running on a treadmill

Dreamstime

According To Science, Rock Is The Perfect Music For Working Out

By: Anthony Capobianco

November 2, 2017

Do you even rock, bro?

According to a scientific study done by sports psychologist Dr. Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London, England, the right kind of music can act as a performance-enhancing drug during workouts.

The study claims that high-energy music (like rock) often distracts from fatigue and stress experienced during physical activity and can increase endurance, allow one to push for more effort, and elevate mood. Depending on the song, the melodies and lyrical content can also invoke strong emotions that can contribute to their motivational state. Meaning that while listening to music, people find themselves engaging in faster and longer cardio sessions and exerting more force while lifting heavier weights. The use of music to improve workouts has even led the leading authority of distance running, USA Track & Field, to ban the use of listening devices to prevent runners from gaining a competitive edge.

FUN FACT: There are mobile apps that will select music for your workouts based on your heart rate like "Spotify Running" and "Zombies, Run!"

After surveying 184 college students, the most popular genres of music they listened to while working out were:

  • Hip-Hop 27.7%
  • Rock 24%
  • Pop 20.3%

Tempo appears to have a vital role when adding intensity to your gym routine. According to some psychologists, the average person prefers songs with 120 bpm (beats per minute). But while physically exerting themselves or running on a treadmill, that preference changes from 160 to 180 bpm. The consistent rhythm can cause the body to efficiently regulate its use of energy like a metabolic metronome.

Read more on the study here.

According to Muscle and Fitness, some of the most popular workout rock songs include Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog," Pantera's "Walk," and Metallica's "Enter Sandman."