The technique “jymmin’” was coined by German neuroscientist Thomas Fritz. It’s a combination of gym and jammin’ to describe how music can help athletes push themselves farther in their training than they believe they are able. Fritz has long studied the relationship between body and perception; the findings from his latest musical interest are in a new study about music and physical exertion through workouts.
Along with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Fritz theorized that using music in the exercise room and having athletes produce music during a workout would make muscles use less energy and be a more effective during workouts. In the first test, participants used machines while passively listening to music. In the second test, participants used machines that produced music when in motion, creating an interactive work out. Participants in these studies showed less muscle stress and strain than those who do not use music in their workouts.
“These findings are a breakthrough because they decisively help to understand the therapeutic power of music,” Fritz said in a news release. “A down-modulating effect of musical activity on exertion could be a yet undiscovered reason for the development of music in humans: Making music makes physical exertion less exhausting”.
Researchers monitored muscle tension, oxygen intake and asked the participants about their levels of exertion. They were able to determine that the second test created less stress and strain on the muscles.
“Music is like a legal drug for athletes,” Costas Karageorghis of London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education told Ace Fitness. “It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.”
Karageorghis and other scientists say that music certainly plays in a role in enjoyment and level of exercise. It also help athletes because the athlete moves with the tempo, increases their desire to move and music has a distracting effect from the pain that could be caused by workouts.