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The Power of Music

posted on March 28, 2024

As you prepare to go to the gym there are a couple of essentials that you always bring with you. Phone, wallet, keys, water bottle, airpods (or headphones), and other lifting equipment. While you are beginning your lift, you put on your headphones and choose the music you want to listen to as you begin your lift. It seems so routine and a natural part of getting ready to lift that it is often overlooked. Think about the days that you forget to bring your headphones. The lift doesn’t feel as exciting and it is hard to really lock in and focus. You may also feel like your lifts are not as strong as they usually are.


Whenever I get to the gym before I do anything else, I put on my headphones and choose a song depending on the mood I am in and what I will be hitting. If I am in a sad mood, I will often turn to my sad playlist. If I am ready to attack my workout and have an intense workout, I will usually turn to rap first to warm up and then to hardstyle/remixes. Whether I am in a sad mood or in an intense mood, the music amplifies those feelings immensely. I have seen research done saying that music actually does increase your power output by a certain percentage. Now, I don’t really know the validity to that particular study, however, when working out it almost certainly feels that way.


Music has a way of tapping into your mood and being able to explain it through a song that words can’t really explain. It allows you to really feel the emotion that you are feeling to the max which in turn allows you to have a better workout. I feel like many gym members can attest to this because a nice jazz song is not going to really tap into your emotions and allow you to feel that while lifting (for most people). There are definitely song genres out there that do not allow those emotions to be tapped into.


Let’s try to think about it another way. Imagine you are going for a PR on a squat, bench, or deadlift. You are in a gym with a couple people around doing their own workout/exercise. You have no one around to hype you up or any music playing. This makes the PR much harder for some reason that cannot be explained. Now, imagine going for a PR on a squat, bench, or deadlift. You are surrounded by many people yelling, encouraging, and hyping you up. You have that PR song in your headphones or playing from the speakers. While going for the PR, the extra sound and motivation from others allow you to push a tad bit more to hit the PR. It is unexplainable, but there is that motivational factor that music and surrounding yourself with others that pushes you that extra mile to hit the PR.


Music is such an important contributor to the lifting community. Having something to listen to while you lift really allows you to push that much further for another rep or another set.


Ricky Cho


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