yamashita, S. Iwai, K., Akimoto, T., Sugawara, J. & Kono, I. (2006). Effects of music during exercise on RPE, heart rate and the autonomic nervous system. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 46, 425-30.
3) Miller, T., Swank, A.M., Manire, J.T., Robertson, R.J., & Wheller, B. (2010). Effect of music and dialog on perception of exertion, enjoyment, and metabolic responses during exercise. International Journal of Fitness, 6, 45-52
4) Szmedra, L. & Bacharach, D.W. (1998). Effect of music on perceived exertion, plasma lactate, norepinephrine and cardiovascular hemodynamics during treadmill running. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 19, 32-37.