Research has shown that listening to music while performing indoor cycling elicits higher internal loads and a faster rate of perceived exertion. This effect may be mediated through neuromuscular and cognitive responses. In a recent study, 13 healthy adults performed an exercise task that involved long-term, prolonged indoor cycling at varying levels of intensity. The participants were assessed on their reaction time, memory, and selective attention before, during, and after the exercise. Additionally, pedaling torque and cadence were recorded during the trial.
Previous studies have shown that listening to music during an exercise session enhances motivation and arousal. Researchers also found that this effect was greater when the music is louder than the background noise. The use of music during exercise represents a new paradigm for trainers. This study was the first to test whether listening to music during exercise stimulates the perception of effort during high-intensity activities. In addition, it shows that the tempo of the music influences the perception of effort.
During a training session, the intensity of the music can become too intense and inhibit the exerciser’s ability to focus on the musical stimulus. The exerciser loses the ability to perceive the effect of the musical stimulus on their performance. In this study, athletes reported a greater increase in internal loads when listening to music during their workout. The authors concluded that music can boost physical activity without increasing physical intensity.
During the high-intensity phase of the workout, listening to music can enhance performance. This is due to the increased arousal level and the intensity of the exercises. The musical stimulus may also increase motivation, reduce negative mood states, and promote optimal exercise. The effects of music during intense exercise may even include improved physical endurance. However, the benefits of listening to music during high-intensity sessions are not clear yet.
The study results suggest that music can improve physical performance. During the first hour, participants’ perception of the sound of the music becomes more positive. In the second half, the exercise intensity increases to a level where the listener no longer feels motivated by listening to the music. In the third phase, listening to music during high-intensity exercise can also reduce physical fatigue during the first phase.
The intensity of the musical stimulus has been shown to be beneficial during the exercise. This effect may be associated with a greater number of internal loads than when listening to background music. Hence, it is possible to use music during low-intensity exercise to promote the physiological response of the participants. After a certain time, the effects of the musical stimulus are lost and the effects of the music become ineffective.