Justin Bieber & Barry Manalow just ruined my training session! Why music is crucial to performance.

Headphones in gymIf you don’t have a training partner and you need to push yourself music is a great motivator, but it can also have the opposite effect.  I don’t want to listen to Justin Bieber or Barry Manalow during a training session!!!  Not having the right music can be a deal breaker, especially for people who train alone.  A question asked in every gym around the world is ‘who gets to choose the music?’

Recently in my local gym there has been a discussion on the genre of music played, but it didn’t stop there.  The volume and even if there should be music was thrown into the mix.  No music at all !!!!!!  SERIOUSLY!!!!  Who wants to train in a gym with no music?!  When I walk into a gym I want to be uplifted and motivated for my session, I don’t want to feel like I have walked into a library.  The atmosphere set by the staff and the music is paramount.

For people training in a group music is just back ground noise.  In my gym at around 4pm all the ‘tradies’ hit the gym there is some really good banter between the boys creating a great atmosphere and competition.  With an aging population we are seeing an increase in older people in the gym, especially retirees maintaining fitness levels, many of which would rather listen to Bach or Beethoven.  Which is a reasonable request, but how can gym managers possibly create the right atmosphere to please everyone?  I guess they must look to their clientele for the answer.  Is it a friendly gym where people hang out, smile and talk to each other or is it a gym where people get the session done without acknowledge the people around them.

I believe the beat and volume has an effect on performance and is most important to the person training alone smashing out a cardio session or doing max lifts.  For these people music is at the forefront of their mind and the wrong music can have a negative effect on performance.  Try listening to Barry Manilow’s  Copacabana next time you go for a max lift and see what happens!

It is common to see people listening to there own music choice on ipod/mp3 players while lifting weights in the gym and I must say the headphone cords can be an safety issue.  I have seen people walk into equipment and other people because they are in their own ‘bubble’ and simply not aware of whats going on around them.

Personally I would prefer to listen to anything from the The Prodigy when working out, but I am sure some of you would prefer something else.

Bottom line – Music is a great motivator but don’t let the wrong music have a negative effect on your training session.  If your going into a shared space like a gym you must be tolerant and stay focused on training.  Long term – think about the atmosphere you want to train in and choose your gym wisely!  

There will always be discussions in gyms around the world about the type of music played and the debate continues 🙂

Image source – found on Pintrest but I guess the original source was http://www.bodybuildingismylife.com 

About Olympian Stuart McIntosh - My Fitness Mentor

2000 & 2004 Olympian. Founder of My Fitness Mentor -Personal Training Programs for men & women, Sports Conditioning, Athlete Mentoring & Slalom Coaching.
This entry was posted in Fitness, Gym, Healthy Living, Mens Health, Motivation, music, Personal training, Weight loss and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Justin Bieber & Barry Manalow just ruined my training session! Why music is crucial to performance.

  1. PSsquared says:

    This is SO true! Music makes all the difference.

  2. linnetmoss says:

    Great post! I used to go to my university’s fitness center, but they played such loud, annoying music (at 6:00 am) that it interfered with my ability to hear my headphones. After multiple complaints and requests to turn the music down, I finally quit my membership.
    I have noticed that on a rowing machine, I perform much better with music than with an audiobook because the rhythm motivates me (though the audiobook can get me to stay on the machine longer, at lower rpms, if the story is good). Note to self: stay away from Barry Manilow! LOL

    • Ha ha, There is a time and a place for Barry! . . on a cruise ship or in Vagas.

      I remeber one gy in Germany that just played Death Metal music, crazy.

      Apparently there is an App that plays music for free and you set it to a pace setting… I will let you know when I have trailed it to see if its any good.

  3. Kaufman's Kavalkade says:

    I’ve found music a great help to me in sports and creatively on my little blog.

    I listen to music throughout the day, and share what I listen to with friends on Twitter, haha.

    If you ever log into your Wine Wankers twitter account, don’t mind the DM’s. It’s just me sharing what I’m listening to.

  4. Pingback: On Friendship & Magnificent Bastards ~ The KaDoh! Institute | Andy Kaufman's Kavalkade Krew

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