Hey Angels and Alphas,
Music by itself has always been used as a way to entertain ourselves, relax, become more self-aware, and overall just enjoy other people’s artistic and creative expressions.
With that said, it’s only in the last few decades that we have had conclusive research on music and physiology that has left us with some pretty fascinating connections between the two.
When it comes to training and music, people are sort of 50-50 about it.
We all know this one person who always carries their headphones in the gym religiously (might be you,) while other people wouldn’t care less what music is playing while they’re banging out a workout.
Today, we’re here to talk about the latest science and research behind music, and explore the scientifically proven benefits music has on your training:
#1 MUSIC WILL MOTIVATE.
What is motivation, really? Is it entirely mental? Or it is something that our bodies can produce on demand when exposed to certain frequencies of music? We all have those songs that just pump us up and make us want to get up and do, dance, lift, jump, you get the idea.
There’s nothing like putting on your favorite pump-up tune and squashing your previous weightlifting PR, am I right? But why is that? Well, music has been proven to directly stimulate motor function in the brain, all while releasing mood-enhancing hormones that help you fill up your entire body with the desire to move. And all of this while reducing your pain threshold.
#2 MUSIC WILL FOCUS.
When you’ve got your headphones on, you’re in your own isolated bubble of sound frequencies. You’re in your own little world where you decide what to listen to. When you create this bubble around yourself, it’s much harder to get distracted.
Putting your headphones on will eliminate all environmental distractions, help you zone-out, and bring that “laser focus” on whatever is in front of you. Studies have discovered a neural connection between areas of the brain responsible for focus and coordination in people who are actively listening to their favorite tracks.
Imagine what this could do for you in the gym – help you active your mind-muscle connection better, help you manage your rest periods better, the possibilities are endless!
#3 MUSIC WILL CREATE RHYTHM.
Finally, music will help you keep, maintain, or create a pace for your entire body. Scientists have invented a fancy term for a song’s ability to make you want to move, and it’s called the “call rhythm response.”
This call rhythm response is the reason you tap your foot or nod your head when you hear a nice beat. Listening to music while working out helps you tune in to your call rhythm responses in the form of “time signals” (like beat drops), allowing you to synchronize your body to the music and helping your body use energy more efficiently.
THE BOTTOM LINE…
Music can help you feel pleasure or displeasure, it can alter your thought process, and it can cause direct changes in behavior. The phycological effect of music can be explored directly by looking at the physical changes in hormone levels and brain activity.
For example, one 2012 study showed that participants who listened to music that they perceived as “pleasing” had higher levels of serotonin, also known as the feel-good hormone.
Even though it might be difficult to prove its effects, this study suggests that the pleasurable experience of listening to a song will ultimately result in an increase in serotonin levels, putting you in a better mood for the entirety of your workout.