The effect of high tempo music as an external stimulus during high intensity exercise

Maddigan, Meaghan Elizabeth (2013) The effect of high tempo music as an external stimulus during high intensity exercise. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In society today music use by athletes and exercise enthusiasts alike has become extremely popular, however the music selection process is typically quite personal and based often on intuition rather than any type of scientific formula. Some people say a certain type of music motivates them, some people suggest it is a certain beat or tempo and some people say it is any type of music at all. One thing that is commonly agreed upon however is that for whatever reason the music seems to make exercising more enjoyable. Thus, the present review of literature on music use during exercise is to develop an understanding of the scientific evidence as a basis for the finds that music can assist in exercise performance. The proposed benefits of using music in the exercise setting have intrigued researchers for quite some time even before portable music devices were easily accessible to the general public. There is a whole body of literature that suggests that during repetitive endurance-type activities ' motivational' music can decrease rates of perceived exertion and can lead to a positive impact on exercise performance measures. However, what has not been conclusively shown is whether listening to music has a purely psychological effect, a physiological effect, or a psychophysical effect on the participant and their responses to exercise. The actual mechanisms that are responsible for the beneficial effects music can have on exercise performance are still equivocal. Thus, future research is necessary to develop a better understanding of the effect and effect limitations of listening to music for improved exercise performance. -- Evidence indicates that music can have a psychological effect by decreasing rate of perceived exertion and increasing exercise enjoyment. However, it has yet to be concluded whether listening to music affects the physiological responses to exercise, specifically with respect to high intensity or maximal work efforts. The purpose of this study was to assess the following physiological responses: heart rate (HR), ventilatory kinetics, time to task failure (TTF) and blood lactate (BL), as well as perceived exertion; while exercising and listening to high tempo music, all set at a tempo of 130 bpm. The exercise entailed interval training at 80% of an individual's peak power output (PPO) as assessed during incremental maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) test on a stationary bicycle. The main finding in this study was that the participant's TTF when listening to music during their exercise performance was significantly greater (p<0.05), by one minute, than when exercising without music. Exercise heart rate was not significantly affected by music, however heart rate recovery was significantly faster by 13 bpm following the music condition (p<0.05). Additionally, participants had higher blood lactate levels and they rated their perceived exertion to be lower at the same or greater workloads when listening to music (p<0.05). Lastly, a higher breathing frequency was recorded with music (p<0.05). The results demonstrate that listening to music during high intensity exercise results in physiological changes. The results also support the theory that music can contribute to prolonged exercise durations at higher intensities with lower perceived exertion.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10961
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Exercise music; Music and sports--Psychological aspects; Music and sports--Physiological aspects.

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