The Link Between Music And Working Out

Why do we listen to music when we workout?

We’ve all heard the excuses before:

“I won’t workout unless I have music”,

“If I get to the gym and I don’t have my headphones, I would probably leave”.

It sounds a bit dramatic, but people take having music during their workouts very seriously, and for some of us it can make or break a workout. And although dramatic, research has been done and there is some truth to it!

The link between music and exercise has been widely studied in the last few years and it has been found that there is a strong relationship between the two. Not only can it put you in the right mood for the task and push you through the hardest part of your workout, it has multiple effects on your body that contribute to that “pump up” feeling.

"Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency." (Jabr, 2013). According to Jabr (2013), people's connection with the emotional state or viewpoint of the artist might be what gets them motivated for the workout.

People react differently to music during their workouts, and their choice could vary depending on their personality, personal experiences or just taste in music. Tempo and rhythm are also factors that drive people towards certain music; most people have an instinct to synchronize their movements and expressions with music (Jabr, 2013). This synchronization can improve coordination, which could help the body be more energy efficient. There are several reasons to make music a part of your workouts and the “perfect playlist” depends on many factors such as tempo, rhythm, memories, distraction and more.

Personally, the music I choose needs to be loud or have a nice up-tempo beat to it, the kind that makes you want to dance. Lyrics are not something I focus on much during the training session.

Listen to music that you genuinely enjoy. I find that choosing random playlists can turn into noise and become a distraction more than an aid in getting you through your session.

 By Hugo Salazar 


Jabr, F. (2013) Let's get physical: The psychology of effective workout music. Retrieved from

Laura Hobson