Posted on Jun 30, 2019

Workouts are impossible without music. It helps to create necessary and sufficient conditions for fruitful training and set the mood for all day. But the influence of music is greater.

The latest research shows that music could make workout simpler, depending on its tempo.


For example, upbeat music can make HIIT workouts less difficult.

The research was conducted by Matthew Stork, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. Costas Karageorghis, a researcher at Brunel University London, was also involved in the experiment. The results were published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal.

24 people, who participated in the research, were asked to complete HIIT workout, which lasted 10 minutes. There were three parts of the workout: assessed with the motivational music, with non-musical podcasts and with no audio. The participants said that they trained with greater force when music was playing.

The scientists proved, that heart rate was the highest while people were training with music. Moreover, this indicator was elevated along with the beat.

This phenomenon is well-known – it’s called “entrainment”: when human biological rhythms synchronize with the beat of the music.

The expert team chose 3 the most motivating songs among 16 high-tempo songs. They were “Let’s Go” by Calvin Harris and Ne-Yo, “Bleed It Out” by Linkin Park, and “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

The tempo of all these three songs is 135 beats per minute (bpm). But the lyrics also play a role. Such phrases as “Let’s Go”, “Get Up” motivate people to exercise harder and not to spare themselves.


But a high-tempo song is not always the right choice. The researchers say that low-tempo songs are better for lower-intensity exercises – they help to reduce pain during the workout.

Earlier studies also came to similar results. For example, it was ascertained that people pedaled more actively when they were listening to music, and as a result, they were tired less. The cause also is in “entrainment” principle.

But that’s not the only advantage of doing а workout with music.

Researchers also have proved that listening to your favorite tracks increases the activity in the brain areas responsible for coordination. So if coordination is crucial for your workouts, keep this in mind.

Music can help you to recover faster. An experiment with 60 participants demonstrated that slow music at the end of a workout lowered blood pressure and slowed heart rate. Moreover, the recovery process, in this case, was faster than with high-tempo music.

woman-dancing to music

And another study on the topic confirms that low-tempo music allows us to return quickly to the normal pulse rate while resting.

So, if you need to find the simplest solution, try to choose pop and rock music for training, the most proper tempo is 120-140 beats per minute.

And which music do you choose for training?

As for journalist, there is the only rule in my life: “Do, what you can, and always move on”. And this postulate I try to get across to readers.