Everyone who has ever lifted weights or stepped onto a treadmill knows that a nice beat helps you exercise. But what other musical variables motivate you to push your boundaries? A team of scientists from Osnabrück University examined workout music to put together the ultimate playlist of exercise songs.
Fitness magazine Men’s Health published a report on the study. The scientists worked together with Amazon Music and the sound experts from Tro to create a playlist of 60 workout songs—everything from AC/DC to Dua Lipa. They took all sorts of musical parameters into account.
Workout music? 5 variables with impact
The number of ‘beats per minute’ (BPM) was far from being the only criteria. In fact, a slow song can also improve sporting performance. Find out what role these 5 variables play in workout music:
1. Speed: The tempo of a song is less important than the intensity of the rhythm section. A slow, but steady beat is more interesting than a fast song without any drums.
2. Lyrics: A song with lyrics is somewhat more helpful for maintaining efforts in exercise than an instrumental one according to earlier research.
3. Genre: Variation in the songs is important. There are a number of genres that stand out: hip-hop, rock and electronica. Not by coincidence, these are the music styles that often have a strong rhythm section.
4. Volume: Louder music delivers performance improvements during short workouts. But beware! During physical exertion, our ears are somewhat more sensitive to loud sounds.
5. Taste: You’ll be exhausted less quickly if you listen to your favourite music. For gym managers, it pays to know the personal musical preferences of your clients.
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