We all have those certain songs that pump us up. You know, the ones you listen to when it’s time to get chores done. There’s also the opposite end of the spectrum: the songs that we listen to when we’re sad (to get even sadder?), the ones we listen to help us sleep, the ones we listen to when we’re feeling some kind, any kind, of way. Don’t underestimate the psychological effects of music… it has the power to put us in just about any mood. So let’s get in the mood to hit that PR on the squat or deadlift, and let’s look at the powers of music.
Listening To Music May Increase Strength
That’s right. A study was done to show the effects of music on grip strength, and the results were shocking. The group that listened to the more stimulative music (energizing music) performed with a much better grip strength. The group that listened to sedative music performed even worse than the group who just listened to white noise. Men showed better grip strength than women, but there was no interaction between gender and music condition.
The Right Music Stimulates The Nervous System
Another study showed that the right kind of music stimulates the nervous system. Notice how it’s “the right kind of music.” That’s important. Sedative and calming music won’t increase endorphins and energy to a great degree, and might even cause the opposite. We want music that is going to pump us up. This is individual preference, but try to stay away from calming music while lifting… unless it hypes you up.
Music Increases Adrenaline Levels While Exercising
A study done in 2003 shows increased adrenaline levels from listening to fast-paced music before exercising. While the type of music didn’t have any effect on workout performance, the rhythm of the music did. Fast-paced music increased adrenaline while slow-paced music did the opposite, so be careful of what you keep on your workout playlist.
Music increases adrenaline, and adrenaline works wonders for us fitness junkies. Adrenaline has been shown to do the following (along with more benefits of listening to music):
- Induces lipolysis (breakdown of fatty acids to be used for energy)
- May improve oxygen efficiency
- Helps with pace while doing cardio
- Can help your sprint times
What If I Don’t Want To Listen To Music While Lifting?
That’s perfectly fine. Some people (err, a lot of people), use the gym as an escape route, a way to tune out the world for a while. If you enjoy lifting without music, and just want to enjoy the lifting in silence, that’s cool too. But if you enjoy listening to music, at least give it a shot once in awhile when you go to lift weights. Music has plenty of benefits for us weightlifters, and as a natural weightlifter, tiny, minuscule advantages can add up to something much bigger.
Take Home Message
Okay. Now you know all the lovely benefits of listening to music while exercising. Now’s the time to take advantage of it if you haven’t been listening to music prior to reading this article. Remember: keep your playlist uplifting and fast-paced, rather than slow and boring. I think you’ll find yourself a bit stronger if you stick with it. As always, stay strong.