There's this really famous quote that says: 'Music gives you abs!'*
*Ok, I'm totes joking, it's not really a famous quote at all. But it should be! Read on...
Think about all of the workouts you've completed where the going got tough and you've seriously had to stop yourself from just going. Like, out of the building going. What got you through it? I would bet my foam roller that it's music (umm, if it's not music please do not come at me for my foam roller or I will put you down).
“Find songs that make you happy, lyrics that empower you and beats that make you feel stronger than Arnie in his Terminator days”
Music has this magical effect that can push us to complete that set, run the last 5k (which btw is alien to me; I don't run, so I wouldn't be running the first 5k) or make us beat our personal best, time and time again. It has the power to make us feel superhuman.
Research by Brunel University showed that music can increase your endurance by 15% through dissociation from fatigue symptoms. In simple terms; it takes your mind off of how tired you are. Not only that, but it can boost your motivation by triggering feel-good emotions that spur you on to perform bursts of intensity. This, in turn, boosts your power, strength and pace (albeit for a short time) and increases your overall work capacity.
It gets you 'In the zone'
According to positive psychology; being in the zone (or 'flow') is 'the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity'. It basically means that when you exercise to music, your mind is completely focussed on your workout and you forget all outside influences and distractions. Whether that's a crappy day at work, the list of jobs you need to get done or even an argument you had that's going round and round in your head (along with all the sarcastic comebacks you nailed 4 hours after the event and wish you'd had the chance to make). Music allows you to tune out of all of that (excuse the pun!) and just focus on the activity you've immersed yourself in, making you feel happier in the process. Bonus!
Rhythm is a dancer.
Or an athlete, or whatever. When you workout to music, the tempo and beat can define your output. If you listen to fast, upbeat music, you naturally keep that pace and work harder as a result. Listening to slow, soft music will have the opposite effect which is great for relaxation purposes. In short, the music you choose will impact how you workout.
So just give me a playlist will you and stop going on and on...!
Music is such a personal thing and ties you emotionally to memories - so what motivates one person could have the opposite effect on another. I'm not copping out don't worry, you'll get your blimmin' playlist, but just remember that if you like heavy metal or rock, Justin Bieber probably ain't gunna do it for you. Find songs that make you happy, lyrics that empower you and beats that make you feel stronger than Arnie in his Terminator days.
With all that said, here's my top 10 power playlist:
(This, by the way, is like asking a parent to choose their favourite child - unless you ask my mum, in which case it's my little sister, obvs)
1. Pump It - The Black Eyed Peas
2. Run This Town - OFFAIAH
3. Stronger - Kanye West
4. Instruction - Jax Jones
5. Over - Drake
6. Temperature - Sean Paul
7. Trampoline - Tinie Tempah
8. All Four Walls - Gorgon City
9. Greyhound - Swedish House Mafia
10. Badman (Torro Torro Remix) - Autoerotique & Max Styler
Go forth and build your power playlist - and then let me know what's on yours!
Big love, Jen x
P.S. The type of music I listen to changes all the time so I'll update this regularly to give you some inspo...I was going to put Despacito on the list but hopefully you'll all realise that this should go without saying. I mean, there ain't no banger like a Bieber banger is there!? Don't pretend you're not a Belieber. Behave.