Music IS the Magic
Musiq Soulchild had his 2011 album release titled “Musiq in the Magiq”, that’s where I got the closely modified title for this blog. However, the album cover above is for his 2008 release entitled “On My Radio.” After reading this blog it will make sense why I have “On My Radio” as the pic for this blog as opposed to the album cover after which the title of this blog is taken.
I wanted to write about this because music (not to mention the artist Musiq) is very dear to my heart. It has gotten me through rough times, and has been there during the best times. But, another great thing that people may not realize about music is that it can actually ramp up your workout…big time…if you can tap into the emotional aspect of your connection with the music. It will many times provide an adrenaline rush due to an internal emotional resonance with the music which amplifies one’s workout.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
For about the past six months, I haven’t been running as fast as I would like. I was trying my best, but for some reason my times weren’t what they were before knee surgery. I’d run once maybe twice a week, but I just felt SLOW. Like I had a block of lead in my ass. I’ve never felt this way before. I thought it was because I am more filled out now as compared to when I ran my personal best times. But, this all changed this past week.
I decided to run my usual 2.75 mile route (which I try to do as fast as I can like 60% of a sprint the entire way) while using my mp3 player with these new earbuds (Skullcandy Riots) that actually fit in my ear not like the ones that come stock with an iPod that would ALWAYS fall out of my left ear ever since I was a kid. Because I always had trouble wearing conventional earbuds I never ran with an mp3 player unless I used my over ear headphones, but they were heavy and cumbersome so I just sort of settled that I would never be able to run with an mp3 player which sucks because music helps tap into my emotions to provide an adrenaline rush which allows me to push harder than I think I am pushing thus run faster. Anyway, I was always so envious of people who could wear those iPod earbuds while working out because I never could (or in any other situation for that matter…the left earbud was always highly uncomfortable and always fell out).
But, these new Skullcandy Riot earbuds are the type that come with different size earpieces so I can decide which one fits the most snugly in my ears. It is a 100% improvement! The left earbud now stays firmly and comfortably in my ear so I decided to put it to the test and run with them.
But, also, another reason I didn’t particularly like running with an mp3 player is because of the awkwardness of the headphone wires while I’m running. I know this is where a stereo bluetooth headset and mp3 player would come in handy, but I don’t have them right now, and I’m not sure how good bluetooth stereo mp3s sound. That would actually be the ultimate so I will start looking into that…running or working out with a bluetooth stereo headset. I think Motorola makes a pretty nice one, but I’d also need an mp3 player that can use bluetooth, and use it well, because sound quality is number one even on a run. So, anyhow, back to what I was saying. I decided to just say screw it with the wires and just deal with the cumbersomeness of them on the run.
Here is where Musiq, the artist, enters the picture. I’ve been listening to Musiq for about 6 years now, and I have all of his albums. I just recently got his two latest albums, and I love them to death. He just keeps getting better as a songwriter and vocalist, and I feel a real connection with his music. So I was going to use this feeling on my run one cool morning about a week ago while listening to his album “On My Radio” because I felt this crazy emotional connection with several of the songs on that album which of course is good motivation for working out.
I started the run listening to kind of a mellow jam that really tapped into my emotions called “Deserve U More”. Then another couple of his slower and midtempo jams came along and I felt great running and listening to them even though the tempo was slow, the connection with the music enhanced my run. I already felt the emotional resonance with the music helping me run faster. So I continued to run until the album title song “On My Radio” came on. I found that my body did something very interesting, and it just did it natually. IT STARTED TO NATURALLY RUN TO THE BEAT OF THE SONG. This was something that amazed me. I felt almost as though I was dancing rather than running because every step was in the cadence of the beat. It was awesome. It was like my body complete synergized with the cadence of the song. And, this was a faster than what my pace has been in the last 6 months, yet felt natural and comfortable. I no longer was concentrating on steps as I did without music. I was just running to the beat which almost made me forget that I was running. It felt more like dancing to cadence. It felt free.
After this song was over, another slower jam came on, and kind of killed my pace. So as I was running I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I know that I intended to run to these slower jams b/c of the connection, but what if there’s a song on this album that I not gets me emotions going because of the musical composition and/or lyrics AND has a dance beat that I can stay in step with while I run so I feel how I felt with “On My Radio” but even a little faster pace. And, sure enough, I hit the forward search a couple times and this song, “Money Right” started playing. My body immediately fell in cadence with the beat. I had found my song, and stayed with that cadence for the last 3/4 mile and sprinted the finish.
When I looked at my watch, turns out it was the fasted time I had run that route in the last 6 months by 30 seconds! So I thought to myself, “Hmmm, that song “Money Right” may be the song that will keep me on pace throughout the entire run to really lower my time.” I decided that the next time I ran, I would only listen to that song the entire way.
So about 4 days later, it was time for a run. I didn’t have my mp3 player, unfortunately, but that song cadence for “Money Right” was totally stuck in my head. So it was a dual experiment. I was going to run the entire 2.75 miles to that song, but it would be PLAYING IN MY HEAD without an mp3 player. Well, long story short, it worked even though I didn’t have the earbuds. I shaved another 30 seconds of the time from the other day to have the best time I’ve had on that route since before I had knee surgery. I just have another 25 seconds to shave off to beat my personal best on that route. I think I can do it if I actually bring the mp3 player next time which I intend to do so we’ll see. As I was running that day to the beat of the song in my head, it’s like I can’t help but be a slave to the beat, and that is good for me because as you can see, it just really improved my time. I remember running like this the other day, and even if I wanted to slow down, I just couldn’t. It felt like I was not only dancing, but challenging myself to stay with the beat. I wasn’t going to fall off the beat. Not even for one beat. It was like I was hunting the beat down. It felt like dancing and every step I took I was that much closer to catching the beat. It was awesome.
So that’s why I say that Music is the Magic (and in this case, the artist Musiq is for me). I mean, I was just a slave to the beat of that song, and IT WAS IN MY HEAD THE ENTIRE RUN. Man, I can’t wait to do damage when I’m actually staying with the beat with the song actually playing through my mp3 player on the run. I couldn’t stop. Not even if I wanted to because I just didn’t want to lost the beat, and this in turn caused me to shave an entire minute off that run.
So the moral of the story for running is definitely give it a shot. Find an mp3 player with earbuds that will stay in your ear as you run and that are comfortable. Pick an medium to uptempo song that you feel and emotional attachment with the lyrics or musical composition (the chords in the song, I tend to like minor OR major chords, it just depends…whatever gives you goose bumps when you’re listening to it). Start running, and stay with the beat of the song. Do your best to not fall off the beat for the entire run, and see what happens…You will probably be amazed at how fast you ran. And, the best part is that you get in this great shape without feeling like you’re trying. You’re running faster because of the connection with the song and the beat.
My other example is how the right music intensifies weightlifting. I won’t go into it too deeply here, but if you weight train while listening to music with which you feel that emotional attachment to the lyrics, chords, beat or two or three of these components of the song, you will find that you are more powerful. Some music just taps into our emotions whether in the gym or not and makes us want to lift. It helps us tap into our natural adrenaline. That’s why so many professional athletes use music when they train. It makes pain less painful, and thus helps us to push harder which gets us better results. They key to results is intensity and intelligence. Get this and more in my Model-Fit Sixpack Blueprint© and Model-Fit DVD© where I expand upon this and my other blog topics and teach you safe and proven total body workouts as well as teach you how easy and cost-effective it is to make clean, nutritious fuel selections that power your workouts, build muscle and burn fat, naturally.
Music IS the Magic folks…it can be your secret weapon to achieving your fitness goals, if you let it.