20 Amazing Benefits of Listening to Music in the Gym

Updated on by Gavin Whitner | There may be affiliate links on this page.

Enter pretty much any gym in the world, and you’ll see people hard at work, either trying to better their bodies, get into shape, cut off some excess weight or simply doing what they love. Whatever their individual goals and diet plans, there’s one thing that unites every gym-bound individual.


If you haven’t brought your own headphones or playlist, you’ll hear the pumping pop-ranged house and chart hits over the speaker system in the gym itself. But why is that? Does music actually have any benefits, or we do play it just because it would be otherwise silent apart from groans of physical assertion and grinding workout machines?

Imagine how strange that would be.

Today, we’re going to explore 20 different benefits that listening to music at the gym provides, helping you optimize and revolutionize your workouts.

1. Distract Yourself

Okay, some people love working out and simply do that because they love it. But if you’re trying to get into shape, lose weight or just gain a bit of muscle, the gym is not always looked at as a ‘good’ place.

Instead, bringing music you love into this situation can help you to take your mind off the fact you’re there, turning your workouts into something enjoyable.

2. Motivates Your Drive

We all know those couple of songs which pump us up and get us hyped; the type of music we listen to when we’re getting ready for a night out or something like that. However, studies have also shown that cyclists that listened to faster-paced music actually worked harder; 120-140 beats per minute being the optimal range.

3. Get into the Zone

If you’re at the gym and you’ve forgotten your headphones or have a lot on your mind, it can be hard to find your focus and to engage with the exercise that you’re performing fully. You might have been thinking about your day or what’s for dinner.

Instead, music helps to drown out the noises around you and your thoughts, allowing you to get into the zone and fully invested in the activity that you’re engaged with.

4. Keeping a Steady Pace

It’s hard to stay in time when you’re at the gym. All it takes is someone a bit faster or slower than you to get on the treadmill next door or a lapse of concentration and you’ll lose the pace that you had before.

Using music, especially dance or ‘bass’ music, can help you keep a steady pace, so you don’t under or overexert yourself.

5. Improves Your Mood

We all know the overwhelming benefits that music has on the happiness levels in our bodies, whether it’s releasing dopamine into the brain or lowering our stress levels. Dopamine is commonly referred to as the ‘happiness’ chemical and is released during exercise and when listening to music.

Combine the two, and you’ll see an instant uplift in your mood and well-being.

6. Get Moving!

Music and dance go hand in hand. Get on one of your favorite tracks, and it won’t be long before you’re tapping your feet and ready to party and have a little wiggle.

However, when you’re at the gym, this get-up-and-go attitude can be transformed into energy for the gym, helping you stay motivated and engaged in what you’re doing.

7. Science Suggests Better Results

While it’s all well and good going on about the benefits that listening to music provides, let’s take a look at some facts. One source, the London Brunel University School of Sport and Education, posted a piece saying they found that the act of listening to music can “reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase your endurance by as much as 15%”.

8. Lower That Anxiety

How many people do you think avoid going to the gym based on the anxieties that they feel towards it? While anxiety has hit an all-time high, music has many proven studies and cases where it has lowered anxiety for a person in all kinds of situation.

Simply plug in your headphones, choose your workout and get lost in it. Who cares what anybody else is thinking?

9. Let’s Get Motivated

Okay, so you’ve heard of the Rocky theme tune? That music is so inspirational that it’s been a household term and when anybody hears the song, the chances that they relate it back to the Rocky films, or something inspirational and motivation, is dramatically high.

Listening to the right music can motivate and inspire you in every single gym session, especially if you’re choosing music with motivational lyrics that are going to speak to you throughout your training.

10. Losing Track of Time

While we’re big believers in making every second count, let’s be honest, running on a treadmill for an hour is not the most exciting or enjoyable task in the world. Think about the pain and grueling of the 47th minute. *Shudder*.

However, listening to music has the effect of making time feel faster than it usually does, especially when we’re doing something that’s not particularly enjoyable.

11. A Distraction-Free Training Zone

Turning the world off at the gym is no easy feat. There are people chatting, machines grinding, music playing, TV’s blaring. Without your own headphones with your own music, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to focus on what you’re doing.

Sometimes, even when music is being played through the speakers inside the gym, it may not be a genre music that you like. It could be pop or jazz, while your favorite is perhaps distortion-fueled hard rock. This is why it’s always a good idea to carry your own pair of headphones to the gym.

