Sac State students share how music fuels their gains at The WELL

There’s a workout playlist in it for you


Patrick Posuniak

Illustration concept by Colin Madigan.

Colin Madigan

It’s a sunny day outside, but some Sacramento State students are spending it in the first level of Parking Structure 3. They are taking advantage of the outdoor facilities stocked with squat racks, dumbbells, stationary bikes and other various equipment provided by The WELL at Sac State. There are people lifting, running and doing core, and almost everyone has headphones in.

Some things when put together are just meant to be — music and working out are a perfect example of this. 

According to the National Center For Health Research, listening to music can relieve boredom and help improve the quality of your workout by increasing your stamina and putting you in a better mood.

“Everyone likes to listen to music when they’re working out,” psychology major Daniel Monarrez said.

As for what music works the best when exercising that’s really up to you. 

Parks and recreation major Martin Ramshel listens to different genres of music for different workout situations. 

“It just depends sometimes,” Ramshel said. “If I’m going to go a little crazy I’ll do metal, but most of the time just hip-hop.” 

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Business supply chain management major Diego Hernandez squats at The WELL while listening to the punk rock band Escape the Fate on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Sac State students said that listening to music helps them get hyped for their workout. (Colin Madigan)

Criminal justice major Chelsey Stark used to listen to J. Cole when she was working out, saying his music made her feel more inspired to better herself. She’s been switching it up lately though.

“I’ve been listening to a lot of reggaeton,” Stark said. “It’s not a motivational-type music. It just kind of gets me hyped and the beat of it is nice to listen to.”

It’s been proven that listening to music while working out can provide extra motivation. Music can distract people from pain and fatigue, elevate mood, increase endurance, reduce perceived effort and might even promote metabolic efficiency, according to the Scientific American.

“It just gets you in the right headspace I think,” Monarrez said about listening to music during workouts. “It’s all about not being bored at the gym, staying focused with your workout.”

According to Reid Health, a study in Brain and Cognition shows that the musical quality groove excites the area of the brain responsible for movement.

“It’s fast-paced, and if it’s fast-paced you just want to keep up with it,” Ramshel said.

According to a research article published by Frontiers in Psychology, listening to various songs with differing beats per minute were found to improve a subject’s workout experience during different levels of intensity exercises.

“Some aspects is the lyrics, some aspects is the melody and the beats that the music has,” Monarrez said. “I think that’s really motivational.”

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Kinesiology major Samantha Balesteri does tricep pulldowns at The WELL while listening to “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” by Fall Out Boy on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Sac State students said that listening to music helps them power through their workouts. (Colin Madigan)

If listening to music while working out isn’t quite your thing, you can be like political science major Kassandra Ramirez, who listens to podcasts while she works out. But even then, she still gets her music fix. 

“Sometimes they have the Zumba classes, so I can be listening to my podcasts and then also be listening to the mixes,” Ramirez said regarding The WELL. 

But what happens if you make a grave mistake: leaving your headphones at home? 

“I forgot my headphones, but honestly I feel like I can still work out without music,” Stark said. “It is a little bit harder because I don’t get to get in the zone as much, but I feel like I still have that drive to push hard.”

For others, that drive to push hard is more difficult to achieve without music. 

“Yeah it sucks,” Ramshel said. “It feels like a drag, like you’re just not there.”

With the distraction of background noises and a lack of the extra motivation music provides, forgetting your headphones can make working out even harder than it already is. Luckily, Ramirez had the perfect solution.

“I would go home if I’m being honest,” Ramirez said.

No matter what your music preference, below are 12 songs based on the music preferences of Sacramento State students. These are guaranteed to set the tone to help you crush your next workout — and don’t forget to bring your headphones with you.