We are constantly seeking innovative ways to elevate our clients’ exercise experiences and improve their results. One such tool where research has always shown positive results is the incorporation of music into workout routines. The marriage of exercise and music is not just about creating an enjoyable atmosphere; it has been backed by scientific studies that highlight its numerous benefits in enhancing performance and motivation during physical activities.

The Rhythmic Boost: How Music Elevates Workouts

Music has an uncanny ability to connect with our emotions, energise us, and synchronise our movements. When integrated thoughtfully into exercise routines, music can serve as a powerful motivational tool, aiding both trainer and clients alike. Here are some key benefits of exercising to music:

  1. Enhanced Performance: A recent study published in Perceptual and Motor Skills (Felekoğlu et al. 2023) found that participants who engaged in the 6-Minute Step Test while listening to rhythmic music achieved a significantly higher number of steps compared to those who exercised without music. The rhythm of the music seems to create a natural tempo that guides movements and propels participants to exceed their expectations.
  2. Increased Motivation: As demonstrated by Karageorghis et al. in their study published in 2021 in the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, music has the unique ability to trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. When the brain associates positive feelings with exercise through music, individuals are more likely to view physical activity as an enjoyable experience, leading to greater adherence to workout routines.
  3. Distraction from Discomfort: Engaging in intense physical activity can sometimes lead to discomfort or fatigue. Music acts as a distraction, shifting the focus from the physical exertion to the rhythm and lyrics, making the workout feel less strenuous. This was documented in the study by Szmedra et al., back in 1998, published by the International Journal of Sports Medicine, 19(1), 32-37.
  4. Optimal Pacing: The tempo of music can influence the pace of workouts. Upbeat and fast-tempo songs can drive high-intensity intervals, while slower songs can support recovery periods. This controlled pacing aids in structuring workouts and achieving desired training outcomes. (Terry et al. 2012 Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport)
  5. Psychological Benefits: A study published in PLoS One (Thoma et al 2013) revealed that music can have a positive impact on mood, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Incorporating music into exercise sessions can create a more positive and enjoyable environment, ultimately enhancing the mental benefits of physical activity.

The Science Behind the Beat

Research has consistently demonstrated the advantages of music-enhanced workouts. One study conducted by Karageorghis and Terry explored the psychological and ergogenic effects of music in a variety of exercise settings. The researchers found that carefully selected music significantly increased endurance, reduced perceived effort, and contributed to a more positive exercise experience.

Furthermore, a study by Lim and colleagues investigated the impact of music tempo on treadmill performance. Participants who exercised to faster tempo music showed increased speed, heart rate, and overall enjoyment compared to those who exercised without music or with slower tempo music.

Consider creating playlists with varying tempos to match different phases of a workout, such as warm-up, high-intensity intervals, and cool-down. Encourage clients to choose music that resonates with them, empowering them to take ownership of their exercise experience. Additionally, keep in mind the preferences of the target audience; for instance, athletes might respond well to high-energy tracks, while clients seeking relaxation may benefit from more soothing melodies.

Incorporating music into fitness classes can also foster a sense of community and camaraderie. Shared musical experiences can create lasting memories and a supportive environment that motivates participants to consistently attend sessions.

Our goal in the fitness arena is to inspire individuals to embrace active lifestyles and achieve their wellness aspirations. The integration of music into exercise programmes offers a dynamic tool that enhances motivation, performance, and overall enjoyment. Backed by scientific research, the power of music in workouts is not to be underestimated. By tapping into the rhythm, we can create transformative exercise experiences that empower clients to reach new heights of success.


  1. Felekoğlu, E., Köprülüoğlu, M., Kinik, M., & Naz, İ. (2023). A Randomised Cross-Over Analysis of the 6-Minute Step Test When Administered in Different Music Listening Conditions to Healthy Young Adults. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 130(2), 700–713. Click here to read the full study
  2. Karageorghis, C. I., & Priest, D. L. (2012). Music in the exercise domain: a review and synthesis (Part I). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 5(1), 44-66. Click here to read the full study 
  3. Szmedra, L., & Bacharach, D. W. (1998). Effect of music on perceived exertion, plasma lactate, norepinephrine and cardiovascular hemodynamics during treadmill running. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 19(1), 32-37. Click here to read the full study 
  4. Terry, P. C., Karageorghis, C. I., Saha, A. M., & D’Auria, S. (2012). Effects of synchronous music on treadmill running among elite triathletes. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(1), 52-57. Click here to read the full study 
  5. Thoma, M. V., La Marca, R., Brönnimann, R., Finkel, L., Ehlert, U., & Nater, U. M. (2013). The effect of music on the human stress response. PLoS One, 8(8), e70156. Click here to read the full study
  6. Karageorghis, C. I., & Terry, P. C. (1997). The psychophysical effects of music in sport and exercise: A review. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20(1), 54-68. Click here to read the full study
  7. Lim, H. B., Atkinson, G., & Karageorghis, C. I. (2009). Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 19(6), 685-694. Click here to read the full study

Teach Exercise to Music Classes

Teach Exercise to Music

Turn up the beat and transform your fitness career with our Exercise to Music Instructor Course! Delve into the rhythmic world of fitness and learn to choreograph invigorating workouts that resonate with every beat. This course is designed to equip you with the skills to captivate and energise your classes, blending seamless movement with pulsating tunes. Whether you’re looking to inspire seasoned fitness enthusiasts or beginners dancing into their fitness journey, we’ve got the rhythm and techniques you need. Enrol today and become the maestro of music-driven workouts!

Exercise to Music Course – In-Person & Live-Virtual
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