The Science Behind Synced Music Motivation

Everybody knows the importance of an awesome playlist when it comes to working out. There’s nothing like running along to your favorite song. But what if we told you that pairing music with your exercise can actually result in a more effective workout? It’s called Synced Music Motivation, and here’s the science behind it.

Some of the earliest research on music + exercise was conducted by Leonard Ayres, who in 1911 discovered that cyclists pedaled faster when they were listening to music versus pedaling in silence. This is interesting because it shows us that when we listen to music, our brains are distracted and thus focus less on exercise fatigue or pain.

Perhaps even crazier is the result of a 2012 study, which found that cyclists who synchronized their movements to the beat of music required 7% less oxygen than those who did not. That means our brains and bodies actually perform better when we sync music with our moves!

Put it to the test: the next time you’re doing your favorite workout, find a beat that pops at the exact moment that you’re completing a move (such as nailing that burpee). We’re betting it’ll motivate you to work harder, faster, stronger, and longer.


Susan Perez

Susan Perez is the Managing Editor of the ZLife blog and you can usually find her getting her sass on to Beyonce's 'Formation' in Zumba class; other loves include eating popcorn while watching 'The Voice', singing [really badly] at the top of her lungs while driving, and wearing red lipstick.


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