Why Does Everyone Listen to Music at the Gym?

Posted: March 9, 2017 at 2:38 pm

When I go to the gym, I have to have my headphones with me. Even if it is brutally cold outside, I will make the walk to get my headphones from my dorm. Without my music, I just don’t feel as motivated. I have tried to watch YouTube videos, or catch up on Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal, but NOTHING seems to motivate me to run a little further like having my favorite songs blaring (at a volume way too high) out of my headphones. Well, it turns out music has a much larger impact on our workouts than I anticipated.

While research has consistently supported the idea that music acts as a distraction to physical exertion, a 2009 study found that when the tempo increases in a song, you are more likely to push yourself and work out harder. As one could assume, and studies have found, music with higher tempos are the way to go during your workout. However, too fast of a tempo is not good. For those who do not prefer to fluctuate their energy during their workout (if you like interval training this probably will not apply to you), music can help you stay on pace.

Additionally, there are songs or genres of music that help us “get our minds right”, that meaning they help us focus on the task we are doing and put us in the mind frame of working out. Often times these songs have memories tied to them, and sometimes these memories can generate motivational power for us to thrive off of during our workout.

Most importantly, music makes us happy. We often listen to songs that will make us feel the way we would like to feel. It can help us feel happy, motivated, or self-aware. It can serve as a means of reflection or an escape from what is currently going on in our lives. Thus, when we listen to music during our workout, it is easier to remove any negative emotions from our minds and power through our workout. You combine the mood effects of music and the inevitable good vibes we get from exercising, and you will leave your workout feeling great!

Finally, music makes us want to move! Researchers have found that music with “high-groove” qualities help our brains get excited and induces movement. So no matter how much you hated going to the gym that day, those tunes will help you get it done.

So, why does everyone listen to music at the gym? Because it helps. Music can help us in many areas of our life, but it is very valuable when we are at the gym and trying to get through a workout we have spent all day avoiding. The next time you go to the gym, make a playlist of your favorite songs and turn it all the way up! I surely will.

By: Destany Martin