I hate supplements. I try to avoid them at every turn. Even the supplements I recommend are basically food extracts, and we all know about the dangers of energy drinks. I finally got you, you hypocrite!
Uhhbut its all natural! And organic. Doesn’t this sound appetizing?
Nope that stuff is still horrible for you. Probably. The market is totally unregulated, so for all we know it’s the cure for cancer. Or it causes cancer. 50/50 shot, really.
Here is what does work: MUSIC.
Listening to music when you hit the gym to improve your workout isnt exactly a new concept. But understanding how your favorite tunes enhance your exercise is a little less obvious.
Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their bodily awareness (read: pain). And a recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to ones pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout.
1. Music is the good kind of distraction.
While the study did suggest there is more to it than distraction, working out with music did make participants less aware of their exertion. Such a distraction can benefit athletic performance by up to 15 percent, The Guardian reported. The faster the better, according to WebMD: Upbeat tunes have more information for our brains to process, which takes your mind off of that side stitch.
2. It ups your effort.
A 2010 study found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music as compared to music at a slower tempo. But too fast is no good, either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.
3. Music puts you in the zone.
Everyone has that go-to song that gets you in the zone, and theres science to why it works. We associate certain songs with memories, often relating to the context in which we originally heard them, such as the first time you watched Rocky. Channeling that memory or even just the emotion of the singer boosts the motivational power of the song, and has been shown to improve physical performance.
Heres my squat song this thing hits repeat whenever Im under the bar. Instant in the zone.
4. A good beat can help you keep pace.
The rhythm of your workout music stimulates the motor area of the brain as to when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises such as running or weight-lifting. Clueing into these time signals helps us use our energy more efficiently, since keeping a steady pace is easier on our bodies than fluctuating throughout a sweat session.
5. Music can elevate your mood.
An August 2013 analysis found that people often listen to music as a way to change their mood and find self-awareness. Study participants said that listening to music allowed them to think about themselves, who they wanted to be and give them an escape from the present. No matter what happened an hour ago, you can use your tunes to help you escape negativity and power you through your workout and you know you will feel great when its over.
6. It makes you want to move.
You really cant stop the beat! Researchers found that when music possesses high-groove qualities, the brain gets excited and induces movement in the listener. Basically, your playlist has the ability to make you move no matter how much youre dreading that workout.
Truth be told, the reason I liked lifting weights when I started exercising had nothing to do with the exercise itself I really just wanted to listen to my music. I used to draw like crazy and I would get to zone in and focus because of my music. The transition became easy I got to create perfect playlists for each workout ones that built up to where the most difficult part of the workout would be. It was orchestral. It was theatrical. And you know what? It made me stick to it because I would look forward to listening to my music all day.
And a glorious legacy was born.