T Nation

This is Not Another Music Thread


Okay, let's be clear right off the bat, I do NOT want music recommendations, haha. I've seen a trillion of these threads come around, all of which are the exact same.

I'm just curious as to if people listen to music or not at the gym.

I'm in the camp of the guys who feel like they need music to get through. It provides me with motivation, enjoyment (hell, I love my music,) and overall incentive to go in and bust out a huge set when I get "that" song playing. Plus, it never hurts to cancel out whatever excuse for music they're churning out on the Top 40 these days.

On the other hand, one of my old training partners (a good friend, but worthless in the weight room to be honest,) swore up and down that he couldn't focus in the weight room when he had his iPod, and that it was more of a hassle than it was worth... and would never lift with music.

So, because there are exactly 0 topics that are interesting to me in GAL right now, I ask you: Music or no music? Why or why not?


Yes. This song is in my rotation (fitting name):

One gym I go to has no music, but people want to talk more than lift, so the mp3 player says "leave me alone" and allows me to just zone out. I prefer certain songs/tempos for certain lifts and will forward or reverse to get a certain type of song.

At the other gym, they have some satellite grunge radio playing full-time at full bore (Sirius Lithium?). They play the same 12 goddam songs every day, so my mp3 player drowns that shit out. Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Breeders is OK, but not for lifting (for me).

The music blaring in my ear just helps me zone out and focus, so there's intensity and that = more poundage.


Music. But be sure to have a workout playlist. Nothing kills a PR like Cascada all of the sudden playing right after Rage Against the Machine


No music in the gym for me - silly headphones just get in the way. It's just one more thing to think about that distracts me from what I'm doing - LIFTING.

During GPP, jogging, walking or OUTSIDE activity that is kinda boring/repetitive, doesn't require intensity and doesn't involve equipment that I can catch the headphones on, I listen to audio books/TTC lectures (not music).


Nope, cardio only now..ubless there are some sick booties on the machines in front of me. For me, now, its a "me vs me thing...me teach me...in the weight room. I go inside my head. Music is great but it does not compare to some of the thoughts I have...my own rhythm.....


Music is a necessity for me. I choose to work out alone, so the music keeps me going and blocks out all the nonsense around me. Certain songs help to get the blood pressure going and get me in the zone. It also deters people from initiating smalltalk. I'm not 100% antisocial, meaning if I see a guy obviously looking around the room for a spot I'll offer, but aside from that I don't want to talk to anyone. I make sure I have an mp3 player and not a phone that plays music. I don't want the distractions.


Definitely music. Too much stupid shit happening in the gym to not have it. At the gym I go to near my house, they play 90's dance music, and at the student rec center at UA they play Top 40. Both very awful. I can't deal with Miley, Bieber, Gaga, Kesha, and those same-as-everyone-else pop R&B/rappers.


Fuckin Lady Gaga makes me want to throw a dumbbell through the mirror. I can't stand the shit they play in the gym. The college gym where I work has no music. I can deal with that. But the gym I go to after work is just terrible top 40 crap.


When I train at home, I always have something playing. Usually something mellow (ACDC, Allman Bros, Skynyrd, etc). There isn't music at most powerlifting meets I've been to, so you need to be able to get in the zone without it. Besides, if I get too fired up I lose focus, and the right song can take me over the edge without even trying.

In the gym, there's always something playing, but I just ignore it.


I have a stereo system set up in my garage so I can listen to music. I don't listen to music that one would think of as "weightlifting" music though. I love jazz, and I don't listen to that while lifting, but other than that I listen to everything in my collection. My tastes have moved away from heavy metal so the "hardest" stuff I listen to would be maybe some Dead Kennedys and the occasional Machinehead tune.

But I plug my laptop into my receiver and just hit shuffle, so I listen to a lot of hip-hop and a lot of RATM, but I also listen to a lot of James Brown, Red Hot Chili Peppers (their old stuff, pre-Californication), a lot of other funky stuff, lots of Led Zeppelin, lots of old-school soul and r&b. I just like to listen to music. I don't feel like forcing myself to listen to heavy metal that I don't enjoy that much anymore gives me a better performance edge.


Yes, I have a kickin stereo in my home gym with a five disc changer always loaded.


Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Based on some factors:

-If I'm at the gym at school I don't have the headphones on. I like to talk to people at the gym, and don't mind being approached at the gym. It's not like people come to talk me during me sets, so it fine. I'll also talk to people from time to time. Everyone different, but small talk at the gym is cool by me. Makes things more fun.

-a benefit of music while lifting is it also gives you a good sense of how much time has passes between sets, or over the course of the workout.

-If I'm doing cardio, it helps to stave off boredom and stops me from focusing on how tired I may be, so I will wear headphones. Since I only do cardio at the gym close to my home, a lot of the time I wear headphone there. I haven't done much cardio lately, though.

-When I do listen to music, I don't have a playlist full of hardcore gangsta rap and the most hardcore death metal subgenre or anything. Rap, R&B, Pop, Rock, and even electronic music have made the playlist. Usually mainstream or more pop-friendly stuff. Other times I'll just listen to a hip hop album the entire way through.

-I'm actually trying to avoid using headphones more and more, not just at the gym but on the bus and other places. It's all part of an effort to be more sociable and whatnot. Wearing my headphones as much as possible ruins that.




I only listen to music during cardio/conditioning. It pumps me up and lets me run a little faster or push a little harder. When lifting weights I need a more focus, music takes me out of it.


I listen to stuff (music, lectures, audiobooks, standup comedy) sometimes when I'm doing cardio, never when I'm lifting.


No music for me and if there's music in the gym I usually just channel it out.


I listen to music when I work out and certain songs actually help me focus and get shit done but something unusual I found that is if I am really pushing myself to the point where I may feel a bit nauseous, the music starts bothering me.


A terrible song may sap some energy from me, a good song might give a little perk, but while I am lifting I do not hear anything. Paying attention to the radio at my gym is almost always a sign that I am not focused enough on what I am doing.

I have found that some CDs can get me in a proper mood to get stuff done but also realize that I do not 'hear' the music once I get started. This is especially true with writing.


ALWAYS unless my MP3 is mysteriously out of power or something. That has happened and I lifted without it. Was not the suck but was not as enjoyable for me.

Metal for lifting classic thrash mostly EXODUS, Metallica, Slayer...

For running its a MUST I tend towards power metal for that Edguy, Helloween, Maiden...

Slow Death (Steady State) I usually climb that stairmill thing and dear lord that would be the EPIC SUCK without Music.


I can lift fine while listening to some music. I must say that folk metal is pretty epic to listen to when lifting. However when I do olympic lifting (3x a week out of the 5x a week), obviously no headphones or anyhting.