Can Listening To Music Improve Running And Cycling Performance?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses if listening to music during endurance exercise can improve the performance of runners, cyclists, obstacle course racers, and other endurance athletes.

Video Transcription:

Matt: Alexa, would you be so kind as to play some death metal?
Alexa: Playing death metal music.

Matt: Okay. Oh yeah, mosh pit time, baby. Oh yeah. Alexa, would you be as so kind as to shut yourself off?

Alexa: Sorry, I don't know that.

Matt: What? Alexa, shut off. Ah, there we go. Good morning family of fast, Matt Mosman, the endurance guru over at EndurElite. Have you ever noticed that exercise seems a lot easier when you're listening to music? If so, there's actually a scientific reason behind it, and there's actually some clinical research showing that listening to music during endurance exercise can actually help you run longer and faster. But there's a few caveats to this and we'll get those into a minute, but let's talk about the research first.

So, this study was conducted at the University of Brunel and what the researchers did is they had 30 participants and they had them run on the treadmill for an allocated amount of time while listening to certain genres of music, I think, specifically, like Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens, I mean, pretty much every band that's ever kicked ass, while they also had another group listen to things like Enya and Chanting Monks or something like that. Anyways, they instructed the exercise participants to run on the treadmill as long as they felt like, as hard as they wanted to and then, you know, when you're done, you're done. But what they really found at the end of the study after crunching all the data is actually pretty interesting.

They found that the group that listened to more upbeat music performed up to 15% better than the group that listened to more of like the slow paced music. So, another key point here is that upbeat music has to fit in with certain parameters too. So they found like the ideal tempo for music that enhances endurance performance is at about 120 to 140 beats per minute. Now, how the heck do you find music like that? Well, duh, you just go on Google and search it. But I think the point being as long as the music is upbeat and if you find death metal to be soothing as I do, that would really be the key, just something that kinda keeps you motivated, upbeat and and fun and lively. So, avoid any at all costs if you wanna run longer or stronger or ride or throw spears or jump through fire better. So the point being here is music can improve endurance performance.

Now, why is this do they think? Why do they think this happens? A lot of it they think has to do with music providing sort of a mental distraction while an individual exercises. So, you know, you get deep in the pain cave, you start to focus on, you know, how much you're suffering. That kinda leads to performance declines where if you have music blasting, you more tend to focus on that and keep your mind off of all the pain and suffering that's happening at the moment. Another part of this and why they think listening to music during endurance exercise improves performance is that the 120 to 140 beats per minute, it might be like an ideal cadence to go at, to get your body and the groove, to speak. So those two reasons are probably why listening to upbeat music during endurance exercise can increase endurance performance, more specifically, how long you can go, you know, compared to if you were listening to nothing at all or boring ass shit like Enya, again.

So, point being, if you wanna run faster, you wanna cycle harder, you wanna climb ropes faster or do your crazy OCR things better, that it might not hurt to listen to a little bit of music from time to time, and you may notice some pretty nice boosts in endurance performance. So that is all I have for today my endurance friends. Keep on listening to death metal. If you like this video, please share it with your friends. If you want other videos like this, go over to the EndurElite YouTube channel, subscribe, head on over to the EndurElite blog at And until next time my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused and stay...