Can Music Help You Train Better?

Woman listening to music

When you get ready for a workout, one of the must-have things on your list is likely to be a pair of headphones. After all, good music can make all the difference when you are exercising. 

At least, that is what we assume. So, is there any actual science behind this? Can music actually help you train better? In this article, let us take a deep dive into the relationship between music and training. 

What Research Says

Over the last decade, the research that went into the association of music with physical training has increased considerably. And the conclusions pointed out that music distracts you from the pain and fatigue, improves your mood, and increases your endurance. 

In other words, pairing music with exercise can reduce the perceived effort and might even promote efficiency. As you might have already experienced, listening to music helps people put more effort into their training and perform better, even without realizing it. 

In fact, according to a review of the research available, music was even compared to a form of performance-enhancing drug. It’s just the one that is legal.

Benefits of Listening to Music When Training 

Let us consider the advantage of listening to music when engaging in physical activity to get a clearer idea.

Improves Mood

Perhaps the best benefit of music when exercising is that it instantly improves your mood. Listening to music that you find pleasant releases hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, making you feel more energetic. 

That said, this benefit of music is also applicable to other scenarios. Let’s say you are a student struggling to find motivation. Music can help you clear your head and see the focus to work through the long list of assignments. With the help of an academic platform such as WritePaper and some encouraging beats in the background, meeting that deadline might not feel like such a far-fetched task to get done. 

Distraction from Pain 

Music can be a great tool in helping you overcome fatigue. It acts as a dictator to shift your focus away from your tiredness and even help you find pain relief. As we noted earlier, music releases hormones that serve as mood enhancers. This can also help you with pain relief by increasing your tolerance. 
That means you will be able to endure more throughout your workout with the aid of music. This is also why music is generally advertised as one of the best productivity tools that encourages you to work better and, sometimes, even harder.

Improved Coordination 

Music also affects the way you move, just like how you dance to a tune. Regardless of what kind of physical activity you do, music encourages you to move rhythmically. In addition, the research found that listening to music you enjoy can boost the electrical activity in parts of the brain that are responsible for coordinating movements. 

This is why a good beat wants to make you move and why using an energetic rhythm would make an activity such as aerobic exercise or HIIT easier to follow. 

Make Working Out More Enjoyable 

If you have already workout, then you know that a brutal workout becomes a lot better with good music in the background. A study with 34 participants found that listening to music makes working out more enjoyable than when compared to doing it without any sound. 

This is mainly because you tend to lose yourself in the music and disconnect from other unpleasant feelings. It can also help your persevering level of exertion. You might find it even more helpful to watch videos when workout, which can be even more distracting from the intensity of the exercise. This could be one of the reasons why treadmills with video tablets are rising more in popularity. 

Help Cool Down 

Like how fast-paced music can motivate you to work out better, slow jams can also help bring your heart rate back down. It can help you fasten the benefits of a post-workout cooldown session. Calm music can slow down your blood pressure and heart rate and even quicken the recovery time. It is even found that soothing beats can reduce the chances of burnout after a workout and relieve cardiac stress. So, when you are done with a workout, you might want to switch to some pleasant soft songs that will help your body and mind cool down faster.

Woman Running In Headphones

Choosing the Right Music

All that being said, choosing the right music also plays a significant role. It is not quite as simple as picking a random Spotify playlist for exercising or queuing up a few high-energy songs. 

As per the experts, you should also consider your emotional association with the songs you choose. The memories and emotions you have tied to a song can influence how motivated you feel. Similarly, lyrics can make a big difference to some people. Fast-paced songs with emotionally disturbing lyrics can only add to the tension rather than motivation. 

For some people, the underlying melody might be more important than the infection of the lyrics. Some innovative apps have also been released throughout the years that play music based on the runner’s heart rate or add psychedelic music to the motivation. 

However, the two most important qualities for working out music often come down to tempo and speed. People synchronize their movements with the music, so fast songs with strong beats can be very stimulating for exercising. 

Switch the Genres

While music can influence your mood, it can also work the other way round. For instance, the same genre of music might not always evoke the same type of energy in you. It is just like self-help books. You might not find a book that helped you significantly a few months back to help you with a different scenario today. 

Some days, you might feel like a high-energy EDM pushes you to run that extra mile; on other days, you might find hip-hop or rap to be more appealing to your mind. As evident, there are so many factors that work together to decide whether a specific genre of music works for you on a chosen day. 

Music can be very subjective and personal to people. What encourages others will not work the best for you. So, do not hesitate to try out different formulas, even during a single day.

​​Can Music Actually Help You? 

The key takeaway is that music can be tremendously helpful when you train. It can help improve your mood, boost your endurance and push you to perform better. However, music isn’t the only contributing factor to how well you exercise.

After all, there is a limit to the wonders music can do to your body. It cannot push you beyond your capabilities. It indeed has some effect on strength and perceived effect, but it can’t always lead you to a fun session at the gym. 

On the bright side, music might be what’s missing in your routine to make exercising more enjoyable and something you look forward to. Ultimately, it is up to you to find out what works best for your body and mind. And you might even have fun figuring out how you exercise with different types of music in the background.