What’s the best music for pumping iron? Whatever pumps you up, a new study finds.
Researchers at California State University, Fullerton, asked 20 guys to bring their favorite tracks to the weight room. During separate visits, subjects did squat jumps – once with their music playing and again in a silent gym.
The men jumped with greater force and speed when encouraged by the beat of their own tunes. (Music offers similar benefits during cardio workouts, according to a recent study.)
Why? It’s not that complicated, explains study author Lee Brown, EdD, CSCS, FNSCA, FACSM. Grooving to your own music helps you block out your workout, meaning you essentially distract yourself into pushing to your max without feeling fatigue, he says. Music also helps you stay engaged and motivated, the study explains.
The bottom line: “If you want to enhance your workout and get serious about what you’re doing in the weight room, bring your own music,” Brown also offers a few rules to lift by:
– Stuck trying to pick an inspiring anthem? Think back to moments that got your heart going. What song do you associate with winning a big game or your first kiss?
– Lifting and a loud iPod can be a dangerous combination. Keep the volume low enough that you’re aware of your surroundings.
– Certain tracks might be more fitting for a specific exercise. Match your playlist to your planned workout, Brown advises.
The study was published online in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.