Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?

A new study in yesterday's NY Times suggests that the music you listen to while working out has an effect on how hard you workout, how you perceive the difficulty of your workout, and even how much you like the music you're listening to.

The study was centered around cyclists, in which six songs ran at normal tempos, at tempos slowed by ten percent, and at tempos increased by ten percent. The riders did not know about the change in tempo but...
...their riding changed significantly in response. When the tempo slowed, so did their pedaling and their entire affect. Their heart rates fell. Their mileage dropped. They reported that they didn’t like the music much. On the other hand, when the tempo of the songs was upped 10 percent, the men covered more miles in the same period of time, produced more power with each pedal stroke and increased their pedal cadences. Their heart rates rose. They reported enjoying the music — the same music — about 36 percent more than when it was slowed. But, paradoxically, they did not find the workout easier. Their sense of how hard they were working rose 2.4 percent. The up-tempo music didn’t mask the discomfort of the exercise. But it seemed to motivate them to push themselves. As the researchers wrote, when “the music was played faster, the participants chose to accept, and even prefer, a greater degree of effort.”
What do you think? What type of music do you like to listen to when you workout? Vote or skip to results>>
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