Up-tempo music makes you exercise harder, but does not make the workout feel easier, report British researchers after tracking the heart rate, power output, pedal cadence, enjoyment and perception of difficulty of young cyclists listening to popular music.
When the tempo slowed, so did their pedalling. Their heart rates fell, the mileage dropped. On the other hand, when the tempo of the same songs was upped 10 per cent, the cyclists rode harder and covered more distance in the same period of time. Their heart rates rose. But faster music didn’t mask the discomfort of the exercise as their sense of how hard they were working rose 2.4 per cent.