When you’re working from home or in your office, having minimal distractions is the key to success, and it’s no different when you’re in the gym. Optimize your workout by creating your own personal training bubble.

12. You Can’t Help But Be Better

Science has proven that listening to music, especially up-tempo music (like EDM and metal), proactively stimulates the motor and function areas of your brain.

That just so happens to be the same areas of your brain which are used to make your body move and helps to keep rhythm, ideal for running or self-guided lifts.

13. Train in Time to Music

Music is obviously linked to emotions, but how often do you make the connection between emotions and your workouts? Pain and aching being the exception to the rule.

It can pay to invest in a proper playlist for when you work out. For faster activities, you’ll want to pick something fast-paced and bass-heavy. When you’re relaxing, you want something slow-paced like classical music where you can enjoy the subtleties of the treble range more.

Listening to the right types of music at the right time can do wonders when it comes to making an emotional connection during your training sessions.

14. Reducing Your Heart Rate

With the above consideration in mind, slow music is also great for reducing your heart rate. When you’re next in the gym, and you’re trying to calm and relax your heart rate, so you can go again.

Try sticking on something around the 60-80bpm mark, perhaps something acoustic, to bring it down naturally and steadily.

15. Stop Annoying Chatters

Some people love to go to the gym for a chat. While the gym is a great place to meet new and like-minded people, when you’re in full flow, and someone walks by without thinking about you being in the zone, you run the risk of them trying to talk with you.

However, wearing headphones is a universal sign that you don’t want to be disturbed and can, therefore, ward off potential chatting people that might distract you.

16. Improve Social Connections

On the other hand, if you’re listening to a hugely motivating track and has just seen you through the last hour of deadlifts, you can build even better connections with other people by recommending it to them.

Getting a group of friends or gym partners together to create a group playlist can be one of the most rewarding and inspiring activities you can do.

17. Minimize the Risk of Fatigue

Unless you’re listening to a meditation or yoga playlist, most music is produced to wake you up and keep your mind engaged, especially the stuff you’re going to want to be listening to while you’re at the gym.

We’ve all been in the gym and felt tired, run-down and, therefore, unmotivated to keep pushing forward. Listening to music can be a great way push through these barriers and then onto a successful workout.

18. Pushing Through Your Goals

Setting targets and goals for your workouts is all well and good, providing that you stick to them. However, this can be easier said than done, especially when you lose count of how many lengths you’ve done in the pool.

However, listening to a track, a mix, or a playlist that’s an hour long can be all the goal forming you need. Aim for the end of the playlist, and you’ll have a clear goal to reach every time.

19. There’s Such Variety!

Finally, to conclude our list of benefits that listening to music in the gym provides, we have the fact that there’s simply so much variety when it comes to what to listen to.

While all the points above were written with your favorite bands or chart hits in mind, you’re more than welcome to experiment with radio shows, talk shows, podcasts and even audiobooks.

Of course, listening to music is the most preferred, especially music with a beat, but you’re more than welcome to give something a try to see if it works for you!

20. Top Tip

Okay, so not really a benefit but still something you should be thinking about. While listening to music in the gym has so many benefits, as you can see, you must make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of allowing your music to become a distraction.

If you’re sitting on a machine trying to find the right song to suit your mood, all while you’re supposed to be working out, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Make sure you sort your music out before you get to the gym, so you can simply switch it on and go, allowing you to focus on what you’re there to do fully.

The Takeaway

There’s undeniably a vast number of benefits that listening to music in the gym provides which can all come together to give you the best workouts of your life. Experiment with different kinds of music so you can figure out what works best for you and then, most importantly, enjoy yourself!

About Gavin Whitner

A guitar player, songwriter, composer, and also the lead editor of MusicOomph, Gavin is one of the four musician friends behind this site. Outside of music, he's an avid sports fan and hardly misses anything from football (soccer) to F1.

3 thoughts on “20 Amazing Benefits of Listening to Music in the Gym”

  1. I agree that it would be good to have music a lot of the time while working out, but it might not be optimal all of the time. I could see how it would be harder to participate in a fitness class if you have your headphones on. I’ll have to make sure to take them off in situations like that which require me to be able to hear whats going on.

  2. I really like that you mentioned staying focused by blocking out the world with good music. My son and I are trying to be much healthier this year and going to the gym is a big part of that. We need to find some new music that gets us in the zone and helps us work out harder and for a longer period of time.


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