News & Events
The Psychology of Workout Music
- April 14, 2018
- Posted by: Carolina Vivas
- Category: flowlift news
Good Workout Music Helps You Train Harder
Music is an essential part of exercise, enhancing peak performance and contributing to having a satisfying workout. In the last 10 years there has been a substantial amount of research done on the importance of workout music. It’s become clear that music changes both the body and mind during physical exertion. According to Scientific America, “Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual — often without realizing it.” In fact, music has been referred to as a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.
The Recipe for the Perfect Workout Playlist
The most important qualities of workout music are tempo and rhythm response (what psychologist call how much music makes you want to get up and dance). Most people can’t help but respond to musical beats by tapping their feet, nodding their heads or shaking their hips. Psychologists have discovered that most people prefer the magical tempo of at least 120 beats per minute, or two beats per second. It was also discovered that synchronizing the beat of the music with the rate of movement while exercising decreases energy expenditure. In other words, when you’re in sync with the music, you’re unconsciously working harder without overexertion.
Tricking the Mind Into Working Harder
Distraction is a big part of pushing past your limits. Good music keeps the mind focused on the beats and lyrics so that the body doesn’t give up quite as fast. After a certain period of exercise, physical exertion begins to set in, and this varies from person to person. The body recognizes signs of extreme exertion — rising levels of lactate in the muscles, a thrumming heart, increased sweat production — and decides it needs a break. Workout music competes with this physiological feedback for the brain’s conscious attention. Similarly, music often changes people’s perception of their own effort throughout a workout: it seems easier to run those extra miles or complete a few more sets of squats when Rihanna or Jay Z is right there with you. Music changes how you respond to fatigue, and that’s exactly what we want to accomplish in FlowLift yoga sculpt classes. The right music elevates mood and persuades people to ride out waves of exhaustion, rather than giving up. FlowLift classes are tough, and the music helps to push past your limits so you can experience more mental strength and significant changes in your body.
Not a member yet? Sign up now to get your first month free and access a new class every Monday.