Article by: Kayla Uytengsu

Exercise can be one of the greatest escapes from the stress of school. One of the largest commonalities among athletes, regardless of discipline, is their use of music to enhance their performance. From avid gym-goers to three-season athletes, many students find that music is essential to being active.

Sources such as  The Huffington Post and Ace Fitness state that music has various performance-boosting effects such as enhancing morale and creating hyper-focused environments (The Huffington Post, Ace Fitness, Humans have a natural tendency to match the beat of sound with movement so applying this to workouts can keep us moving. Studies have suggested that this could even increase endurance up to 15%. Psychological studies also indicate that music can distract athletes in a positive way as their focus shifts from the pain to keeping the beat so it seems like the exercise requires less effort.

With all of its benefits, it is no wonder that passersby of the ISM gym or practice venues often observe the use of music during training sessions. One of the most popular strategies in using music is to create playlists that work for you. Senior Isabel Lapus states, “I use a playlist to create good vibes to prevent me from being negative,” adding that “any playlist that makes you happy and keeps you motivated” will be effective. Junior gym-goer Jeffrey Bui takes his song choice into serious consideration as he believes that rhythm highly impacts the exercise. He has dedicated his time to create specific workout playlists on Spotify. Whether it be throwback songs, country, or rap, music can make a significant difference in performance.

On the other hand, some argue that athletes should have enough mental endurance to sustain activity without the use of music. Activities such as marathons and school track meets prohibit music due to the hazardous risk of distraction, which increases the likelihood of collision. Additionally, others find that music is not effective for all activities. Senior Ysabel Ayala states that although music is “necessary in order to keep [her] motivated for extended periods of time,” when doing exercises that “require more focus for the first time around (such as a specific ladder set), music can be a little distracting”.

In short, music creates a multitude of both positive and negative physical and psychological effects when used during workouts. With such a culturally diverse community, these effects could vary drastically among the Bearcats so the most important thing is to find what works for you.

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