D. Bell, I. Dominguez, A. Fijalka, B. Wallace, K. Woodworth, M. Zimney, J. McKenzie

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Music has been found to be effective in reducing the physiological and psychological strain of exercise and increasing exercise performance, although the mechanism of how music influences performance is not clear. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of self-selected, varying-tempo music on perceived exertion and exercise performance in participants performing 1000 meter trials on an ergometer. METHODS: Eight collegiate rowers performed three 1000 meter trials under the following conditions: no music, self-selected slow music (60-100 bpm), or self-selected fast music (130-170 bpm). Time to completion (TTC), strokes per minute (SPM), power output (PO), split time (ST), heart rate (HR), and rated perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. ANOVA was used to detect any differences between all three rowing conditions and for all trials regardless of music condition. RESULTS: No significant differences were found for TTC (control=223.3 ± 13.7 s, slow=224.1 ± 11.3 s, fast=221.6 ± 13.1 s, p =0.259), SPM (control=28.6 ± 1.3 1/min, slow=28.8 ± 1.8 1/min, fast=28.7 ± 1.8 1/min, p=0.907), PO (control=257.0 ± 53.8 W, slow=252.0 ± 40.9 W, fast=257.6 ± 47.9 W, p=0.249), ST (p=0.334), HR (p=0.431), or RPE (p=0.220) between music conditions. TTC, SPM, PO, and RPE were also non-significantly different among trials, regardless of music condition. CONCLUSION: The discrepancy between the results of this current study and similar research may be due to the intensity of exercise studied, as other research utilized lower intensity exercise that may have allowed their subjects to be influenced more easily by music. Music seems to not affect the performance or the reported perceived exertion of trained subjects at high intensity exercise, as experienced athletes devote cognitive resources to pacing in order to prevent fatigue instead of perceiving ambient music. No fatigue effect was found within the subjects of the current study, indicating the rowers effectively paced themselves throughout the three trials. Therefore, music may not be an effective distractor during high intensity exercise for these reasons.

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