You are in the gym or on the road when you see them, you know who I’m talking about, those ridiculous looking people with their ear plugs and headphones; jogging past you and pretending as if they are not tired or worn out by all that weight lifting and running! When you see them you just want to scream at them “Stop posing exercise is serious business!”
Hold on for just a second my friend, they may be onto something! I used to think like that until a few years ago, I hated to see people with earphones on, either in the gym or on the road, to me they were just posers who wanted everyone to notice how cool they were, I help onto my prejudice until I had an argument about the usefulness of music to training with my workout friend Chima, it’s safe to say he convinced me to start exercising to music and my workouts have never been the same again.
As a training aid, music has no equal, science has proven that music is a fantastic pain killer, when you play your favourite songs, it helps relieve the pain and fatigue you feel while working out. It achieves this by releasing endorphins which are feel good chemicals into your system; whether you are lifting weights or running they help to reduce the feeling of fatigue you feel during intense exercise.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC?
From my own experience, if you really want to get your blood pumping, then fast tempo upbeat music is your best bet. Thank God we are in Nigeria and there is no shortage of that! My best work out songs come from Rap, Rock and my all-time favourite; 80’s movie sound tracks! (Seriously!) Scientists have found that the fast tempo in these genres of music have an effect similar to hypnosis, i.e. they help take your mind off the fact that you are lifting heavy weights or running your butt off. In fact it was found that the more mindless and upbeat the song, the better. Conversely, you should seriously avoid slow and contemplative songs when exercising, sure the lyrics are loaded with deep thought and meaning and that is the precise reason they are to be avoided, they force you to concentrate your mind and as a result you will become more aware of yourself and this translates to being more conscious of what your body and mind is feeling; fatigue!
DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY!
Whatever your taste in music, remember to enjoy it sensibly, remember those people with the headphones I could never stand? Well the main reason was that some of them were not just content with enjoying their workout songs; they had to share them with others! Please don’t be that person, by all means enjoy your tunes but don’t feel that you have to sing along to Eminem, Linkin park etc. trust me, you are good but not that good!
And there you have it, my secret weapon to get the best out of your workout, whatever form of exercise you choose, weights, aerobics, jogging etc., there’s a song out there for you to help you get the best out of it. Remember I told you I was a huge fan of 80’s movie soundtracks? I wasn’t joking! I am a serious nerd when it comes to music from the 80’s and I leave you with my list of top 5 movie tunes from the 80’s. See if you can detect a pattern, who knows you might even like them too!
You could as well get this songs:
1. “ WHAT A FEELING ” – IRENE CARA “ FLASHDANCE “ ( 1983 )
2. “ HEARTS ON FIRE ”- JOHN CAFFERTY “ ROCKY IV “ (1985 )
3. “ PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT ” – PAUL ENGEMANN “SCARFACE “ (1983 )
4. “ EYE OF THE TIGER ” – SURVIVOR “ ROCKY III “ (1982 )
5. “ GONNA FLY NOW “ – BILL CONTI “ ROCKY III “(1977 )
Yemi Ilugbuhi is Fitness Trainer and Consultant based in Abuja, Nigeria.