You can see them everywhere, runners running with headphones in the park, spinning gymnasts who don’t start pedaling until the music comes out of the speakers, those who jump on a skipping rope with music and even weight lifters who don’t touch the machines before the beat of the drums shakes the gym.
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Does music improve or interfere with training?
Almost everyone likes to train with music, the question is whether it improves performance • and, whether it is beneficial for professional athletes.
You can see them everywhere, running with headphones in the park, spinning gymnasts who don’t start pedaling until the music comes out of the speakers, those who jump on a skipping rope with music and even weight lifters who don’t touch the machines before the beat of the drums shakes the gym.
The question is, does the music really contribute to training? Most amateur gymnasts certainly think so. “Each song lasts an average of 4 minutes,” explains one of them, “so if in the time of two songs I can run a route of one and a half kilometers – I know I had a successful workout.”
In a study done in the UK, the performance among those who played sports with music was better // Vertical
According to them, the images flickering on the TV screen in front of them, and especially sounds, can provide excellent inspiration for training, and also distract from the muscle pain and the boring monotony of the exercises
The experts disagree as to the harms versus the benefits of listening to music while exercising. On the one hand, they believe that voices or sounds can definitely help with better training. But on the other hand, the distractions may damage the very delicate and necessary connection between the body and the mind, thus spoiling the results of physical activity.
About two years ago, a study was conducted in Britain that tried to test the issue scientifically: 18 students were asked to pedal on exercise bikes – half of them in complete silence, and half to the sound of rhythmic electronic music.
The result was unequivocal, revealing that those who listened to the sounds pedaled on average at a 13% higher rate, compared to their friends who exercised in a minute of silence.
Psychologists call the distraction provided by music “the disconnection effect”. Dr. James Ensi, an American psychologist from Atlanta, points out that new gymnasts who are allowed to exercise with music stick to the training program more, compared to their friends who exercise in silence.
Good music – as long as it’s useful
But the situation is completely different when it comes to professional sports. “Athletes who want to achieve great results – cannot train with headphones,” says Prof. Benjamin Ogles, a psychologist from Ohio University in the USA.
“If you want to use up your physical ability,” he explains, “you must be completely focused on your body, without anything distracting you.”