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Music and Motivation: Is your workout playlist giving you optimum results?

Music and Motivation: Is your workout playlist giving you optimum results?

Unbelievable isn’t it, Christmas was just a little over three weeks ago and yet it feels like a lifetime has passed. Not only that but it also feels like a lifetime since those New Year's resolutions were drawn up, and if you’re like the vast majority out there, you would have pledged them with all that hazy eyed post-prosecco toasting enthusiasm we all have on January 1st; whether its keeping fit, getting in shape, finally getting round to running that marathon this year, or just dropping that extra winter layer gained from the festivities...that enthusiasm might already be waning.  

If this is the case, then we have some excellent tips on how choosing the right tunes for your workout can not only keep you motivated, but increase your performance too!   

You’ve got to Move It Move It (dun dun dern dern dern dern) 
The first step, as they say, is always the toughest, and here’s where your choice of track can make an impact. The science boffs over at; Music Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; discovered that listening to tracks with ‘high groove’ qualities modulated corticospinal excitement. To you and me, that means that when the tracks right, our brains want us to get moving...one reason you won’t often hear any Dido being blasted out in the gym (there’s a time and a place).  
 
Keep Pace  
Now this is very helpful, especially if you’re fairly new to the gym, or getting back into your exercise routine; it’s all too easy to go full tilt and wind up coughing and wheezing just 10 minutes into your work out. By selecting a playlist with a consistent tempo your likely going to sync to the beat; so steer clear of the gabba tracks just for now. Taking things at a steady yet challenging pace will in no doubt enhance your work out.  
 
Beat Matching (it’s not just for DJs)  
Knowing what tracks will provide the optimum assistance for pace setting and motivation may seem straight forward; it’s unlikely you’ll be listening to Damien Rice to push yourself through the pain to reach the next level, but why?  
Seems obvious, but it is also proven, that faster music will give you that extra edge during your work out, but go too fast and you’ll lose the edge, so once again, give the gabba a wide birth. It turns out that listening to tracks with a similar bpm as your heart rate provides optimum results, so that’s around the 160 – 180 mark during exercise. Beat matching can also assist in the warm down too, so try lining up some lower bpm tracks to cool down to. 

No Pain, No Gain 
Well maybe, but how about, less pain – same gain? It has been shown that by listening to upbeat or complex music whilst working out acts as such a distraction that your ability to feel the burn of exhaustion is somewhat compromised. Your brain is simply too busy understanding the music your listening to, and presumably getting you all corticospinally excited too, that you don’t feel the full extent of the pain you would feel without your favorite tunes being played into your ears.  

 

So there you have it, from beat matching specific sections of your playlist with your workout, to getting your brain and body in the mood to move, it’s time to get your IEM in, trainers on, and get to it. We hope this gives you the extra edge you need to kick start your resolutions through the rest of January, and don’t forget to check out the fantastic offers we have running through January too, because without the very best kit, your playlist will sound...well, it will sound as miserable as that last piece of Christmas cheese still hanging around in the back of the fridge.  
 
 

Sources:  
https://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/6312 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23660433 
https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-and-music 
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2013/mar/13/running-with-music-for-against