By Amy Morris

Want to Improve Your Workouts? Try Making Your Own Music Whilst You Do It


A new study, in fact the first of its kind, has tested whether participants who made their own music pushed themselves harder during a workout compared to those who did not.

The results suggested that making their own music, and not just hearing music in the background, did in fact improve the muscular force they generated throughout their work out session.

The new study was carried out by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and other institutions. The research began by the researchers inventing an electronic kit that could be easily installed inside weight-training machines, making them much like an oversized DJ deck.

The kits were programmed to produce all different types of electronic style music and rhythms that would give off the sound at various different levels. The specific sound given off would totally be controlled by how the user on the machine worked out.

63 healthy men and women were chosen to participate and they were then divided into groups. Each group was then assigned one of the specific musically equipped machines throughout a six minute exercise class.

As each volunteer exercised and strained, the machine would make a sound in accordance to the individual user’s movements. So no machines would give off exactly the same sounds.

Thomas Hans Fritz, who led the research study said according to The New York Times;

“Participants could express themselves on the machines by, for instance, modulating rhythms and creating melodies.”

After this one exercise session finished, the same participants were asked to come back another time and use the same machines but this time the machines had no musical add ons.

Each workout had been carefully monitored by the researchers, who paid specific attention to the oxygen the volunteers consumed (which is a reliable measure of physical effort), and the force the users of the machines generated.

Once all workouts were completed the scientists asked the volunteers to rate how well they tolerated each session from 1 to 20.

Results showed that most of the participants who used the musically equipped ‘DJ-ing’ exercise machines generated a much larger greater force than when they worked on the machines with no musical enhancement. With the participants who used the musically enhanced machines using less oxygen to create the exercising force, with them also feeling less tired, and producing much smoother movements resulting in a steadier flow of music created.

Dr. Fritz then went onto say;

“Creating their own rhythms and melodies had lowered the physiological cost of exercise and greatly increased its subjective allure compared with when the exercisers passively listened to virtually the same music.”

Perhaps this is exactly how cavemen managed to keep themselves so motivated! By creating a simple hum or musical noise to help them fulfill such physical and demanding hunts, without which they would not have eaten and we would not be here today reading this.

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Amy Morris