Music Boosts Performanceguest
Music by Eminem can boost athletic performance by up to 10%, a study suggests.
Some of the US rapper’s best-known hits – including Lose Yourself and Without Me – have been found to “significantly” increase power and endurance during prolonged periods of intensive exercise.
Researchers have spent three months working with the British swimmer Ben Hooper, in order to develop a “soundtrack to success” ahead of his gruelling 2,000-mile swim across the Atlantic this December.
Their work also uncovered some songs which are best to avoid, with songs by Bob Marley likely to cause fatigue and a lacklustre performance – as well as I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith.
Popular exercising songs such as Eye Of The Tiger, labelled as “cheesy” in the report, have no major impact.
Other tracks which were found to have a “surprisingly beneficial” effect on Mr Hooper’s results included Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia, as well as Hall of Fame by The Script.
Although it has long been known that songs with a distinctive rhythm and fast tempo can be useful for training athletes, this study by Hartpury College also found that lyrics must “strike a chord with the test subject” and have “emotional resonance” if there is to be any noticeable effect on their performance.
Richard Collins, the sports psychologist who led the research, explained: “With Ben, listening to Eminem inspires confidence and determination as there is a general theme of triumphing against the odds.
“Other songs made him think of his daughter and reminded him why he’s doing this historic challenge – to show that ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary.”
When listening to a successful playlist, the time it took Mr Hooper to complete a 12km swim in a standard pool fell from an average of four hours to just three hours and 47 minutes.
His pace per 100m had also increased from two minutes, to one minute and 48 seconds.
The top 10 songs – along with some of Mr Hooper’s personal favourites – have been added to a waterproof MP3 player in preparation for the beginning of his epic journey on New Year’s Eve.
The athlete, from Cheltenham, said the study “will prove of great benefit to me as I’m battling the elements and needing every ounce of motivation I can muster to keep on going”.
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(News source: Sky News)