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Music is widely used as an ergogenic aid in sport, but there is little evidence of its effectiveness during closedloop athletic events. In order to determine the effectiveness of music as an ergogenic aid, well-trained and task-habituated cyclists performed 10-km cycle time trials either while listening to self-selected motivational music or with auditory input blocked. There were no statistically significant differences in performance time or physiological or psychological markers related to music (time-trial duration 17.75 ± 2.10 vs 17.81 ± 2.06 min, mean power output 222 ± 66 vs 220 ± 65 W, peak heart rate 184 ± 9 vs 183 ± 8 beats/min, peak blood lactate 12.1 ± 2.6 vs 11.9 ± 2.1 mmol/L, and final rating of perceived exertion 8.4 ± 1.5 vs 8.5 ± 1.6). It is concluded that during exercise at competitive intensity, there is no meaningful effect of music on either performance or physiology.

The authors are with the Dept of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI.