What Makes a Great Workout Song?

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What makes a great workout

song? It appears the following

must be true for a song to make anyone's top 5 list for working out.


invoke happiness.


get you pumped up.


a good beat.


you want to move.


you of past pleasant experiences.

But which songs really help

out during a workout? Well you'd

be surprised. Laurence O'Donnell

has researched this idea and found the following trends.

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Music seems to be one of the

basic actions of humans. However, early music was not handed down from

generation to generation or recorded. The influence of music on society can be

clearly seen from modern history. Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the

Declaration of Independence. When he could not figure out the right wording for

a certain part, he would play his violin to help him. The music helped him get

the words from his brain onto the paper.

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In general, responses to

music are able to be observed. It has been proven that music influences humans

both in good and bad ways. These effects are instant and long lasting. Music is

thought to link all of the emotional, spiritual, and physical elements of the

universe. Music can also be used to change a person's mood, and has been found

to cause like physical responses in many people simultaneously. Music also has

the ability to strengthen or weaken emotions from a particular event such as a


People perceive and respond

to music in different ways. The level of musicianship of the performer and the

listener as well as the manner in which a piece is performed affects the

"experience" of music. An experienced and accomplished musician might

hear and feel a piece of music in a totally different way than a non-musician

or beginner. This is why two accounts of the same piece of music can contradict


Rhythm is also an important

aspect of music to study when looking at responses to music. There are two

responses to rhythm. These responses are hard to separate because they are

related, and one of these responses cannot exist without the other. These

responses are (1) the actual hearing of the rhythm and (2) the physical

response to the rhythm. Rhythm organizes physical movements and is very much

related to the human body. For example, the body contains rhythms in the

heartbeat, while walking, during breathing, etc. Another example of how rhythm

orders movement is an autistic boy who could not tie his shoes. He learned how

on the second try when the task of tying his shoes was put to a song. The

rhythm helped organize his physical movements in time.

Responses to music are easy

to be detected in the human body. Classical music from the baroque period

causes the heart beat and pulse rate to relax to the beat of the music. As the

body becomes relaxed and alert, the mind is able to concentrate more easily.

Furthermore, baroque music decreases blood pressure and enhances the ability to

learn. Music affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves, which can be

measured by an electro-encephalogram. Music also affects breathing rate and

electrical resistance of the skin. It has been observed to cause the pupils to

dilate, increase blood pressure, and increase the heart rate.

Many revealing scientific

experiments, studies, and research projects have been performed to try and

discover the extent of the power of music. Up until 1970, most of the research

done on music had to do with studying the effects of the beat of the music. It

was found that slow music could slow the heartbeat and the breathing rate as

well as bring down blood pressure. Faster music was found to speed up these

same body measurements.

The key component of music

that makes it beneficial is order. The order of the music from the baroque and

classical periods causes the brain to respond in special ways. This order

includes repetition and changes, certain patterns of rhythm, and pitch and mood

contrasts. One key ingredient to the order of music from the baroque and

classical periods is math. This is realized by the body and the human mind

performs better when listening to this ordered music.

Another key to the order in

music is the music being the same and different. The brain works by looking at

different pieces of information and deciding if they are different or the same.

This is done in music of the baroque and classical periods by playing a theme

and then repeating or changing the theme. The repetition is only done once.

More than one repetition causes the music to become displeasing, and also

causes a person to either enter a state of sub-conscious thinking or a state of


An Australian physician and

psychiatrist, Dr. John Diamond, found a direct link between muscle

strength/weakness and music. He discovered that all of the muscles in the

entire body go weak when subjected to the "stopped anapestic beat" of

music from hard rock musicians, including Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Queen,

The Doors, Janis Joplin, Bachman - Turner Overdrive, and The Band. Dr. Diamond

found another effect of the anapestic beat. He called it a

"switching" of the brain. Dr. Diamond said this switching occurs when

the actual symmetry between both of the cerebral hemispheres is destroyed

causing alarm in the body along with lessened work performance, learning and

behavior problems in children, and a "general malaise in adults."

Careful what you download!

What do you think?