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It’s not just another day at the gym. On this day, you are the definition of “in the zone.” You’re really pushing yourself that extra little bit, feeling the strain on your protesting muscles and the thrill of your beating heart as you run longer, lift more, and push yourself further than you ever have before. It’s a day when everything is going your way.
You even timed it perfectly so you’d be able to finish this workout to the sounds of your favorite song blasting through your earphones. In your mind, you can see yourself cross the finish line (or drop the weights, or whatever) at that one moment in the song that just makes your heart soar…
… and then the wire snags on something and rips the earbuds right out.
That’s it. Moment ruined. And instead of bursting across the finish line, you fumble with the headphones and mp3 player in a vague attempt to get everything re-situated on your head.
Everyone has a different workout style, and for those of us who can’t imagine a workout without our favorite tunes, how we listen is just as important as what we’re listening to. The best sound, the stability in your ears, and freedom to move can turn an average workout into a more effective experience.
On the other hand, if we’re focusing on finding the right song, keeping the earbuds in place, and making sure the wires don’t get snagged on exercise equipment, then we’re not focusing on the actual exercise and maybe not getting quite the workout we could.
See Also: Refocus Your Time and Find Time to Exercise
Fitting Your Workout Style
How does music figure into your workout time? Maybe this is how you pump yourself up before a long run. Maybe it helps you stay focused. Maybe obvious headphones are the perfect way to signal others that you are not available to chat just because you happen to be on adjacent treadmills.
Your style of workout may dictate the style of headphones. If you only use music to pump yourself up before a workout, then maybe some big, ear-covering headphones will work. If you wear headphones while you’re working out, though, you will need to consider some other attributes, including:
Wireless – Freeeeeedoooooommm! Bluetooth devices offer a lot of freedom in your workout. If you’re at a gym, chances are the range of your device will cover most of the room, so you don’t even have to carry your smartphone or mp3 player. Just leave it in your bag off to the side and you’ll still get the great sound and clarity as you go from exercise machine to free weights and back.
Wired headphones are simple, and you never have to think about charging them, but even that isn’t much of a concern, anymore. Battery life on modern Bluetooth headphones like the X2s is pretty substantial. (8 hours of play time on the X2s.)
Over the ear or in the ear – This is a bit of a personal preference. Some people prefer the perceived added stability of a clip that goes up and over the ear. However, with modern silicone earbud tips and ear fins, you can eliminate the extra weight and still get all the stability you need (without giving up any comfort).
Sweat proof – The harder you work the more likely sweat is going to make your earbuds a little slippery. Sweat can even distort the sound on low-end earbuds. You need something that remains stable and still sounds incredible no matter how hard you work.
Sound isolation – Whether you’re drowning out the sounds of the gym or being conscientious of those around you, proper sound isolation will make sure that you get the quality of sound you want. (You also won’t accidentally share your favorite songs with the person on the machine next to you.)
Simple controls – If you’re going to go the Bluetooth route, you will need some simple controls to handle volume and song selection. A quick touch to a simple button layout should be all you need. You may also note that this means you won’t have to touch your smartphone with sweaty fingers.
Your Workout, Your Way
Sometimes a little music can make a big difference in your workout. How you listen to your favorite playlist can be just as important as the songs you’ve preloaded into it. Make sure that your equipment matches the intensity of your workouts and you’ll cross that finish line (or lift those weights, or whatever) in perfect style.
Do you listen to music while you workout?