1. Gasior, Lisa J. MS

Article Content


Previous studies have shown that there is a positive effect of music tempo on exercise performance regardless of music genre. It is unclear what aspect of the music (melodic elements + percussion, percussion, simple rhythm) causes participants to increase work output.



This study was designed to evaluate which element of music might be the primary factor influencing exercise performance.



Healthy volunteers (age = 22-57)(n = 10) performed an incremental cycle ergometer exercise test to define conventional exercise parameters, and 4 randomly ordered free range cycle ergometer training bouts. During each bout, the subject listened to an audio track of: 1) music, 2) the percussion track from the musical selections, 3) a metronome beat set at the same basic rhythm of the music, and 4) white noise. Exercise was performed on a cycle-ergometer equipped with a SRM Training System to record heart rate (HR), power output (W), cadence (RPM) and speed (MPH). RPE was also recorded. The subjects were instructed to ride as they normally would during a training session, with full control over the gears and cadence of the cycle-ergometer.



Although there was evidence that some subjects clearly entrained with all three elements of beat there was no evidence of a systematic effect of any element of music (R2 = 0.017), percussion (R2 = 0.0034) or metronome (R2 = 0.0007) driving power output, or any other exercise parameter. These results are different than two other studies from our laboratory and are unexplained at present.



The results of this study do not support the idea that music motivates listeners to exercise at a greater intensity.