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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of fast- and slow-tempo music on 500-m rowing sprint performances. Twenty-two rowers performed 500-m sprints 3 times: rowing without music, rowing to slow music, and rowing to fast tempo music. Strokes per minute (SPM), time to completion, (TTC), and rated perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. Although RPE did not differ between the rowing conditions, TTC was shortest in the fast music condition. Further, shorter TTC was observed in the slow music condition in contrast to the control condition, indicating that slow music also enhanced performance. The strongest treatment effects emerged, however, in the examination of the SPM that were significantly higher during rowing to fast music in comparison with rowing to slow music or no music. These results suggest that fast music acts as an external psyching-up stimulus in brief and strenuous muscle work.
Rendi and T. Szabo are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary. A. Szabo is with the National Institute for Sport Talent Care and Sport Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.