Sport without music – that is unthinkable for many. In fact, there are some arguments in favor of getting sprinkled during your workout, because the right playlist can make training more effective. 

For some, it is unimaginable to exercise without music. In many fitness studios, the speakers can even be heard so loudly that you think you’re in a club. But how effective is music in sports?

Studies show: those who listen to music while exercising are more productive

There are many studies that deal with the positive relationship between music and athletic performance. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Brazilian researchers had 15 runners complete 5-kilometer runs – with and without music. Result: those who listened to music ran faster the first two laps. In the following laps, the times were even then, but in the end it was still evident that runs with music over the entire distance led to a slightly better time.

study by the University of Southern Queensland also provides interesting conclusions about music in sport: the Australian researchers examined 139 existing research results in which the effect of music during training on performance was examined. Sports in which music is a direct component, such as dancing, gymnastics or figure skating, were excluded. The team led by Professor Peter Terry, Dean of Research and Innovation at the University of Southern Queensland, identified four possible effects of music: psychological reactions, physiological reactions, psychophysical reactions and changes in athletic performance.

What to look for in the workout playlist

But is there actually the ideal training playlist? Yes and no. Because that’s very individual. Familiar and popular songs with which you associate something positive, such as a person or a feeling such as strength, willpower or perseverance, are particularly suitable for music in sports. It is different for everyone.

It is important, however, to select songs with a reasonable speed. Our movement automatically adapts to the rhythm of the music during sport. If this is too slow, it can slow you down unnecessarily, on the other hand, songs that are too fast carry the risk of being too exhausted.

You should also pay attention to the order and the interplay of calm and energetic songs. From a scientific point of view, it is recommended for intensive strength training or a competition to put around 80 percent fast and driving songs and 20 percent calmer, relaxed music on the playlist. So if you already know in advance how intensive the training should look like and how many speed and rest phases it will contain, you can create the optimal workout playlist in advance.

Our editors like to hear that best when it comes to sports

As is well known, musical tastes are different and are very special when it comes to sports. At least that was the impression when we asked some colleagues from the BOOKs editorial team about their favorite music for running, pumping, etc.

Laura Graichen (myHOMEBOOK)

“During a workout, I need music that pushes and animates me. That works best with hip hop – the more bass the better. “

Felix Mildner (myHOMEBOOK)

“Whenever I go, I usually hear bad Death Metal – against the weaker self.”

Adrian Mühlroth (TECHBOOK)

“I always need variety when training, but in principle there are dub, hip-hop, drum’n’bass and reggaeton – and the occasional outlier.”

Marlene Polywka (TECHBOOK)

Flavio Treppner (FITBOOK)

“I always have to be yelled at during training to make the last few repetitions work. That’s why I listen to rock and metal. “

Carolin Berscheid (FITBOOK)

“My playlist for sports actually consists almost entirely of German rap. That motivates and pushes me the most. Capital Bra, Shindy, Kontra K, Bonez MC – there is everything here. “

But why sport can sometimes be good without music

Anna Kessler (FITBOOK)

“As a runner, I also know the agonizing“ I-don’t-like-anymore-thoughts ”and I was a big fan of suppressing them with beats that pushed me. My athletics coach with whom I met for my 10 km under 45 minutes challenge train, but advised me early on to run without music. Instead of repressing the exertion, I should think about it: how does the run feel in each moment? How do the individual steps feel? Is the leg and arm work going smoothly? Am I straining right now – or am I complaining? I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and I get along very well with this running mindfulness. Contrary to my expectations, these runs don’t feel boring, on the contrary! I am now more aware of my body and my surroundings. Running without music – you should try it! “