Does Listening To Music During Warm-up Improve 30-min Time Trial Performance?

Por: Elmarie Terblanche, Jacolene Kroff e Louise Jansen Van Rensburg.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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During competitive events, it is not uncommon to see top athletes listening to their favourite music through headphones
while warming up. The question is whether listening to music only helps the athlete to focus and relax, or does it
actually have an impact on their performance? The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether listening to
music (of subject’s choice) during warm-up would influence cyclists’ time trial (TT) performance in a controlled
environment and secondary whether the lack of visual feedback affects performance.

Fourteen competitive female cyclists (age 33 ± SD 7 yrs, maximal oxygen uptake 52.3 ± SD 6.3 ml/kg/min, peak power
output 268 ± SD 35 W) performed three 30-min TT’s on their own bikes mounted on an air-braked Kingcycle
ergometer. The first two TT’s were either done with (TTM) or without (TTnM) listening to music during an 8-min warmup
(in random order); only elapsed time was given as feedback during the 30 min. The third TT was done without
music but with continuous visual feedback (TTVis) of pedal cadence, power output, HR and elapsed time. Blood lactate
concentration [La] was measured at rest, at 10-, 20-, and 30 min during all TT’s. ANOVA for repeated measures was
used to compare the outcome variables between the 3 TT’s. Multiple comparisons were done using the Bonferroni
correction factor. P < 0.02 was considered as statistically significant.

No significant differences were found in any of the outcome variables between TTnM and TTM, although the cyclists
completed a slightly longer distance during TTM than during TTnM (18.2 ± 0.4 km vs 17.9 ± 0.4 km, P = 0.06) (Graph 1).
The cyclists performed significantly better during TTVis (18.6 ± 0.5 km) compared to TTnM, but there was no significant
difference between TTVis and TTM (P = 0.18). Blood [La] was significantly lower for both TTnM and TTM when
compared to TTVis at 10- and 20-min (P < 0.02).

We conclude that listening to music in a controlled environment during warm-up do not significantly improve
performance during a 30-min TT performance in well-trained competitive cyclists. Considering that the cyclists
performed best when they received visual feedback during the TT, suggests that the cyclists may have had difficulty to
pace themselves during the TT’s when they received no visual feedback. Visual feedback therefore served as better
motivation than listening to music during warm-up.

NOTA: O texto com a iconografia está no anexo.

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