The Power of the Playlist
the psychology behind music and exercise
Well, it seems like everybody and their mother is trying to get into shape.
And in the age of COVID-19, It appears everyone has felt the effects of quarantine weight gain in one way or another.
This can cause somewhat of a domino effect as well because when we feel like we don't look our absolute best, or at the very least decent, it can have minor or even detrimental effects on one's self esteem.
Because of this, many people have taken the initiative to get in shape. In order to get into shape, you not only have to make sure that you eat healthy, but you also have to possess the discipline and motivation to dedicate some time towards actually working out. If you do not engage in some type of physical activity for certain amounts of time, you will not see much progress. Here is where it would be often encouraged to formulate some type of workout plan for yourself.
In creating a workout plan, it is usually customized based on the individual’s body type as well as their own personal goals of to how they want their body to look like as a result of said work-out plan. But universally, it would include a warm-up, the main workout (or workouts), and the cool down period.
Now during any workout, especially when or if you workout alone, it is difficult to remain motivated enough to follow through and keep the workout going for a necessary period of time.
This is where I believe, the workout playlist comes in and plays a HUGE part in your mentality as you begin a workout.
Playing music during certain activities has been proven to assist in the motivational process as well as increasing endurance!
There was an experiment done to gain some insight on if listening to fast-paced music really motivates one to push the pace and exercise harder. The experiment was set up with 12 male students in good health with cycling on a stationary bicycle at self-paced speeds. On three diverse trials, the members biked for 25 minutes at a time while tuning in to a playlist of six distinctive well-known tunes of different tempos.
Unknown to the test subjects, the analysts made small changes to the music and after that measured the performances. The music was left at a typical speed, sped up by 10%, or slowed down by 10%.
Speeding up the tracks caused an increased execution in terms of the speed of pedaling, the amount of distance covered, and power exerted. At the same time, slowing down the music's speed resulted in a decrease in all of these factors.
With all these scientific, and psychological details on the effects that music may have during a workout, it allows me to reflect on my own playlists that I have saved in my Spotify library. I must warn that I have quite the eclectic song selections that may cause most to scratch their heads upon reading them.
For example, I would imagine that not many would have hip hop artist Joyner Lucas, gospel artist Mali Music, r&b singer Alicia Keys, afro hip hop artist Afro B, pop stars Black-eyed Peas, dancehall artist Sean Paul, alternative rock artists Maroon 5 & reggaeton artist J Balvin all on the same musical library.
A lot of my pop, reggaeton & r&b selections are assigned to my Warm-up playlists to get me physically prepped as I do my opening cardio exercise on either the bicycle or elliptical.
From there, I transition to my hip-hop, afro-hip hop, and alternative rock when I’m doing my weights to keep the momentum.
Then I close out with some slower r&b and some gospel to cool down!
I recommend everyone to create different playlists customized to the type of workout you may be doing at the time!