This Scientist Has One Simple Trick to Make Workouts a Breeze

This Scientist Has One Simple Trick to Make Workouts a Breeze
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Put down those steroids and tell Barry Bonds to take a hike; one scientist says there's a surefire way to improve your workout, and it's not with performance-enhancing drugs. It's with music.

Costas Karageorghis, sports psychologist and deputy head of research for the School of Sport and Education at Brunel University in London, claims he's come up with the perfect formula to give athletes, professional and amateur, an edge. In a recent interview with EPSN, he said, "I often refer to music as a legal drug." 

Karageorghis has been studying the correlation between movement and music for more than 20 years and has even partnered with Spotify and Red Bull to build playlists for the world's top athletes. In 2013, he even shared his personal workout playlist designed with beats per minutes in mind to maximize efficiency.

In his research, Karageorghis found that music can actually trick the mind. Songs can distract your mind and reduce your effort perception by up to 10%. For example, listening to "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen can make a 60-minute run feels like a 54-minute run. 

There are four things the expert considers when creating a playlist for athletes:

1. Beat. Listening to songs that are just slightly faster than your normal pace of movement get you to work harder without even realizing it. 

2. Arousal. Listening to fast music before a workout pumps you up and boosts your mood. 

3. Association. Listening to music that brings back good memories helps your forget about the task at hand.

4. Dissociation. Listening to music that you simply enjoy — Meghan Trainor fans, rejoice — can make your workout seem easier and even fun.

Karageorghis has worked with record-setting runner Paula Radcliffe, who's partial to "Stronger" by Kanye West, and Olympic runner Kelly Holmes, who prefers ballads like "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys or "Killing Me Softly" by the Fugees. During the middle of your workout, songs in the 120-140 BPM range are best, like "The Way You Move" by OutKast, "Head Like A Hole" by Nine Inch Nails or "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa. 

Paula Radcliffe
Source: 
Ronald Zak/AP

The news comes at a perfect time, considering that the new year always sees gym memberships skyrocketing. And while it may be too late for A-Rod, Karageorghis just gave everyone a reason to crank up their headphones and hit the pavement.  

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Kate Beaudoin

Kate is a staff writer for Mic's music section. With an M.A. in journalism from NYU, she's written for Salon, NewYorkMagazine.com, and RollingStone.com. Kate hails from Montana, but eats pizza like a New Yorker—often and aggressively.

MORE FROM

Why Halle Berry believes her Oscar win "meant nothing" to diversity in Hollywood

Here is how the actress is getting involved to bring more diversity to Hollywood.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale tackled fertility and it was the realest the show ever got

British evil twin aside, the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale dealt with a serious issue in a sober way.

'Baby Driver' reviews: Critics are in love with Edgar Wright's latest high-octane film

'Baby Driver' is being called one of the summer's best films.

'America's Got Talent' contestant Johnny Manuel dominates Whitney Houston ballad

The Flint, Michigan, native missed a shot at a music career in his teens. Now he wants a second chance.

How much money does the winner of 'Big Brother' season 19 get?

After battling it out all summer, the winner of 'Big Brother' gets a big payout.

'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke filmed more in Belfast. What does that mean for Daenerys?

Many of the series' interior shots are filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast.

Why Halle Berry believes her Oscar win "meant nothing" to diversity in Hollywood

Here is how the actress is getting involved to bring more diversity to Hollywood.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale tackled fertility and it was the realest the show ever got

British evil twin aside, the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale dealt with a serious issue in a sober way.

'Baby Driver' reviews: Critics are in love with Edgar Wright's latest high-octane film

'Baby Driver' is being called one of the summer's best films.

'America's Got Talent' contestant Johnny Manuel dominates Whitney Houston ballad

The Flint, Michigan, native missed a shot at a music career in his teens. Now he wants a second chance.

How much money does the winner of 'Big Brother' season 19 get?

After battling it out all summer, the winner of 'Big Brother' gets a big payout.

'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke filmed more in Belfast. What does that mean for Daenerys?

Many of the series' interior shots are filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast.