This qualification is aimed at the learner who wants to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry as a fitness instructor in the context of exercise to music.
Studies investigating the effects of music on exercise performance have revealed inconsistent data. Music accompaniment has been shown to improve muscular endurance in the performance of junior high students doing sit-ups (Chipman, 1966) and college women doing push-ups (Koschak, 1975) , while it did not enhance the running speed of female youth (Leslie, 1967) . In contrast, college-aged males and females were able to walk farther and with less effort when exercising to music as compared to no music (Beckett, 1990) . In a well-designed study, Schwartz, Fernhall and Plowman (1990) investigated the effect of music on submaximal bicycle performance with untrained college men and women. Music exhibited no significant influence on any physiological variable measured (aerobic capacity, ventilation, respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate, and blood lactates). In addition, the psychological perception of effort was not altered with or without the music stimulus, although subjects felt they performed better with the music. Another investigation of submaximal intensity walking/jogging on a treadmill showed that subjects had longer times to exhaustion when listening to slow, soft music as compared to loud fast music (Copeland & Franks, 1991) .
A possible explanation to some of the discrepancies seen in these studies can be attributed to subject bias. In some studies the subjects were aware of the purpose of the study, which may have led them to try to "help the researcher." In studies involving music, "blinding" the subjects as to the purpose of the study will most likely improve the internal validity (see Reading and Enjoying Research) of the study.
The practical application of this research is indirect. Research is unclear at this point as to the physiological effects music may have on exercise performance. New, well-designed and controlled studies are warranted. However, more important to the health and fitness educator is the exercise adherence of his/her students to the physical activity programs. Music in many ways may improve a person's enjoyment and compliance to a fitness program, therefore ensuring long-term benefits, such as enhanced quality of life and reduction of risk to coronary heart disease and other causes of death.
Music equipment fitness cd players are so robust these days, your exercise music need never stop, so no more excuses about lack of exercise. Download your favorite tunes, or slot in a CD and get fit.
In the last 10 years the body of research on workout music has swelled considerably, helping psychologists refine their ideas about why exercise and music are such an effective pairing for so many people as well as how music changes the body and mind during physical exertion. Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual—often without realizing it. In a 2012 review of the research, of Brunel University in London, one of the world's leading experts on the psychology of exercise music, wrote that one could think of music as "a type of legal performance-enhancing drug."