For me, music has been linked to exercise ever since I was a kid watching the Rocky series. Who can separate the movies from THAT soundtrack? If only every workout was as sweaty, ripped and intense as a Rocky training montage (you can keep the chicken-chasing though)!
So, should you listen to music during your workout?
Research shows that adding the right music to your session can have a positive effect on your heart rate, mindset and ability to deal with discomfort. Experts recommend avoiding syncopated music such as salsa or jazz as it can have a confusing impact on your coordination but I’m not sure they would have been high on your list anyway!
I find that the best music to accompany an intense workout is something familiar which holds a positive association. Personally, my workout playlists consist of cheesy nu-metal and classic hip-hop – equal parts nostalgic and motivational.
If music isn’t your thing, podcasts are fine for extended periods of cardio but I wouldn’t recommend anything that is going to draw attention away from your workout. The best results come from movements performed with a perfect mind-muscle connection – something that can be difficult to achieve at the best of times without finding yourself immersed in a murder-mystery series!
There are times when it may make sense to go music-free. I found a lot of benefit in silence when shifting routines and focusing on learning new exercises and tempos. Once I became more comfortable, I reintroduced the playlists to help squeeze out an extra rep or two! Now, you’ll notice I said ‘music-free’, I’ll still be wearing headphones to give off that I’m in the zone, don’t bother me vibe.
What’s on your workout playlist? Do you ever wear headphones just to be anti-social??
Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below…