Let’s All Have Cake and Bring Your iPod Too

Today it’s all about Cake. To be more precise, it’s about music, sorry chocolate cake you also deserve a few special days to call your own but today’s not it.

My all time favorite running song is Cake’s ‘The Distance.’ Cut to me looking like a total idiot belting out…”[S]he’s going the distance…[s]he’s going for speeeeeeed…” I almost can’t help myself every time I hear it. It’s got a power over me.

man singing in the gym

Though I do contain myself if others are around...I do have some shame.

I actually don’t listen to music while I’m outside running, I never have, and I don’t plan on starting. But that’s mostly because I’d rather be able to hear what’s going on around me and lingering accident-issues there.

BUT, if I’m on any kind of stationary machine I’ve got to have a distraction. TV or music help the time pass. So now, can listening to loud, uptempo music make those sweat sessions more productive (along with a lot less boring)? Though, if I can say so myself, I’m going to go with a resounding, duh?!

I’m sure anyone who’s compared doing: a gym cardio session with nothing vs. a gym cardio session when the gym is playing the best of Michael Bolton vs. a loud, invigorating, pump-up song can tell you all you need to know.

But because we like to back stuff up, let’s get all sciency, and put on our lab coats. I was a little surprised that it seems there are mixed results/opinions out there. I found a really great article that sums it all up by Dr. Len Kravitz, PhD. But I’ll paraphrase:

  • There is probably a gap between lab studies and then actual application. Further, the people they are testing on present a lot of variables: how in shape are they, how ‘hard’ to they perceive hard, etc.
  • Out of the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, in 1991 Copeland, B.L., & Franks, B.D. found conclusive that people on a treadmill were able to go longer with faster, loud music than the slower easy listening variety.
  • Again from the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, in 1990 a study published showed that a pulsing beat upped cardio performance; they cited the reasons might be simply because of mental perspective. Obliviously if you’re able to listen up and let the music ‘make you sweat til you bleed’ you might be moved to up the ante.
  • Finally, further studies indicate that listening to louder, fast music while lifting weights can actually allow you to lift more and improve strength.

So, if you’re still with me: if you’re stuck inside bring along some fast music. I will also say, having a stocked iPod works wonders in terms of motivation to get to the gym in the first place, if you’re having a ‘meh’ day.

1)   I now throw it to you, what’s your favorite pump-up song?

2)   Do  you listen to music when you run outside?

3)   Did you race at all this weekend?
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2 thoughts on “Let’s All Have Cake and Bring Your iPod Too

  1. I need to have music or some other audio form of distraction when I am running or training inside. I really don’t like the sound of the heavy breathing coming from people around me that much. When I am outside though it’s different. Most of the time I don’t need anything if I am running, when I’m walking I like listening to different science-y or history podcasts (working brain and body at the same time) but always on low volume :)
    My favourite pump up song, although I’m not sure it qualifies as such, is Teenage Dream by Miss Katy Perry. It just has a beat that appeals to me! Other than that – it’s gotta be Britney. I swear there is still a teenage girl trapped inside me :)

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