Take Home Points
Everyone is always looking for the next way to improve exercise performance. Music is frequently used by personal training, boot camps, and sports training for improving performance, but does it help?
Atan (2013) assessed the effect of listening to music and its rhythm on anaerobic exercise. These researchers looked at power output, heart rate and the concentration of blood lactate.
- Listening to slow rhythm music
- Listening to fast rhythm music
- No music
Forty-eight hours after the subjects completed RAST, Wingate Anaerobic Power (WAN) tests were performed under the three aforementioned music conditions.
Results showed no significant differences between 3 conditions in anaerobic power assessments, heart rate or blood lactate. On the basis of these results it can be said that these three types of music conditions do not improve anaerobic performance. The type of music had no impact on power outputs during RAST and WAN exercise.
Future studies could examine the effect of music not only in the laboratory but also in the natural environment (power lifting, sprinting, etc.). Also, future studies should have the participants pick their own music, as music is much more than a rhythm.
At COR, we do not have music playing during days of heavy motor learning with our boot camps, personal training, and sports training. However, when seeking maximal power output, we allow the sports teams and boot camps to pick their music [although this selection can be difficult!], as it often provides a sense of joy and arousal.
- Atan T. Effect of music on anaerobic exercise performance. Biol Sport. 2013 Mar;30(1):35-9.