Pump Up the Beat
How Music Supercharges Your Workout Performance and Motivation
We've all experienced those days when hitting the gym feels like a herculean task. Your energy levels are low, your motivation is waning, and the treadmill seems to be mocking you. But what if I told you there's a secret weapon to transform your workout experience? Go with me now!
Picture this: you're lacing up your sneakers, ready to hit the gym or embark on a challenging outdoor run. As you step into the rhythm of your exercise routine, something magical happens; music starts playing! The magical combination of rhythm, melody, and lyrics can turn even the most mundane exercise routine into an electrifying journey and leave you feeling determined and unstoppable.
In this blog post, we'll explore the incredible impact music has on workout performance, or in my case, your cooking dinner dancing to entertain your boyfriend performance, and how it can motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough.
So, let's turn up the volume and get ready to sweat! And don’t worry; I might even toss out a few suggestions to add to your next Spotify playlist.
The Science Behind the Beat:
Now I’m not going to lie, I can get down with Bill Nye, but I did terribly in science in school, but the subject is there for us for a reason. So, before we delve into the tangible effects of music on your workout, let's understand the science behind it. Listening to music while exercising triggers a cascade of responses in our brain and body. Research has shown that music directly impacts our brains, triggering the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin—the feel-good chemicals responsible for boosting mood and motivation.
If you are anything like me and science, isn’t your jam, what I mean is when you hear an upbeat tempo or a favorite song, your brain responds by releasing the chemicals I mentioned above, creating a positive emotional state that can carry you through your entire workout. In simple terms, music acts as a natural performance-enhancing drug! Mind-blowing stuff, right?!
The Rhythm of Success:
Have you ever noticed how your pace syncs with the beat of the music you're listening to? That's because our bodies have an innate tendency to synchronize movement with rhythm. Therefore, choosing tracks with a higher tempo subconsciously pushes you to move faster, resulting in an increased heart rate and calorie burn. So, if you're aiming to push yourself during a high-intensity workout or an intense cardio session, I highly recommend a few of my go-to fast-paced anthem tracks like "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor or "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.
The Mood Booster:
One of the most incredible aspects of music is its ability to influence our mood. Think about it – when you're feeling down, a sad song can make you even more melancholic, while an upbeat tune instantly lifts your spirits (and it’s true, Disney movies can do this, too!). The same principle applies to your workout sessions.
Listening to music that makes you feel happy, empowered, and confident can transform your entire exercise experience. It boosts your motivation, turns exercise into an enjoyable activity, and helps you power through those challenging moments. So, create a playlist filled with your favorite high-energy tracks and let the positive vibes flow! A few of my favorite mood boosters (because I could write an entire blog on these options) include: “Confident” by Demi Lovato, “Bang Bang” by Ariana, Nicki, and Jessie, “Made You Look” or anything really by Meghan Trainor and Miley Cyrus.
The Power of Lyrics:
Beyond rhythm and tempo, lyrics play a significant role in driving motivation during workouts. The right words can ignite a fire within, making you feel unstoppable. Inspirational lines like "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor or "I'm a survivor" by Destiny's Child reminds us, or at least me, of our resilience and strength, pushing us to give our workout our all.
When the lyrics resonate with your personal journey, they become a powerful tool to fuel your determination and overcome obstacles. So, pay attention to the words and let them serve as your personal mantra during workouts.
The Fun Part – Building Your Ultimate Workout Playlist:
Now that you understand the impact of music on your workout, it's time to curate your ultimate workout playlist. Here are some tips to help you create a winning selection that I use whenever creating playlists either for my own workouts or when I’m leading a yoga/barre/HIIT class:
1. Variety is key: Choose songs from different genres, tempos, and eras to keep things fresh and prevent monotony during longer workouts.
2. Find your rhythm: Experiment with different tempos to match your desired intensity level. Upbeat tracks work wonders for cardio, while slower, melodic tunes are perfect for stretching or cooling down.
3. Get motivated: Seek out tracks with empowering lyrics and themes that resonate with your fitness goals or the class you’re teaching. Songs that make you feel like a champion will push you to reach new heights.
4. Tailor it to your workout: Consider the specific demands of your exercise routine. For example, if you're lifting weights, go for songs with a steady beat that can help you establish a consistent rhythm.
I hope you made it this far and can see how much of an impact music has on our workout performance and motivation. From boosting endurance and reducing effort perception to enhancing mood and instilling a sense of determination, the right tracks can take your fitness journey to new heights.
So, make music an integral part of your workouts, and let its power propel you forward. Remember, with the perfect playlist and a little bit of rhythm; you'll be smashing your fitness goals and embracing the joy of movement like never before. Let the beat guide you to success!
What’s the first song you’re going to add to your new workout playlist?
-- Lindsey Escaja