Music For Motivation

In General by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

Need a little motivation for your workout? Try putting on an iPod with your favorite tunes and see if it adds a bit of inspiration to your training. We all know that music in the exercise environment has been around forever. But can it significantly enhance performance … make you quicker, stronger and more focused during exercise?

Researcher Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist, suggests that the “right music” can indeed have a positive effect on exercise performance. Karageorghis found that asynchronous music (where the music is playing in the background but you make no attempt to stay in time with the rhythm) can act as a stimulant to enhance performance by as much as 10 percent. And synchronous music (where you perform repetitive movements to the beat of the music) can raise performance by 20 percent.

Karageorghis suggests that there are four basic ways in which music can aid exercise performance. In repetitive exercise, such as running, music can narrow a performer’s attention and as a consequence divert attention away from sensations of fatigue. Music also alters arousal levels, so it can be used as a form of stimulant prior to competition or as a sedative to calm over-anxious athletes.

A third benefit is found in synchronizing the rhythm with the particular exercise to increase the levels of work output among participants. It can also be used to enhance the learning of movement skills.

So what exactly is the “right music”?

According to the psychologist… “For a piece of music to truly inspire the listener, it must have strong rhythmic qualities that match the activity at hand and also a tempo which matches the predicted heart rate. The melody and harmony of the music should promote a positive mood state; that is, they should energize the listener and increase vigor. The music should also stem from the listener’s socio-cultural background and comply with their preferences.”

What’s on your playlist?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.